Education and Schools in Czech Republic

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The education and schools sector in the Czech Republic is largely considered to be in a healthy state. Even better news for expat parents is that their children can attend public school at no cost provided that they are EU nationals or legal residents. This is the case from pre-primary school up to and including university.

There are nevertheless many expat parents who choose to enrol their children in private or international schools instead, usually for the sake of continuity.

Schooling is compulsory from the ages 6 to 15. The school year runs from early September to late June the following year.

Public schools in Czech Republic

Teaching in the Czech Republic's public schools is conducted entirely in the Czech language. This includes university. Some expat parents are discouraged by this but there are advantages to expat children being taught in Czech – namely, it's a good way for them to learn the language and thus assimilate into the new culture more easily, which is especially important for expats planning a long stay in the country. Some schools take difficulties with the language into account when assessing students in subjects such as Czech language and literature.

It is always a good idea for parents to visit schools of interest before enrolling their children. This can be done at official open days or may be arranged by request. Conditions in public schools can vary widely, and some are more amenable to and equipped for having foreign students than others.

Private schools in Czech Republic

Private schools in the Czech Republic are partly funded by the state and partly funded by fees paid by parents. Some of these schools are bilingual, teaching in both Czech and English, or sometimes Czech and German. Expat parents who can't quite fit international school fees into their budget but are still concerned about their children having difficulties with the Czech language may find these schools to be an ideal solution.

International schools in Czech Republic

Most international schools teach in English and are perhaps most useful for expats planning to reside in the country for a relatively short period of time as the continuity in curriculum minimises disruption in the child's education. Most international schools follow the International Baccalaureate (IB), the American curriculum, the British curriculum, or some combination of two of these. Prague in particular has a high concentration of international schools.

International schools can be expensive, so if moving to the Czech Republic as part of an international relocation package, it is worth including school fees as part of the contract negotiation.

International school can vary widely in ethos, curriculum, quality and size. Although there are a number of schools to choose from, space may be limited and parents are advised to start the application process as soon as possible.

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