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The German School System

Education in Germany, respectively in North Rhine-Westphalia

Germany is a federation consisting of 16 federal  states, each with its own constitution, parliament  and government. The powers of the state are  divided up between government as a whole, the  Federal Government and the federal states. The  highest state authority is exercised by the federal  government. Through the agency of the  Bundesrat, the states are represented at the  federal level and participate in federal legislation.  Besides the federal states have independent, if  limited government authority.  

In Germany the Federal Länder are responsible for schooling. The school system  differs from one Land to another, particularly with  regard to the names given to the different kinds  of secondary school. However, the education  received by children and young people is similar throughout Germany.

This Education Counselling Service (Bildungsberatungsstelle) is responsible for the City of Bonn. Therefore the following information relates to Bonn, on the  basis of the education legislation of the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia. 

Sometimes, it is difficult to find free living space in Bonn. This is why many people move to the  surrounding area or district. If you will live  outside of Bonn, other responsibilities arise. 

Please note, that Bonn is bordered to the south by Rhineland-Palatinate. So if you will move to Rhineland-Palatinate, school-compulsory will be  in Rhineland-Palatinate. Then your children do  not have a legal claim to a school place in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Education in North Rhine-Westphalia


Tuition language

German is the normal language of instruction and training at general education and vocational schools as well as institutions of higher education.

The exceptions in the school sector include e.g. certain privately-maintained schools (e.g.  Bonn International School (opens in a new tab) – BIS).

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