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Primary and lower secondary education

Different School Options

There are different school options in Denmark. Whether the education is received in a publicly provided school, in a private school or at home is a matter of individual choice, as long as accepted standards are met. It is education itself that is compulsory, not school.

  • Municipal primary and lower secondary schools
  • Private schools
  • International schools
  • Teaching at home
  • Independent boarding schools (form level 8-10)


Denmark is divided into 5 regions and 98 municipalities, with 1,605 municipal schools.

Municipal primary and lower secondary education comprise the public schooling option and are in Danish called Folkeskolen. Municipal primary and lower secondary education in Denmark is free of charge and there are no admission requirements.

Denmark has a policy of nine years’ compulsory education. Children are to be taught from the age of seven. Most children, however, start in a pre-school class when they are six.

The majority of Danish children receive their schooling in the municipal primary and lower secondary schools. All of these schools have pupils of both sexes and there are no school uniforms.

Enrolment in a municipal primary and lower secondary school

All children between 6-16 years with a Danish CPR number are automatically admitted to a municipal primary and lower secondary school close to the family home. When a child reaches school age (6 years), the parents receive a letter from the school stating when you should enrol the child and offering an opportunity to visit the school. As a main rule, your child belongs to a specific school in the area where you live. However, if you wish to choose a different municipal primary and lower secondary school or a private school, it is up to you to contact the school of your choice.

For children without a CPR number, you will have to contact the municipality yourself to enrol your child.

Enrolment before moving to Denmark:You can contact the school administration in the municipality to which you are moving at any time for help and advice regarding your options. You can also obtain information on special programmes for students who speak foreign languages.

Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements to the municipal primary and lower secondary school. Each school admits pupils to the form level that is suitable for their age and previous education. Private schools have their own admission procedures, and it is advisable to apply well in advance.

Read more about the Danish Folkeskole on the Ministry of Children and Education website

Private Schools

In addition to municipal primary and lower secondary school, there are also independent primary and lower secondary schools and private schools where tuition is paid for by the parents. Private schools offer schooling in line with that offered by the municipal primary and lower secondary schools, however, private schools have a higher degree of freedom relating to the way in which they organise this schooling. About 12% of children in Denmark attend private schools.

Private schools are termed "private, self-governing institutions" and are often financed via state subsidy and user fees. For more information please refer to the Danish Ministry of Education.

Enrolment and admission requirements

You must contact the individual private school regarding its enrolment procedure. Some schools are very popular and have waiting lists. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact schools as early as possible. Furthermore, private schools have their own admission procedures, and it is advisable to apply well in advance.

International Schools

There are a number of international schools in larger cities in Denmark, where the children are taught in English or another major language. Most international schools operate according to the rules for private schools and receive a state subsidy. Tuition fees apply, ranging from DKK 15,000 - 80,000 annually. 

Students at the international schools include both Danish students who wish to be taught in a foreign language and foreign students who do not speak Danish. Even though the teaching at these schools is carried out in a foreign language, non-Danish students typically receive supplemental instruction in Danish language and culture.


You must contact the individual international school regarding its enrolment procedure. Some schools are very popular and have waiting lists; therefore, it is recommended that you contact these schools as early as possible.

International schools

The Ministry of Education has made a list of international basic schools in Denmark, and a list of international upper secondary school in Denmark.

Near AU campuses, there are the following international schools: 

For further information about international schools in Denmark se the Ministry of Education website

Student Sponsorship

Aarhus International School offers employees at Aarhus University a discount of 20% on monthly tuition.

Short term students (<6 months) pay 50% capital fee. 

Read more about fees and terms

For more information contact Aarhus International School or

Home Teaching

Education is compulsory in Denmark for everyone between the ages of 6-7 and 16. Whether the education is received in a publicly provided school, in a private school or at home is a matter of individual choice, as long as accepted standards are met. Denmark stipulates general compulsory education – not compulsory school attendance

Independent boarding schools

Independent boarding schools in Denmark are called Efterskoler. The Efterskole is a unique Danish independent residential school for students in form levels 8-10 (14-18 years old). Presently some 28500 students attend one of the approximately 260 schools throughout Denmark.

