The members of Matching in Practice are involved in a large-scale mapping of matching practices in education and related markets in Europe. If you have comments on some of the descriptions included herein or want to contribute comments or expertise, please contact us.

Countries or regions with available information are coloured blue, please click on each country or region for related profile. A list of profiles on elementary schools can be found here.


BELGIUM (FR)
Who is in charge? Individual schools.
Restrictions on preference None
Matching procedure Decentralized applications and admissions at the level of the schools.
Priorities & Quotas Left to decide by each individual school.
Tie-breaking Left to decide by each individual school.

Estonia
Who is in charge? Local authority in the case of intra-district schools; schools in the case of inter-district schools.
Restrictions on preference Students apply to inter-district schools by taking their entrance examination. For intra-district schools students list up to three schools, but without preference ordering.
Matching procedure Rural schools: Decentralized admission first-come-first-served basis. Inter-district: Decentralized school-proposing Deferred Acceptance. Intra-district: Sequential allocation based on the student’s set of acceptable schools with remaining capacity and where s/he has highest priority (by siblings or distance or both).
Priorities & Quotas For inter-district schools there are no priorities or quotas. For intra-district schools the priorities are based on sibling status and distance from home.
Tie-breaking Random lottery.

Spain
Who is in charge? The municipalities.
Restrictions on preference Parents can only list a limited number of school (usually in the range from 6 to 10).
Matching procedure Boston Mechanism.
Priorities & Quotas Priority number based on neighborhood, sibling status and/or socioeconomics.
Tie-breaking Fair unique lottery.

Italy
Who is in charge? Each school governing body, but local authorities can serve as coordinator at a local level.
Restrictions on preference One application (to one school) per student to be sent within a deadline specified by the central government.
Matching procedure Decentralized, but schools are asked to coordinate to match offer and demand.
Priorities & Quotas Decentralized, but schools are asked to coordinate to match offer and demand.
Tie-breaking Set by school governing body.

Sweden
Who is in charge? Local authorities (municipalities).
Restrictions on preference No legal restrictions, but most municipalities allow children to rank at most three schools.
Matching procedure Non-algorithmic as long as legal and local guidelines are respected.
Priorities & Quotas Priorities based on submitted preferences and (relative) distance. Local variations based on, e.g., sibling priority exist.
Tie-breaking Local variations.

Hungary
Who is in charge? A non-profit governmental organisation.
Restrictions on preference There is no restriction, but the applicants are charged for every item in their lists after the third one.
Matching procedure A score-limit algorithm based on the student-proposing Gale-Shapley algorithm.
Priorities & Quotas The scores of the students are coming from their grades and central entrance exams, with some additional scores for competitions, language certificates, or social and medical conditions.
Tie-breaking There is no tie-breaking, students with equal scores are either rejected or accepted together (‘equal treatment policy’).

UK (Scotland)
Who is in charge? Admission to schools is devolved to local authorities.
Restrictions on preference One school in the catchment area (with no opportunity to supply a preference) or a “placing request” for a school outside the catchment area. Multiple placing requests can be made but a parent must indicate their first choice among these (and this is the only preference that can be expressed).
Matching procedure If the parent is satisfied with the catchment area school, then the child will normally be placed there. Placing requests are not guaranteed to be met, though family circumstances such as siblings already at the school are considered. when local authorities make decisions.
Priorities & Quotas Individual local authorities may set their own priorities when it comes to granting placing requests. These are not published at national level.
Tie-breaking N/A.

Ireland
Who is in charge? Individual schools, within guidelines of department of education.
Restrictions on preference None.
Matching procedure Decentralized applications and admissions at the level of schools.
Priorities & Quotas Left to decide by the schools.
Tie-breaking Large heterogeneity in practice, priority-ranking, cut-off birth date, or lottery etc.