- Download our Moving to Denmark Guide (PDF)
Education and schools in Denmark are of an exceedingly high standard. Schools across the country are subsidised by the government and, as a result, have modern facilities and highly qualified staff. There are also several excellent private and international schools in Denmark.
Public schools in Denmark
All municipalities in Denmark provide free education for all children. Parents can enrol their children at any municipal school that has space, which can either be in their neighbourhood or another school in their municipality or a neighbouring municipality.
Danish children can enter nursery school from as early as nine months old, with a majority of them being enrolled in public kindergartens by age three. Schooling is compulsory from ages six to 16 and children will have to choose a trade or academic approach at the end of their primary schooling years.
Not many expat children speak Danish when they arrive in Denmark, but this is not a barrier to enrolment in a municipal school. Non-Danish-speaking children are either placed in a reception class with other non-Danish-speaking pupils or are placed in a regular Danish-speaking class but are given extra support in the language.
- The Danish Ministry of Children and Education has more information on public education in the country.
Private schools in Denmark
Most parents choose to send their children to their local municipal school, but some choose a private school. Private schools in Denmark are self-governing institutions, required to provide education to the standards of the municipal schools. They are partly funded by the government. There are many different types of private schools and some are based on a specific philosophy, pedagogical line or religious belief.
International schools in Denmark
There is a growing number of both public and private international schools in Denmark. International education is recognised as a key factor in attracting and retaining expats. Most international schools in Denmark are in and around Copenhagen, but the rest of the country also has good coverage. Many of these schools have English as their primary language, while others teach primarily in German or French. The International Baccalaureate is the most commonly offered curriculum at these schools.
Special-needs education in Denmark
Denmark's Ministry of Education practices inclusive education and strives to ensure that all children with special needs are kept in mainstream schools with additional support. Children will be offered differentiated teaching and supplemental training in collaboration with the school's resource centre.
Children will first need to be assessed by the interdisciplinary support (Den Tværfaglige Support) team, and the assigned psychologist will make recommendations in partnership with the parents. This will result in children either being placed in special needs schools, offered additional support or retained in a mainstream classroom.
- The interdisciplinary support's website has more information on special-needs education in Denmark.
Tutors in Denmark
Tutoring is a useful tool for expat children moving to Denmark. Tutors can help expat children learn Danish or maintain proficiency in their mother tongue. Tutoring is also helpful in adjusting to a new curriculum and assisting with challenging subjects such as mathematics and science. There are several tutoring companies available in Denmark, but parents can also reach out to their children's schools for a recommended listed of tutors.
►For tips on finding a job in Denmark, see Working in Denmark
Photo credit: Tutor working with student by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels.
Are you an expat living in Denmark?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Denmark. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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