Educational pathways

Berlin’s education system is diverse and permeable, because many different paths can lead to the goal. The different types of schools ensure every schoolchild the best possible individual support. Here you find Berlin’s educational pathways: from elementary school to secondary school or Gymnasium (grammar school). You will also find information on how to continue with vocational training after general school education.

Das Berliner Schulsystem

Berlin's school system

The transition to secondary school follows after the one- to three-year initial phase of school education and generally four more years in a primary school. This transition is also possible after four years if that appropriate levels of performance have been achieved. More information

Mädchen malen im Kindergarten

Early Education in Daycare Centres

Learning in the first years of its life is of great importance for your child's future life. Child education, parenting and care of your child in your family is supplemented and supported in daycare centres and day care. Girls and boys are encouraged in their social, emotional, physical and mental development right from the start. More information

Drei Schüler in der Grundschule

Primary school

The continuous improvement of the teaching and learning culture is a focus of Berlin’s primary schools. All-day school offerings create time to change educational offerings in terms of content and method and to support all students individually. More information

Schüler und Schülerinnen vor der Schule

Where to go after primary school?

In the sixth school year children and their parents have to make an important decision: choosing a secondary school. Primary schools help parents make this decision because every child should attend the school that best suits their skills and abilities. More information

Schüler am Computer

Integrated Secondary School

After primary school, students can go to an integrated secondary school (ISS) or a Gymnasium. The integrated secondary schools emerged from the previous secondary school (5-9), intermediate school and comprehensive schools during the school structure reform. More information

Schülerin im Unterricht


Those who attend a Gymnasium can obtain the Abitur after 12 school years and are thus entitled to study at a university or higher education institution. Many Gymnasiums have pedagogical focuses, e.g., with regard to science, music, sports and language. More information

Schülerin im Klassenraum

Comprehensive school

The Comprehensive school was set up as a pilot project during the 2008/2009 school year. Since 2018 the Comprehensive school has been firmly incorporated in the School Act as a type of school that includes all school levels. More information

Kinder liegend im Kreis

Schools with a Special Educational Focus

In a school with a special educational focus, also known as a special needs centre or special needs school in common usage, only children and young people are taught who have special educational needs. More information

Schülerin und Schüler

After leaving school

The time after completing school is often initially an orientation phase. School leavers are faced with the transition to work, or they may want to go to university after finishing school. You might still have a number of questions. What subject should I study? More information

Junge Frau drapiert Zeitung an einer Schneiderpuppe

Vocational training

After general school education, many students continue with vocational preparation and vocational training. Here you will find information on vocational training programmes and the opportunities to obtain an entrance qualification for universities of applied science. More information

Lernen in der Volkshochschule

Second-chance Education

The second-chance education offers everyone who wishes to continue their education a wide range of opportunities to complete their school leaving certificate or obtain a higher level certificate. More information

Junger Mann arbeitet an Metall. Es fliegen Funken

Career and study orientation

Students are supported in their career and study orientation, starting at school. Dual learning therefore offers all students, both those with learning difficulties and those with special interests, good prospects for a career path. The Berlin economy supports dual learning by providing work placements in companies. More information