Compulsory school in Iceland

Suomen etuudet lapsiperheille
All children and youths, usually from 6 to 16 years of age, are required to attend compulsory school. Here you can find general information on compulsory education in Iceland.

Compulsory school attendance

Compulsory schooling is generally 10 years. The school year usually lasts for nine and a half months, from the last week of August until the first week of June. All schools close for Christmas and Easter holidays and in addition most schools also take a few days’ winter break.


Compulsory school (Grunnskóli)

Children are registered for compulsory school with the office of the respective school.

Emphasis is placed on providing all children with compulsory school study suited to their needs. Students with learning, social or emotional difficulties and/or disabilities are entitled to special support in school.

Foreign language instruction begins with English in fourth grade and Danish in seventh grade. Students with a good basic knowledge of Swedish or Norwegian can choose either of those languages instead of Danish with the approval of the school. Most schools offer other languages as electives in the 10th grade.


Native language

Students with a mother tongue other than Icelandic are entitled to support and special instruction in Icelandic, provided two class hours a week, as a general rule. Reception departments for immigrants are operated in three primary schools in Reykjavík.


After-school programmes

Children in grades 1 to 4 are offered after-school programmes after the school day concludes. Parents pay for the service. Most schools offer lunches for a small fee. Healthcare at schools is provided free of charge.


Further information

Information on compulsory school in Iceland is available on the website of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and on the website of the municipality where a child is to attend school.

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