Compulsory School in Iceland

Suomen etuudet lapsiperheille
All children and youths, generally from age 6 to 16 years, are required to attend compulsory school (Icel. 'grunnskóli'). General information about compulsory schools is available here.

Mandatory school attendance

School attendance is generally mandatory for ten years. The school year is usually nine and a half months, extending from the last week of August through the first week of June. All schools close for Christmas and Easter holidays and most schools have a winter break of a few days.


Compulsory school

Children are registered for compulsory school online through the municipality in which the child resides.  

Emphasis is placed on providing all students with studies suitable for them in compulsory school. Students who have learning, social or emotional difficulties and/or disabilities are entitled to special educational support.

Foreign language instruction begins with English in fourth grade and Danish in seventh grade. Students with a good foundation in Swedish or Norwegian can choose those languages instead of Danish with the school's approval. Most schools offer other languages as electives in the tenth grade.


Mother tongue

Students with a mother tongue other than Icelandic are entitled to support and special instruction in Icelandic. This often amounts to two hours per week. Reception classes for new residents are operated in three compulsory schools in Reykjavik.


After-school supervision

Supervision after the school day ends is available to students in the first to fourth grades. Parents pay for this service. Most schools offer noon meals for a small charge. Health care in schools is provided free of charge.


Further information

Information on compulsory schools in Iceland can be found on the website of the Ministry of Education and Children and on the website of the municipality of residence or planned residence.

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