Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

School School in Hamburg

When must my child be enroled in school, and what is the compulsory school attendance? We explain what you need to know about schools in Hamburg.

Hamburg Welcome Portal – Living - School – Schools in Hamburg


When your child is between 4 ½ to 5 ½ years old, you must attend a very important meeting at your local primary school: The interview of the four-and-half-year-olds. You will be requested to attend this meeting with your child and it is imperative that you attend. At this interview at the school, school officials will ascertain the development of your child given his or her age and whether or not he or she can speak and understand German.

If your child does not speak German sufficiently, then he or she must attend preschool in the year before enroling in primary school. As an additional service, your child will receive four hours of afternoon German lessons per week, in order to improve his or her language skills.

Compulsory School Attendance

If your child is 6 years old on July 1st at the latest of a given year, it has to attend school as from August of this year. You will receive an invitation at the beginning of the year from a primary school located in the borough where you live. All children 6 years of age must attend school. The requirement to attend school ends upon the attainment of 18 years of age.

Freedom of Choice

You can choose from the primary schools near your home, as to where enrol your child. At the end of year 4 of primary school you will receive a recommendation from your child’s class teacher about the further course of your child’s educational path. But you decide at which neighborhood comprehensive school (Stadtteilschule) or grammar school (Gymnasium) you wish to register your child.

Coming from Abroad

If you move to Hamburg from abroad and your child speaks little or no German, it will be enroled in a preparatory class for one year. Afterwards it will visit regular classes. The enrolment of the child is organised by the School Information Centre (Schulinformationszentrum SIZ).

Interpreter for Parent-Teacher Meetings at the School

It is possible to engage an interpreter for parent-teacher meetings at the school through your child's class or form teacher. The school will handle the expenses.