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Primary Schools in Brussels, advice please.

(4 Posts)
coiaquinn Wed 08-May-13 13:20:09

Hi there, My fiancé has just been offered and accepted a position with a firm in Brussels city centre and is moving over in July to start.

He is telling me not to worry about finding a school for my son as he can look for one when he gets there, then he will choose an area for us to live nearby we are supposed to follow on after getting married at the end of the year but my research so far today has alarmed me regarding schools. He likes the sound of the Ixelles area to live, but I think we need to get a school first then choose to live as close as possible to that?

The International fee paying schools are out of the question as we would just not have the funds, I contacted the European schools for information, only to be told no chance.
So now I am faced with where on earth will he be able to go?

He is 6 and is diagnosed as on the Autistic spectrum, he is currently in a mainstream school in the UK with a teaching assistant. He only speaks English and although I am really keen for him to learn another language surely he is going to need some English too. Someone on an ex pat forum told me there are 8 types of state run special school and one of those would likely be the best choice for him, but how do we start the process of finding or being offered a school place?

marchmad Wed 08-May-13 14:06:44

PLEASE NOT IXELLES, the worst place to look for a school. I would look east where many English speaking families and other non Belgian families have settled where schools are used to international families coming and going, again another reason why not to choose Ixelles. Reason number 3 not to choose Ixelles is parking. Reason no 4 not to choose Ixelles is it's more expensive than surrounding areas. Reason number 5 not to choose Ixelles is that there is less for older children to do there than out east.

Oh and completely forget anywhere with 1000 post code too, that's Bruxelles Ville, 1030 Schaerbeek, 1030 St Gilles, 1180 Uccle and 1190 Forest are also all poor choices.

You should however follow the advice to always find a school first and place to live next.

You need to visit schools NOW to find out if mainstream schools will accept your son or if you need to look into the specialised school sector.

marchmad Wed 08-May-13 14:10:34

As for English, don't you speak it at home? So why does he need to learn English at school? Local schools don't teach English until age 14 in Brussels.

Also, don't be tempted by any private school with fees of less than 10k here, with the exception of the lycee francais where your son cannot go anyway. Those with fees at that level are fine for short term, a year maybe, longer term you will be kicking yourself for choosing them. I'm clocking up over 20 children now who've gone and come out of these schools, many quite disallusioned.

marchmad Wed 08-May-13 15:05:50

Oh and you contact every individual school.

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