Elementary school in Denmark

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Here you can read about the Danish elementary school, ‘Folkeskolen’

Compulsory education

It is not compulsory to attend school in Denmark, but all children of primary school age have the right and the obligation to receive education.

The obligation to receive education lasts for 10 years, beginning on 1 August in the calendar year in which the child turns six years of age.

The compulsory education can take place:

  • In a primary school, free of charge
  • In a fee-paying independent school or private primary school 
  • As home schooling.

There are also boarding schools and continuation schools where students reside at the school.

Primary school

Primary school (‘Folkeskolen’) comprises a ten-year period of basic schooling, consisting of a kindergarten ‘0 grade’ class and 1st-9th grade, as well as an optional 10th grade.

When you live in Denmark, you have the right to have your child admitted to a primary school in the school district in which the family lives or is staying.

It is however possible to choose a primary school other than the district school, including a primary school in a municipality other than your municipality of residence, provided that there is room for the pupil at the desired school.

For further information, contact your municipality.

Independent schools, private primary schools, continuation schools and independent vocational schools

Independent primary and continuation schools are private, self-owning institutions that charge fees for tuition and possible accommodation. Pupils can reside at independent primary schools (6th-10th grade), continuation schools (8th-10th grade) and independent vocational schools (10th grade and upwards).

International primary schools in Denmark

There are a number of international schools in Denmark in which the language of instruction is other than Danish.

Most international schools have been set up under the rules for private schools, and therefore receive a state subsidy. A school fee is also charged, which may vary between around DKK 15,000 and DKK 80,000 per year.   

Pupils at the international schools may be Danish students who wish to study in a foreign language, or foreign students with no knowledge of Danish. Although the teaching at these schools takes place in a foreign language, there is usually supplementary instruction in Danish language and culture for non-Danish students.

Admission to international schools takes place through contact with the individual school. Some schools are greatly in demand and have waiting lists, so it is recommended that you contact the school at as early a stage as possible.

Further information

Contact authority

If you have any questions about your children’s schooling in the Danish primary school, contact your municipality.

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