Homeschooling

While education is compulsory in Belgium from the start of the school year in which the child turns 6 (as of September 2019 this will drop to 5) until the child turns 18, school attendance is not.

Article 24 of the Belgian Constitution offers ‘free choice’ to parents as to how their children are educated, and Article 1 §6 of the Compulsory Education Act of June 29, 1983 says that homeschooling is possible provided that the teaching fulfils certain requirements.

As education is regulated within the three communities – Flemish, French-speaking (formally call the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) and German-speaking – each community has its own rules and requirements when it comes to homeschooling.

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In this section you can find out about:


How do I know which language community’s rules I need to follow?

Irrespective of the language you will homeschool in, if you are domiciled in:

  • Brussels, you can choose to report homeschooling to and follow the rules of the Flemish or French-speaking community;
  • Wallonia, you need to report homeschooling to and follow the rules of the French-speaking community;
  • Flanders, you need to report homeschooling to and follow the rules of the Flemish community.

Requirements for homeschooling and curricula

Homeschooling must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Education must focus on the development of your child’s full personality and talents and on preparing your child for an active adult life.
  • Education must show respect for the fundamental rights of people and for the cultural values ​​of your child and of others.

While the government does not lay down compulsory courses, books or curricula for homeschooling, parents do have to answer a series of questions about how the homeschooling will be carried out, e.g. themes to be studied, resources that will be used etc.


Homeschooling in the French-speaking community

Within the French-speaking community (formally know as the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles), for school-age children to meet education requirements through home schooling, a declaration of home schooling must be submitted at the latest on 30 September of the current school year.

An exception to this is in the case where a family with school-age children moves to Belgium from abroad, and becomes domiciled in Wallonia / Brussels Capital Region during the school year, at which point they can submit the declaration.

A new declaration needs to be submitted each school year, and if you stop homeschooling during the school year, you need to provide proof of enrollment in school to the Compulsory Education Check cell of the Agency for Educational Services (contact details below).

Checks and controls

Homeschooling is further governed by a royal decree from April 25, 2008, which explains when and how students must be examined:

  • At the ages of 8 and 10 years of age, the General Inspection service carries out an inspection to ensure that the homeschooling is adequate.
  • At 12, 14 and 16 years of age, students need to sit the exams for:
    • at 12, the C.E.B. (‘certificat d’études de base de fin de primaire’ – end of primary school)
    • at 14, the C.E.1.D. (‘certificat d’études du 1er degré’ – end of second year of secondary school)
    • at 16, the C.E.2.D. (‘certificat d’études du 2ème degré’ – end of fourth year of secondary school).

Contact the Homeschool service of the Education ministry (details below) for more information on exams and requirements.

More information and contacts

Service de l’Enseignement à Domicile (Homeschool service)
Bureau 3F328 bis
Direction générale de l’Enseignement obligatoire
Rue Adolphe Lavallée, 1
1080 Bruxelles

Email: edep@cfwb.be
Tel: +32 (0)2 690 86 90 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 13:00 to 16:30; Tuesday and Thursdays 8:30 to 12:00
Webpage on homeschooling: http://www.enseignement.be/index.php?page=26100


Homeschooling in the Flemish community

In the Flemish community, for school-age children to meet education requirements through home schooling, parents who opt for homeschooling must notify the Department of Education and Training in writing no later than the third school day of the school year.

The declaration is valid for one school year, until 31 August. A new declaration needs to be submitted each school year. You can find the form (in Dutch) and details of where and how to send it, here.

Checks and controls

The Education Inspectorate checks whether homeschooling meetings the minimum requirements and parents are obliged to allow these inspections.

If the homeschooling setup fails the inspection and it appears that home education is not satisfactory, the child(red) must be enrolled in school.

Children who are homeschooled in the Flemish community must also participate at in external exams for primary education and for secondary education:

  • primary education certificate: a homeschooled child needs to attain this certificate at the latest in the school year in which he/she turns 13 before 1 January.
  • first degree secondary education certificate: a homeschooled child needs to attain this certificate at the latest in the school year in which he/she turns 16 before 1 January.

Other obligations

Any child who is homeschooled (or attends an accredited school) in Flanders must be seen by the CLB (‘Centrum voor Leerlingenbegeleiding’ – Pupil Guidance Centre) for regular medical and social checks at the age of:

  • 6 years or in first primary
  • 9 years or in fourth primary
  • 11 years or in sixth primary
  • 14 years or in the third year of secondary education – presence of the parents at this appointment is discouraged so that the young person can speak freely.

At the appointment, the child’s general health is checked, including weight, height, hearing and sight, and, depending on the age of the child, questions may also be asked about the family situation, living habits and well-being.

More information

Further information regarding homeschooling in Flanders can be found here:

https://onderwijs.vlaanderen.be/nl/huisonderwijs-en-de-examencommissie


Homeschooling in the German-speaking community

Within the German-speaking community, for school-age children to meet education requirements through home schooling, homeschooled students must be registered with the Ministry of Education by September 30 of each year.

Checks and controls

The Education Inspectorate checks whether homeschooling meetings the minimum requirements and parents are obliged to allow these inspections.

Students who are homeschooled also need to take external exams to obtain certificates from primary school, and from lower and upper secondary school.

More information

For more information:https://www.ostbelgienbildung.be/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-5175/9008_read-49553/


Do I receive any financial assistance if I homeschool my child(ren)?

No, any costs related to educating your child(ren) at home are borne by you.

Remember that you are entitled to monthly family allowance payments for any child until 31 August of the year in which the child turns 18.

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