Read about the concept the Danish efterskole

Students from abroad

The schools are open to students from abroad. Tuition fees apply for both Danish and foreign students.


You must contact the independent boarding school regarding its enrolment procedure. Some schools are very popular and have waiting lists.

After-school centres and the after-school care scheme

Children can be cared for at after-school centres or in after-school care schemes (SFO) until they begin in form levels 3 or 4. Children can play with their friends, do homework or take part in various other activities.

After-school centres and SFO are open on work days, usually from the morning and until approx. 5 pm. You must apply to your municipal authority for a place in an after-school centre or SFO. You must bear some of the costs for this care service, unless you are given a free place. You can apply to your municipal authority for a free place.

Read more about the SFO (in Danish).

The school year

The school year in Denmark is from August to June. There must be at least 200 school days in a school year, but the individual municipalities or schools determine the actual scheduling of school days. The main school holiday periods are:

  • Summer holiday: late June to beginning of August (6-7 weeks)
  • Autumn holiday: 1 week in October
  • Christmas holiday: 1-2 weeks from late December to beginning of January
  • Winter holiday: 1 week in February
  • Easter holiday: 1 week around Easter (March or April)

Collaboration between School, home and parents

Parents have influence

Regardless of whether a child attends a municipal primary and lower secondary school or a private independent school, parents can gain influence at school level and become jointly responsible for their child’s education. Private independent schools are self-governing institutions which are run by a parent-elected board. Primary and lower secondary schools have a board that includes school representatives and representatives elected by the parents themselves. Municipal authorities also cooperate with the teacher and parent representatives. The municipal authorities have the overall responsibility for school matters.

Parent-Teacher Cooperation

Schools also stress positive contact with the parents of every student in order to give the child the best opportunities for doing well at school. Each year, you will be invited to attend parent-teacher meetings which may focus on how the child is doing at school, how the child is managing academically, the child’s homework and paying attention in class. Parents can elect parent representatives or contact parents who work closely with teachers regarding parent-teacher meetings and other events. Parent-teacher collaboration may also take the form of theme evenings or workshops. This differs greatly from school to school. The purpose of collaboration is to give parents the opportunity to contribute towards the child’s education and well-being. 

 Collaboration between parents 

 Collaboration between the parents of school children is informal, but in many schools very important. A good collaboration and a relaxed atmosphere between the parents will support the school children and if potential conflicts arise between children these will be easier to solve between the children and the parents.

Non-Danish parents are advised to learn Danish to strengthen the involvement in the informal network created between parents

Bilingual tuition

Join Møllevangskolen for Mother Tongue Language Instruction for children

Mother tongue language instruction is an offer for children in form 0 - 9. Instruction is free of charge and offered in the EU/EEC languages.

About Mother Tongue Language Instruction

The objective of mother tongue language instruction is to enable the pupils to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the spoken and written language of their native country and to enable them to express themselves verbally and in writing.

Lessons are conducted in the mother tongue and teachers teach reading and writing. By being instructed in their mother tongue, the children stand a better chance of improving their Danish reading and writing skills. Mother tongue language instruction is also designed to promote linguistic awareness in the pupils.

Requirements to sign up

In order to sign up your child for this free education, one of the following requirements must be met:

  • One of the child’s parents must reside in Denmark and be a national of one of the following EU countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or of the EEC countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

  • Faroese or Greenlandic is the spoken language in the child’s home.

In addition, the child must be attending a municipal or a private independent school in the municipality of Aarhus. Please note that municipalities other than Aarhus can pay to have a pupil attending one of their schools enrolled in one of the classes, always provided that the pupil in question complies with the above requirements.


Classes start in mid-August and the deadline to sign-up is mid-May.

You can enroll you child by sending an e-mail containing the following information to

Name of school


Desired language

Name of child

CPR number


Mother’s name


Phone number

Father’s name


Phone number

Family e-mail address


Contact Møllevangskolen for further information about the precise deadline to sign-up, lessons, teachers, transportation and other practical aspects of the teaching.

Møllevangs Allé 20
8210 Aarhus V


Folder about Mother Tongue Language Instruction

On the Møllevangskolen website you can download a folder in English about the current Mother Tongue Teaching offer. The website is in Danish, but you find the folder on the front page under the heading ”Brochure”.

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