Public schools in Belgium are either owned or subsidized by the local communes or organizations usually affiliated with the Catholic church (the most common, though the education is secular) and children are entitled to a free education. Classes in public schools are taught in either French or Dutch depending upon the province. Brussels is considered an independent province and has both French and Flemish schools which mandate teaching a second language, usually French/Dutch, German or English.Foreigners are entitled to the same education at the same prices as locals, though because school is taught in French, Dutch or German, they may be forced to drop a grade or so, or take remedial language classes until they become proficient enough in the language to be able to learn and participate in that language. Children are guaranteed a place in schools once they reach school-going age. It is advisable, however, to plan several months in advance when registering for a school as students are free to choose the public school of their choice. It may be necessary to try another school if there is not enough space left in the first choice.
Registration is done at the schools and it is best to find out from the particular school when they open for registration. The best schools often have very long queues once registration begins and there have been cases of parents camping outside the doors awaiting the opening of registration a couple of days before registration opens. The only document needed to enroll children in a school is the child’s birth certificate, and other forms will be filled out at the school. Generally you are free to register your children at the school of your choice.
For a complete list of public schools in Brussels, as well as contact information, visit the below:
Flemish and French community primary schools: http://www.brussels.irisnet.be/education-and-training/nursery-and-primary-education/directory-of-schools
Flemish and French community Secondary school: http://www.brussels.irisnet.be/education-and-training/secondary-education
Tertiary Education in Brussels. There are 5 universities in Brussels and many more other higher learning centres. More information can be found at http://www.brussels.irisnet.be/education-and-training/higher-and-university-education