The first 8 years of education in Russia are mandatory; children must enter school by age seven at the latest. The typical education goes up until the 10th year, after which trade school follows, or the 11th year, after which students enter University. There is one school for all levels, and often grades 1 through 11 are in the same facility.

The curriculum is national, and has been completely revamped from Soviet times to exclude any remnant pro-Soviet and anti-western thought. The curriculum is comprehensive, but Russia still ranks low on international assessments such as the OECDs Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

The literacy rate in Russia is almost 100%. Most secondary education takes a traditional approach, with strong emphasis on memorization and repetition. Foreign languages are taught emphasizing the grammar and fundamentals. Math and science have a significant presence.

Public schools are still by far the most common type of school but suffer from a lack of good quality teachers due to low pay. Because of this and due to the large class sizes, typically 30 to 40 students, it is uncommon for expatriates to enrol their students in public school. However, if you plan to be in Russia long-term, and your child is young enough to pick up on the language quickly, public school may be a good alternative to private school.

In private schools, a wide gamut of curricula and teaching philosophies can be found. The majority of private schools however emphasize more liberal philosophies, in contrast to the traditional approach taken by public schools.