Education of Children of Foreigners

Parents are responsible for their children’s education. If you have children, it is good to pay attention to this topic. The education system consists of several stages: pre-school education, primary education and secondary education. In the following chapters you will learn basic information about each of these stages.


A list of all schools regardless of the founder which are registered in the Register of Schools and School Facilities is available on the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports website. All these schools are overseen by the Czech School Inspectorate which monitors the quality of education and the services provided. When searching, enter the required parameters – kindergartens, primary schools or secondary schools – and the place – e.g. Prague 1, Prague 2, etc.



Pre-School Education

Children attend kindergarten during the school year which in the Czech Republic starts on 1st September and ends on 31st August the following calendar year.

Before attending primary school, children can go to creche and then to kindergarten. They usually start kindergarten at the age of 3–4 but not before the age of 2. There is no legal entitlement to a place in a kindergarten for children under the age of 3. Kindergartens offer basic preparation needed to attend primary school. For a long time, kindergartens represented a non-mandatory part of the education system. However, the Education Act has been amended and the final year of kindergarten before children go to school, which is at about 5–6 years of age, is now mandatory.

Preschool education is compulsory and free from the beginning of the school year after the child’s fifth birthday until the beginning of compulsory school attendance.

There are state kindergartens (with city districts as their organising bodies) and private ones (the organising body is either a private individual or a company). The difference is mainly reflected in the price which parents pay for placement of their children in the kindergarten. The demand for places in kindergartens often exceeds their capacity. This is especially the case for state kindergartens, which are much cheaper than the private ones.

Lists of Prague kindergartens are available here or on the websites of the individual city districts. Further information can also be obtained at the particular kindergartens.

Enrolment in kindergarten, where a decision on admission or non-admission of children is made, take place every year. Enrolments are scheduled from 2nd May to 16th May. Parents of 5-year-old children are obliged to have their children enrolled (see above). Kindergartens use various criteria for deciding which children to accept. Catchment schools and kindergartens (assigned to the address of your registered place of residence) give priority to children who live in their catchment area.

Contact kindergartens close to the place where you live well in advance and find out what conditions there are for admission.
Would you like to know what an enrolment involves, what you need to bring etc.? For detailed information on enrolments in individual kindergartens, have a look for example here. Here you will also find links and basic information on kindergartens in individual Prague city districts.

If you need help choosing a kindergarten or with the formal requirements associated with your child’s enrolment in a kindergarten, do not hesitate to contact the Integration Centre Prague or NGOs which provide educational support for migrants.


Primary Education

Pupils attend school during the school year which in the Czech Republic starts on 1st September and ends on 31st August of the following calendar year. Summer holidays run from 1st July to 31st August.

Children start studying at primary schools at the age of 6–7. Children from this age are subject to compulsory school attendance. This means that there is a legal obligation for parents to enrol their children in primary schools. Compulsory school attendance lasts for 9 years and applies to all children, including those who come to the Czech Republic at the age of 6–17 and have not yet completed 9 years of schooling.

Pursuant to the Education Act, compulsory school attendance applies to citizens of the Czech Republic as well as citizens of other European Union member states who have been residing in the territory of the CR for more than 90 days. Compulsory school attendance also applies to other foreigners who are entitled to stay in the CR permanently or temporarily for more than 90 days and to foreigners who are parties to international protection proceedings.

Your child has a legal entitlement to a place in a primary school. In practice, it means that the school in the area of your residence (also called a catchment school – a school associated with the address of your place of residence) has to accept your child. This school must not refuse to accept your child based on a reason other than insufficient capacity. In such a case, you need to contact the education department in your city district in which your registered place of residence is. The education department is then obliged to find your child a place in some of the other schools close to your home.

You may also enrol your child in a school outside your city district, if the school has a sufficient capacity and agrees with admission of the child.

Compulsory school attendance starts at the beginning of the school year which follows the child’s sixth birthday, unless the child is allowed to postpone their compulsory school attendance. Children whose sixth birthday is between September and the end of June of the particular school year can be admitted to school if they are sufficiently physically and mentally mature and their legal guardians have applied for their enrolment. Legal guardians are obliged to enrol the children for compulsory school attendance between 1st April and 30th April of the calendar year in which the children are supposed to start compulsory school attendance. During enrolment, teachers assess children’s school maturity – their readiness to study. For more information, have a look at websites of individual schools or the website of your city district, which is the organising body of the primary schools.

The organising body of most primary schools in Prague is the individual city district. Out of 57 city districts in the Capital City of Prague, 49 are organising bodies of primary schools.

Lists of Prague primary schools are available here and on the websites of the individual city districts. Further information can also be obtained at the particular primary schools.

A list of private schools is available here.


Children must not be denied admission to primary school because of lack of knowledge of the Czech language.

Such practice is illegal. If you are told that there is a condition pertaining to knowledge of the Czech language, contact the education department of your city district or an NGO focused on integration of children of migrants in the education area.

The fact that a child does not know the teaching language (Czech) or does not know it well enough must not be an obstacle to studying at school. Schools should do their best to provide adequate language training to your child. Such training can take a form of a language course or lessons of Czech as a second language. An individual education plan can be created for your child, which will lead to gradual integration into all lessons. To supplement language training provided by school, you can use for example the e-learning programme created by META, o. p. s. available here.

