HOME SCHOOLING / INTERNATIONAL
Belgium
Belgium

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Belgium: Controlling Homeschoolers: New Regulations Impose State Testing
September 30, 2013: News from around the world shows that as homeschooling grows it attracts the attention of government authorities--attention that is not always positive.


 Country Information

Compulsory education: 6-17 (may opt for part-time compulsory education at age 15)

Legal status of homeschooling: Homeschooling is legal. In Belgium, education is compulsory, but school attendance is not. Article 24 of the Belgian Constitution offers parents “free choice” with regard to the education of their children. Since Belgium is divided into three language-communities, further regulations on home education come from the regional level. Please see below for specific homeschool requirements in the Flemish, French, and German-speaking communities.

Flemish-speaking community 

Ministry of Employment, Education and Training
Primary education:
Bea De Cuyper, tel 02/553 04 04 / bea.decuyper@ond.vlaanderen.be
Secondary education:
Ann Cortebeeck, tel 02/553 87 32 / ann.cortebeeck@ond.vlaanderen.be

Home education is legal within the Flemish-speaking community. §6 of the Compulsory Education Act of June 29, 1983 states that home education satisfies compulsory education requirements. Homeschooling is further regulated by the Decree on Elementary Education of 25 February 1997(elementary-school level) the Decisions of the Flemish government of 16 September 1997 and 12 November 1997(secondary level).

Parents who opt for home education must notify the Department of Education and Training in writing at the latest on the day home education commences. They must undertake to provide education which meets the following minimum requirements:

  1. The education provided is aimed at the development of the child's full personality and talents and at preparing the child for an active adult life;
  2. The education provided promotes respect for basic human rights and for the cultural values of the child himself and for others.

The Education Inspectorate has the authority to check whether or not the home education provided complies with the objectives described. At this time, homeschooled students are not automatically awarded a diploma upon completion of study. To obtain “recognized proofs of study,” pupils who have been home educated must pass an exam before the Examination Board of the Flemish Community.

Further information regarding homeschooling in Flanders can be found here:

Flemish HS Law: www.ond.vlaanderen.be/wetwijs/thema.asp?id=76&fid=5
Flemish Education Helpline: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/infolijn/faq/leerplicht/huisonderwijs/default.htm


 French-speaking community 

Home education is legal within the French-speaking community. §6 of the Compulsory Education Act of June 29, 1983 states that compulsory education may be satisfied through home instruction. Families wishing to homeschool should submit an annual notice of their intent to homeschool by October 1 (Article 8, Lois 09676 of 20/08/1957). The notice may be submitted after October 1 if a student moves into the French-speaking community during the school year. Home education is further governed by a decree from Apr 25, 2008, which explains when and how students must be examined. In addition to Belgian citizens, we have recently heard that foreign families are also being contacted with regard to testing.

General Administration of Education and Scientific Research
Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 20-22
1000 Brussels
Phone: 02 690 81 00
Webpage on homeschooling: http://www.enseignement.be/index.php?page=26100


German-speaking community 

Ministry of the Department of Education and Training
Gospertstrasse 1
B-4700 Eupen
Phone: 087 59 63 00
Website: www.bildungsserver.be
Email: unterricht@dgov.be
Contact: Sylvia Schrouben, +32 (0) 87 789 646 / sylvia.schrouben@dgov.be

Home education is legal within the German-speaking community. Homeschooling is governed by §6 of the Compulsory Education Act of June 29, 1983, as well as the School Pact law of May 29, 1959. Homeschooled students must be registered with the Ministry of Education by September 30th of each year. Parents must guarantee that their children will receive proper instruction and submit to the oversight of the school inspectorate. Homeschooled children may only be awarded the Primary Education Final Certificate by passing an examination before the school external Examination Board of the German-speaking Community (Prüfungsausschuss der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft).

 Contact Information

Homeschool contacts:
Maija Besky Send an email
Mary Olander Send an email

Brussels Christian Homeschool Co-op

Last Updated: February 20, 2014