The Austrian school system can be compared to the UnitedStates school system, and children begin schooling around three years old. This is considered pre-school age for most countries. In Austria, however, they call it compulsory schooling. Here is some information on the educational system in Austria.
The compulsory schooling for children in Austria begins at age six. It ends at age fifteen. During compulsory education, the first four years are done in the primary school. When children are ten years old, they can go to junior high school or middle school. There are four levels to the school the child attends. When children are 14, they can go to a school for vocational studies or they can go through an apprenticeship.
Special Needs Schools?
In the United States, we have schools for children who have special needs and we also offer classes in regular schools that welcome students with disabilities. In Austria, there are many special schools available for children who are disabled or have specials needs that need to be met. They can go to these schools for up to nine years. Just like here, the Austrians offer classes in regular schools that integrate special needs students in the schools. Special needs children deserve the same education that their peers are receiving.
In Austria, the student must attend the total nine years of compulsory education. When the nine years have passed, students must keep going in their education. They have the option to continue their school educating, or they can go into training. This training is for those students who want to become a professional in a specific trade or job. Until they are 18 years old, or they have completed their specific education level, they will stay on their path.
Other School Options
At age 14, children are given an option to attend an intermediate vocational school. In order to complete vocational schooling, one must take a technical exam and pass it. There are also higher vocational schools that will provide students with a general exam that will end their schooling, if passed. Before a student leaves their vocational school, the students must qualify for at least one profession or job. It is preferred to qualify for more than one, so the job options are much more open.
Apprenticeships are very popular in Austria. Basically, this is a type of training that students receive in order to go onto a profession. This begins at 15 years old. It will normally last anywhere from three to four years. Normally each year, there are around 250 pupils who want to train. The students will learn on the job training and go to school at the same time. Once the training is complete, the student is given an exam, or a final test. If the student makes a passing grade, they can become skilled at their training and profession, then move on to the true profession. Many aim to become a skilled technician or a craftsman of some kind.