Compulsory Schooling

General information

zur deutschsprachigen Version
to the German version

All children who stay in Austria are required to attend school. Compulsory schooling starts in the year, in which the child has become six years till 31th August and lasts nine school years. 


Compulsory schooling is fulfilled by attending the following types of schools:

  • In the first four school years: by attending a primary school (Volksschule) or a special needs school (Sonderschule)
    • If, during compulsory school attendance in the first school year, it is found that the child is not yet ready for school, the visit to a preschool is required
  • In the 5th to the 8th school year: by attending a new secondary school (Neue Mittelschule), a secondary academic school (allgemeinbildende höhere Schule) or a special needs school
  • In the 9th school year: by the attending a pre-vocational year (Polytechnischer Lehrgang) or by attending a secondary academic school or a special needs school
  • Children can also attend to equivalent lessons (for example lessons at home, private schools), as far as it is announced to the Austrian authorities confirming the equivalence

Additional information

School Types in Austria

  • Primary school (Volksschule) (1st to 4th grade)
  • New secondary school (Lower secondary school) (Neue Mittelschule) (5th to 8th grade)
  • Special needs school (Sonderschule) and inclusive teaching
  • Pre-vocational year (Polytechnische Schule) (9th grade)
  • Secondary academic school (Allgemeinbildende höhere Schule) (5th to 12th grade)
  • Vocational school (Berufsschule) (10th to 13th grade)
  • Secondary technical and vocational school (Berufsbildende mittlere Schule) (9th to 12th grade)
  • Secondary technical and vocational high school or college (Berufsbildende höhere Schule) (9th to 13th grade)

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung) offers detailed information about the different types of schools in Austria (in English).
In addition to the public schools, there are also German-speaking and foreign language private schools (with and without public status). For example, in Vienna there are the Vienna International School, the Danube International School, the American International School, the Lycée Français as well as various schools of religious communities such as Islamic or Jewish private schools.

Additional information can be found on the German website at

Last update: 14.02.2020
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Approved by Editorial Staff
Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research
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