Parents moving to the Greater Munich Area will find a wide selection of state-run, municipal and private schools to choose from. For international schoolchildren there is also a broad range of private international and multilingual schools. While attending state-run schools is free for everyone, private schools charge fees and can be quite expensive.
In Germany, education is regulated by the individual Bundesländer (federal states). This means that the policy of each federal state determines the respective school system. In Bavaria, full-time education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 15. All children begin their education in the Grundschule (elementary school, grades 1 to 4). After this, they attend one of the following secondary schools: Mittelschule (general, vocationally oriented secondary school for non-university bound students, until grade 9 or 10), Realschule (professionally oriented secondary school, until grade 10), Gymnasium (university-preparatory secondary school, until grade 12/13) or another secondary school (e.g. vocational school). Alternative education forms are also available, for example Montessori schools.
The Bavarian education system enables every student to follow an individual education path. Schools vary in format and with regard to extracurricular activities, e.g. some schools offer Ganztagesbetreuung (full-day attendance as opposed to schools which finish early in the afternoon) or special leisure activities.
Every school year in Bavaria begins in September and ends in July. The enrolment procedures also vary from school to school. Detailed information on education and activities, registration deadlines and formalities can be obtained from the individual schools.