Some schools in Prague pay special attention to their foreign pupils – they organise Czech language courses, after school lessons, etc. for them. These schools participate in development projects of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the CR and a list of them is available here.

The Capital City of Prague also funds additional Czech language courses. There is one primary school in each of the city districts which offers an afternoon course. These courses are available to pupils of schools located in other districts as well. However, it is necessary to agree on attending the course with the director of the school in advance. A list of schools which offer these courses is available here.

If your child is not sufficiently prepared to start the first grade of primary school – be it due to a lack of knowledge of Czech or insufficient school maturity – you as parents can apply for postponement of compulsory school attendance until the following year and sign your child up for a preparatory class. The application for postponement of compulsory school attendance can be handed over immediately on the enrolment day. The application is submitted by the legal representative of the child. It has to be delivered to the director of the primary school in written form together with a report recommending the postponement issued by a relevant school counselling facility (parents arrange an appointment at the facility themselves and they can choose the particular facility – a list of school counselling facilities is available here) and a report from a specialist doctor or a clinical psychologist (for this purpose it is enough to have a recommendation from a general practitioner for children and adolescents).

Legal guardians have to apply for postponement of compulsory school attendance of their children no later than by 31st May of the calendar year in which their children are supposed to start school.


Secondary Education

Will your children complete primary education soon or have they completed it before coming to the Czech Republic? Support them in their subsequent studies. Today, secondary education is considered to be the minimum standard of educational achievement. Job options are very limited for people with only primary education.

Secondary education is represented by a wide range of schools. This is an overview of the basic types of secondary schools:

  • Secondary general schools (“gymnázia”) – secondary schools focused on providing a good educational foundation for university studies. These schools offer 4-year, 6-year and 8-year programmes. Secondary general school studies are finished by a secondary school leaving exam (see below). A list of secondary general schools is available here.
  • Secondary technical schools – secondary schools that prepare students for working in specific fields (e.g. business academies, secondary technical schools – transport, electrotechnical, chemical, construction schools, secondary teacher’s colleges, art and graphic schools and others). Most secondary technical schools are completed by a secondary school leaving exam.
  • Secondary vocational training schools – they provide secondary education in the form of apprenticeships, which prepare students for various jobs, such as car mechanics, carpenters, cooks, waiters, electricians, gardeners, confectioners, agricultural machinery operators and many others.These programmes are completed by a final exam and the graduates get a certificate of apprenticeship. At these schools it is also possible to study 4-year programmes which are completed by the secondary school leaving exam.
  • Secondary vocational training schools

When choosing a school it is good to find out some basic information about individual schools on their websites and go visit them during their open days. Open days are public presentations of educational programmes at schools, during which you can see what the school looks like, get to know the environment, learn about their educational fields, meet the teachers and ask about anything you are interested in.

The Schola Pragensis fair is an opportunity to learn more about secondary and high vocational schools in Prague. The META NGO can also help you get around the fair and provide you with the necessary information.


An overview of secondary schools can be found for example on the following websites:

A list of schools founded by the Capital City of Prague is available on this website:

Entrance Exams

A prerequisite for admission to a grammar school, a secondary school or a secondary vocational training school is the successful completion of the admission procedure. In order to start studying at a secondary school which finishes with a school-leaving exam, you have to pass entrance exams consisting of didactic tests in the Czech language and mathematics. Along with these tests there are often other tests or interviews at the discretion of individual schools.

For the admission process of apprenticeships you usually need only the transcript of the records of your previous studies at your primary school.

After you have taken the entrance exam, the school will notify you of the result of the admission process (this may be done by publishing the list of accepted applicants). As you may sit entrance exams at several schools, having passed the entrance exam at a school you want to study, you need to confirm your choice online or by delivering a paper form you can only be admitted to study after you have done so. The form is available at your primary school or at the Department of Education and Youth of the Prague City Hall.

Starting from the school year of 2023/2024 there is a change in the admission system for secondary schools and conservatoires.

  • Applications can now be submitted through the Digital Application System (DIPSY) available via, or without logging in in the form of a printed document. Submitting a paper application form remains possible, too.
  • Students can now apply for 3 fields of study without a talent exam and for up to 5 fields it they apply for schools requiring a talent exam.
  • As opposed to past years, grades obtained in previous education do not have to be reflected in the admission results.
  • Applicants will be matched to a secondary school based on admissions results and their priorities, enrolment slips are no longer used.
  • All information is available on

For more information, see the article New Electronic Secondary School Registration Process.


Secondary School Leaving Exam (“Maturita”) for Foreigners in the CR

Secondary school studies usually finish with a secondary school leaving exam called “maturita” in Czech. Passing this exam means graduating from secondary education and getting a secondary school leaving examination certificate. Passing a secondary school leaving exam is a prerequisite for admission to a university. As for students for whom Czech is not their mother tongue, preparation for the school leaving exam requires a lot of energy, as secondary schools do not pay much attention to teaching Czech as a second language and the exam is set for testing the knowledge of native speakers. For detailed information about the new form of secondary school leaving exams have a look here.