education

day nurseries
Day nurseries are for young children up to the age of three. Group sizes and the number of nursery school teachers are related to the needs of the age group. Special emphasis is placed on safety, a sense of well-being and physical activity. Two nursery school teachers and two assistants look after each group, which have a maximum of 15 children.

private care   Day care providers (Tagesmütter), offer private services for very young children (on average from age two).

kindergarten   Children aged 3 – 6 can attend kindergartens, which adopt a holistic approach, aiming to prepare them for life in the community. Kindergarten days are full of incentives to help children have a variety of experiences and increase their knowledge. Included in the programme are outings, cultural events and sports activities. Montessori teaching methods, English language courses and computer lessons are additionally offered. A group consists of up to 25 children run by two nursery school teachers and one assistant)

schooling   Nine years of schooling is compulsory in Austria, from age six - 15 (first - ninth grade). The quality of State schools, where no fees are paid is usually high .                                                                                                                                                                                          
The first four years of compulsory education are completed in primary schools (Volksschule or Grundschule); from age ten children can attend either a junior high school or secondary school (Hauptschule, or Kooperative Mittelschule), or in certain provinces, a middle school (Neue Mittelschule) or the lower grades of a higher general secondary school (allgemeinbildende höhere Schule (AHS) also called Gymnasium). All school types comprise four educational levels.

The ninth school year (age 14-15) can be completed at a polytechnical school (Polytechnische Schule) (a school emphasising vocational orientation and preparation for an apprenticeship) or in other types of school.

after-school care    After-school care is for children of compulsory school age. One teacher and one assistant look after a group with up to 25 children. After-school care facilities are usually located near to primary schools. After-school care can be extended to all-day care during school holidays. Children are assisted with their homework and partake in afternoon activities.
 
special education    Special schools for disabled children or children with special educational needs (e.g. severe learning difficulties, etc.) provide education for the first eight to nine years of their school education (e.g. special needs schools (Sonderschule) and special pedagogical centres (Sonderpädagogisches Zentrum). It is, however, often possible for these children to be educated in standard schools in ‘integration classes’ . other types of school                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  intermediate vocational schools    Attended from age 14, 9th-11th or 12th school grades they conclude with a technical examination; higher vocational schools (from age 14, 9th-13th school grade) conclude with a technical examination and the general school-leaving examination (Matura). On leaving vocational schools, pupils may have qualified for one or more professions or occupations. The higher general secondary school and grammar school (from age 14, 9th-12th school grades) also conclude with the general school-leaving examination (Matura). private schools                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    private schools   These account for about 8% of the total number. Most publicly authorised private schools are denominational schools; in addition there are some schools which teach according to a particular system. Private schools are fee-paying establishments.  apprenticeship                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      basic vocational training    Apprenticeships, from age 15, can be obtained in approximately 250 professions. Most apprenticeship training courses last between three and four years. The occupation is learned on the job and at the vocational school simultaneously.  After the apprenticeship period, the young person (apprentice) passes a final apprenticeship examination and is a qualified technician or craftsman (Geselle/Gesellin). university & college                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              university & college    The Matura, a  school-leaving examination, is the prerequisite for higher education (university, academy, technical university, college).  Qualified school-leavers from intermediate vocational schools or qualified apprentices can prepare for university entrance by way of the vocational qualifying examination (Berufsreifeprüfung or Berufsmatura). Qualified school-leavers from junior secondary schools (Hauptschule) or pupils who have dropped out can do so by way of the study entitlement examination (Studienberechtigungsprüfung). In Austria there is a variety of course options offered in various forms of higher educational institutes apart from universities. Technical universities offer practical training, facilitating direct access to a profession. Higher education colleges (pädagogische Hochschule) offer training for teachers at primary schools, secondary schools, special schools and polytechnic schools.
 
adult education   General and vocational colleges and universities and technical universities all offer adult education in Austria. Evening classes are the most common form.                                                                                                                                                                               

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