- Reasons for homeschooling
- Homeschooling in Luxembourg
- Legal context
- Draft bill
- Administrative procedure to homeschool
1. Reasons for homeschooling
Families choose not to put their children in a traditional education system for a variety of reasons. Some reasons may include :
- to respect the rhythms and motivations of the child
- to avoid putting the child in a relationship of dominator/dominated
- to avoid putting the child in a situation of competition
- to have a better quality of family life
- to take responsibility for the education of one’s child
- to resolve problems of malaise in the academic setting
- to differentiate instruction (autism, handicap, etc.)
- to respect the child’s choice
- to practice educational values that differ from the school system
- to travel extensively for educational or professional reasons
- to promote alternative choices to the traditional school system
2. Homeschooling in Luxembourg
For young prople 4-12 years old (before September 1st), education can take place at home. Currently, you must obtain authorisation from your regional director, by explaining your motives, and then inform your commune of your intent to homeschool.
The list of primary school directors is available here.
For young people older than 12 years old (on September 1st), homeschooling is not regulated by any specific law. In practice, all you have to do is provide your commune with proof of participation in a correspondence course or inform the Ministry of Education. Education is only compulsory until age 16.
3. Legal context
In accordance with the Luxembourg Constitution (Article 23):
Because primary education is compulsory in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, every child present on the national territory enjoys the constitutional right of free access to education. The State is the guarantor of respect for this right and regulates everything else relating to education. Legal text
Then, as stipulated in the Law of 29 August 1953 (Mém. 53 of 29 August 1953, p.1099) approving the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed in Rome on 4 November 1950, and the Additional Protocol, signed in Paris on 20 March 1952:
“No one shall be denied the right to education. The State, in the exercise of its functions in the field of education and teaching, shall respect the right of parents to provide such education and teaching in conformity with their religious and philosophical convictions.” Legal text (Art. 2 page 11)
Under Luxembourg law, it has also been accepted for several decades by the courts that an international treaty prevails over national law.
The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was introduced into Luxembourg domestic law on 3 September 1953. Since then, it has been clearly stated that the Convention is applicable in Luxembourg law, like other texts of international law (treaties), as long as their content is fairly clear and precise. This means that any citizen can invoke one of the articles of the Convention directly before the judge, be it the criminal judge, the civil judge, the commercial judge, etc….
Source: The European Charter of Fundamental Rights and its application in Luxembourg law – A moderate step forward for human rights François Moyse Dossier Europäische Verfassung Forum 244 März 2005 – Internet
The Act of 6 February 2009 currently in force regulates public schooling and home schooling at the primary school level. The legal texts relating to National Education can be consulted here : Legal text (page 82 ff)
Compulsory education, however, does not mean that State action can replace the rights of parents to provide such education and teaching in accordance with their religious and political convictions, nor does it necessarily mean that children who are subject to it must attend public school. Legal text (Art. 9 page 82)
Furthermore, according to Article 2 of the Act of 16 December 2008 on assistance to children and the family:
“In all decisions concerning children, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration…”.
Also let us recall the main Missions of the School defined in particular in Article 3 of the School Act of 6 February 2009:
« School education promotes children’s development, creativity and confidence in their abilities. It enables them to acquire a general culture, prepares them for professional life and the exercise of their responsibilities as citizens in a democratic society. It educates them in the ethical values based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and leads them to respect equality between girls and boys. It is the basis of lifelong learning. Families are involved in carrying out these objectives. In order to promote equity of opportunity, appropriate provisions shall make it possible for everyone, in accordance with his or her particular abilities and needs, to have access to the different types or levels of school education. »
These objectives are also applicable in the context of education outside the public school system, for example for homeschooling families.
4. Draft bill
Notes from the meeting between ALLI asbl and the Ministry of Education (MEN) 29 June 2016
Bericht vun der Versammlung ALLI asbl mat dem Ministère de l’Education Nationale (MEN)
Compte-rendu de la réunion entre ALLI asbl et le Ministère de l’Education Nationale (MEN): Here
The bill has not been introduced to the House of Commons/Representatives as it does not seem to be a priority of the government. To be continued…
Our association will review and comment on the bill once it has been submitted.
5. Administrative procedures for withdrawing from the public school system
For elementary/primary education, reference should be made to articles 18 and 21 of the Act of 6 February 2009.
Parents who intend to educate their child at home must inform their commune.
Art. 18. In all cases where the pupil is enrolled in a primary school other than that of the municipality of residence, the parents shall inform the municipal administration of their residence without delay and no later than eight days after the beginning of the courses, provided that they submit a copy of the enrolment certificate issued by the school. Parents who intend to teach their children at home must inform the commune. Legal text (page 83)
Parents who intend to homeschool their child must explain their motives in their application and request authorization from the school district inspector.
Art. 21. Parents who intend to homeschool their child must explain their motives in their application and request authorization from the school district inspector. Such authorisation may be limited in time. Homeschooling must be aimed at acquiring the skill bases defined by the study plan. In duly justified circumstances, in particular if the parents intend to have their child receive distance education, the district inspector may grant an exemption from teaching one or more of the subjects provided for in section 7. Homeschooling is subject to control by the inspector. If it is found that the education provided does not meet the criteria defined above, the pupil will automatically be enrolled in the school in his commune of residence. The same shall apply if you refuse an inspector’s inspection.
Legal text (pages 89ff Art. 7 page 86)
Sample letter (French version) of authorization request for a child in primary school.
Upon request we can reread your draft letter to verify that it is in compliance with the law.
For secondary education (schooling from the age of 12 on 1 September), you must either apply to the Luxembourg Ministry of Education (www.men.lu), as it is directly responsible for secondary education, or you must provide your commune with a certificate of enrollment in a correspondance course. In principle, it should not be legally possible to refuse you authorization to homeschool and no inspection is required by law.
Note 1: According to the draft bill, it will no longer be necessary to explain your motives because the current government considers that withdrawing from school is a right that should not have to be justified. However, parents will have to explain how they will guarantee the child’s right to education
Note 2: The inspectors have recently been replaced by directors and the list of primary school directors is available here.