6–14 (Compulsory schooling starts on September 1 following the child’s sixth birthday.)
Estimated Number of Homeschoolers
Over 2,000 children
The compulsory schooling obligation may be met not only by attending a school, but also by receiving equivalent instruction such as homeschooling. Homeschooling is legal and regulated by the Austrian government at the local level in the Compulsory Education Act of 1985. Private schools must be “at least equivalent” to the public school, which is evaluated through their students' examination at a public school at the end of each year, unless a private school is endowed with the right to examine in its own right. Parents do not need any special qualifications to instruct their children at home. The right to instruction at home is provided by the Constitution (Staatsgrundgesetz from 1867, Article 17), which safeguards parents’ right to teach their children who are of school age at home instead of sending them to a private or public sector school.
Parents must inform the Landesschulrat (state school board; from 2019 replaced by “Bildungsdirektion”, Educational head office for every Austrian state) before the start of the school year of their intent to homeschool.
It should be noted, however, that public authorities have the right to insist that the education provided by homeschooling be equivalent to (though not identical to) that provided in public schools. A school board may prohibit a family’s right to homeschool only if the homeschool instruction is not “equivalent” to the education provided in public schools. If a family's decision to homeschool is prohibited, it is possible to appeal the decision of the district school board and go before the “Landesschulrate”. As a proof of equivalence, homeschoolers must take annual exams in all major school subjects to demonstrate that their knowledge meets the state curriculum requirements.
The above text was provided by Maria C. Schwenk, who holds a degree in law, linguistics (cognitive science), and American studies. She studied at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is active
at the Netzwerk der Freilerner in Austria.
Bildung zu Haus Österreich
Education At Home Austria
Contact: Auke & Sonja Boersma
Address: üchlholzweg 18, A-4040 Linz, Austria
Phone: +43 2952 35995
Skype Name: homeschoolers.austria
Christian Homeschoolers in Austria
Homeschooling in Austria
Euro Home Ed