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Compulsory Education Age

4–16 or 7–16, varies by canton.

Number of Homeschoolers

1,000 children.

Legal Status

In his essay in Swiss Zentralblatt für Staats- und Verwaltungsrecht of Nov. 2012, Prof. Dr. J. Reich explains that parliamentary debates have shown that the Federal Constitution of 1874 should not standardize the obligation to attend school.  Art. 62 para. 2 BV does not prescribe to the cantons the framework in which educational content is to be taught, but merely obliges them to declare attendance at primary school compulsory. Prof Reich continues: “If, on the other hand, a canton imposes an obligation to attend school on children, a conflict with parental education law is possible. It is for the parents to . . . give concrete form to the child's welfare in accordance with their duties.” Because of this parental primacy of concretion, the community is in principle only entitled to take “the appropriate measures to protect the child” in cases of actual, serious and objectively tangible danger to the welfare of the child (Art. 307 (1) CC).

Due to the strongly federalist structure of the state, the cantons have a great deal of freedom in shaping the educational mandate. For example, some cantons are very liberal and do not even require a teacher's certificate from parents, and they simply require registering with the school authorities. A number of cantons, on the other hand, allow state-supervised homeschooling only as an exception. Education is regulated by the cantons; therefore, inspectors will visit about once a year to check if the children meet the standards set by the canton.

Above text contributed by: Willi Villiger, Chairman of Homeschool Association of Switzerland. 

Contact Information

Bildung zu Hause Schweiz (BZH)

Website: bildungzuhause.ch
Address: CH-3000 Bern
Email: info@homeschool.ch

Additional Resources

 Changes Ahead for Homeschooling Families

There are 1,000 children being homeschooled in Switzerland, 600 of them in the western canton of Vaud. But the rules there could be tightened, according to a Swiss website.