Before you move to the Czech Republic with your children, please keep in mind that school attendance is compulsory in the Czech Republic. This obligation applies as well to children of foreign nationals who reside longer than 90 days.
Complete list of primary schools is here: https://www.seznamskol.cz/zakladni-skoly/praha/
Public schools are free of charge, private schools require a school fee.
The compulsory school education starts at the age of 5 years which is the last year of kindergarten (“předškolák”) and ends up with the completion of primary school education which is usually at the age of 15 years.
The primary school starts at the age of six years and the minimum compulsory attendance is 9 years. Every child who turns 6 years before the 1st September is obliged to undergo an admissions procedure. There is a possibility to enroll your child even earlier (at the age of 5), however in this case, you will need a certificate from a doctor or pedagogical and psychological counselling to child’s maturity to attend school.
A Primary school is divided into 2 levels:
- The 1st level (“první stupeň”) is from the 1st up to 5th the grade
- The 2nd level (“druhý stupeň”) is from the 6th grade up to 9th grade
A school year lasts 10 months, from September until June. July and August are 2 months of summer holidays the children are looking forward to every year. Even during the school year, there are some days off, such as Autumn holidays, Christmas holidays, Spring holidays and of course National days.
A School year is divided into two semesters:
- The First semester starts in September and lasts until the end of January when the children receive a mid-term report (“pololetní vysvědčení”)
- The second semester starts in February and lasts until the end of June, which marks at the same time a termination of the school year. This time, the children receive a final report (“vysvědčení”)
Admissions procedure to a public primary school:
As the primary school attendance in the Czech Republic is obligatory, you are certain to find a school for your child. However, your choice is limited to the address of your stay (“trvalé bydliště”) which you can prove showing your accommodation contract or residence permit card. The law defines exactly the school your child belongs to (“spádová”) according to the street and number you currently reside in. You are of course free to choose any school you wish, however you cannot be sure to have your child accepted there.
Every school has open days (“Den otevřených dveří”) in the beginning of the year and it is recommended to visit them and ask for information. Some schools offer an assistant if your child does not speak Czech or in case of special needs and care.
First, you need to fill-in an application form. You can do it online (the link is indicated on the webpage of each school) or bring it with you personally on the day of admission.
The admissions “zápis” usually take place in April, the exact date is specified on the webpage of each school.
Admission occurs in two parts:
1. Practical part:
- An interview with the child testing their social skills, communication, focus and self-control, graphomotor skills, counting up to 10, basic knowledge about nature, time etc.
- In case your child is not ready for the school attendance at the age of 6, you can ask to postpone their attendance (“odklad”) after having visited an educational and psychological counselling (pedagogicko-psychologická poradna) or a doctor. Admission to school can be postponed until the child is 8 years old – that´s the maximum.
2. Administrative part:
- Child‘s birth certificate, passport or ID card
- Child’s health insurance
- Parent’s ID, residence card or passport
- Original of your accommodation contract
- Certificate from the doctor – in case school attendance has been postponed
- Application form (if you have not filed it electronically)
The admission of an older child and admission during the school year:
A parent can enroll a child in primary school at any time during the school year. It is highly recommended to make an appointment with the director of a school and arrange all the details.
Having little or no knowledge of the Czech language cannot be used as a reason for not accepting the child to the school.