Mandatory instruction

Verified 29 June 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Education is compulsory for all children, French and foreigners, from the age of 3 to the age of 16. You can choose to send your child to a school (public or private). You can also request permission to perform this instruction yourself. Young people between the ages of 16 and 18 have an obligation to train. Local missions shall monitor compliance with this obligation.

From 3 to 16 years

You can choose to send your child to a school or educational institution (public or private). You may also be authorized to self-insure (or any person of your choice) your child's education. There are limited reasons why you can get this permission.

Please note

from 3 to 6 years of age, children can, under certain conditions, attend school in kindergarten.

Education is compulsory from the age of 3.

If you want the child to attend school, you must enroll the child in nursery school. You can also register it in kindergartenunder certain conditions.

If you want to do the instruction yourself, you must request permission from the Dasen: titleContent.

In the event of a change of residence, registration in the new school must be made within 8 days to the mayor's office of the new home.

If your child is attending school in the family, you must report the change of residence to the Dasen: titleContent. You have to do it within 8 days that follow your move.

Who shall I contact

At each school year, the mayor draws up a list of all the children subject to compulsory schooling who live in his commune.

This list shall be updated every month.

If your child is educated in the family, the mayor must investigate the child, starting on 1re year.

This survey is renewed every 2 years, until the child is 16 years old.

The purpose of the investigation is to check the reasons why you requested this method of instruction.

The Mayor shall inform, throughout the year, Dasen: titleContent breaches of the obligation to enroll in an educational or family training establishment.

If your child is not enrolled in a school for no good reason, you will receive a formal notice from the Dasen: titleContent.

If you do not comply with the Dasen: titleContent to enroll the child in an educational institution, you risk 6 months in prison and €7,500 of fine.

If you give your childEducation in the family without permission, you risk a fine of €1,500.

From 16 to 18 years

Young people between the ages of 16 and 18 have an obligation to train.

To meet the training requirement, you must be in one of the following situations:


a young person with health-related difficulties is not obliged to train until the age of 18. A medical certificate must justify his state of health.

Local missions monitor compliance with the training obligation.

Gathering information

Schools, apprenticeship training centers and public institutions provide information on their former pupils to local missions. This information may include their identity, contact details, the last school attended and the solutions and support offered to young people.

This information should enable local missions to identify young people who do not comply with the training obligation.


Local missions should then receive young people and their legal representatives to inform them about the training obligation. They must offer them a training solution, a return to school or the setting up of an accompanying or insertion device.

If the young person does not attend the interview without proof, the local mission summons him or her with his or her legal representative. The local mission must also summon the young person if he or she no longer responds to his or her requests or if he or she abandons his or her accompanying journey.

If the training obligation has not been complied with within 2 months of the convocation, the local mission transmits the information to the department's departments. They will have to propose new solutions to the young person.

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