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Help! How to get into a public school in Brussels

(34 Posts)
DesperatelyMoving Tue 14-May-13 20:27:38

Hi all,

I sense from this site that it is extremely difficult to get into a (good) public school in Brussels. We wil be moving there in September with our 4 1/2 year old (born Jan 2009) and are hoping to live either in Saint Gilles, Ixelles, Etterbeek or around the EU quarter zip code 1000). We do not wish to have a long commute to work (EU quarter) or to school for that matter. However, it seems like we should have signed up our son when he was born...basically. Sigh. If anyone can share some advice on schools (good, decent) in those areas and how to get in, either in September or as soon as possible I would be so thankful!

runningmad Sun 15-Dec-13 18:19:12

whichever one is nearest or has a place? Have you checked especially there is a place for a 4 year old at SC de Stockel as all their classes have 27 in them at that age unless someone has just left?

morita13 Sun 15-Dec-13 18:12:42

hello1 We just moved to WSP and would like any piece pf advice about public schools. specially jean xxIII and sacre coeur de stockel. my son is 4 years old and my daugter will turn 2.5 soon.
Thank you!

marchmad Fri 24-May-13 19:07:21

Duckegg80, check your pms.

Duckegg80 Thu 16-May-13 20:54:54

Thanks again all!

lozzyblue Thu 16-May-13 08:34:32

*their Grrr

lozzyblue Thu 16-May-13 08:33:51

la fermette has there fete de l'ecole on may 25th if it's of interest

marchmad Thu 16-May-13 07:04:00

If you live in Kraainem, it does indeed matter, as you can also look at :

St Georges
Notre Dame de la Trinité
la Fermette

If you lived in Brussels region or other parts of Flanders, you would not be allowed to enrol in the above 4 schools. Add them to your list.

These 4 schools have 1 disadvantage, it's probably not too relevant now as it's for those children 10 years old applying for secondaire, those children at the 4 schools in 6e primaire are disadvantaged when applying for secondaire if they are the first born child in a family and have no priority for a secondaire. I wouldn't think about it too much for a 2 year old.

You'll find these 4 schools on this map.

Duckegg80 Wed 15-May-13 23:21:52

Will do, am getting on to it ASAP!

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 22:45:43

Just do it soon. wink

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 22:45:14

Doesn't matter, as there are no catchment areas. You can live in Kraainem and apply to wsp schools etc.

Duckegg80 Wed 15-May-13 22:30:43

Oh and we are very close to the Sacre-Coeur in Stockel but technically in Kraainem

Duckegg80 Wed 15-May-13 22:27:27

Thank you so much everyone. Hugely helpful

DesperatelyMoving Wed 15-May-13 22:05:24

No worries for hijacking DuckEggsmile

marchmad Wed 15-May-13 21:41:20

Duckegg, your son will be 2.5 years in mid October 2013? That's when he can start in acceuil class. Most but not all schools ask children to be dry, except for sieste time, you have to ask the individual acceuil teacher, not the head teacher.

All schools, maternelles, primaires and combined maternelles+primaires called fondamentales are on this map for Brussels region.

You don't say which commune you live in, Stockel is in 3 communes, WSP, Kraainem and Wezembeek-Oppem. If you live in one of the latter 2, you have the additional choice of 4 fonadamentales in Kraainem and Wezembeek.

I must tell you that some schools started enrolling children for acceuil class in September 2012, so many schools will already have a full cohort for acceuil starting October 2013. A few schools do not accept children born after March 2011 into acceuil or do not even have an acceuil class (such as Mater Dei maternelle).
Just take a look at your house on that map, look at the nearest schools first and move outwards.

You'll almost definitely find places in acceuil still at Athénée Royal Crommelynck which is about 500m from Place Dumon. You could consider this school for acceuil, then a nearer school from 1ere maternelle onwards. Changing schools between acceuil and 1ere maternelle is quite common. You might find places at Joli-Bois too.

Getting on waiting lists at some schools can be a challenge. I think secretaries are trained go "on est full" every time anyone phones up. It might take several phone calls to the same school to get on a waiting list. See if you can at least get a school tour.

Mater Dei has its "fete de l'école" on Saturday 25th May.
Sacré-Coeur de Stockel has its fete on Saturday 1st June.
AR Crommelynck has an open day on Saturday 25th May.
Ecole communale de Stockel has already had their fete, as has Don Bosco.

Duckegg80 Wed 15-May-13 21:32:50

Thank you, that's very kind!

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 21:25:29

If they don't/won't/can't speak English to you, then let me know, I can try to find someone to help you.

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 21:22:05

Most have them attached in my experience. Some have them in a separate annexe away from the main school building. If your ds was 2 in may he should get a place for January. they need to be 2.5 and toilet trained. If you are at Stockel, I would contact the 2 schools mentioned above tomorrow. Call rather than email. If you have no luck, come back and one of us will advise what to do / try next.

Duckegg80 Wed 15-May-13 21:09:54

He was two a few weeks ago, so only just at the moment. Thank you for the info, I am clueless, and although I am really working on it, my French is still poor so navigating the websites etc is a bit boggling. Just one more question if that's ok, the most basic of all..... do most primary schools have maternelles attached or are they separate? Thanks again! Sorry for hijacking Desperately

DesperatelyMoving Wed 15-May-13 21:00:22

Hi Portofino, I send you a message. Thanks DuckEgg, I will!

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 20:50:28

Duck egg you will need a classe d'acceuil / 1st maternelle place, either September or January depending on when your son turned 2.

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 20:48:23

We have a private Facebook group here. If you would like to join, please send me a PM (message poster right hand side of the page from where my name is)

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 20:45:34

Phone the schools as per my advice/details above, ASAP.

Duckegg80 Wed 15-May-13 20:43:52

Hello all, I'm now living in Stockel and my son (just turned 2) is in a crèche at the moment but I need to register him for a maternelle. We missed the boat for September but if anyone has any advice or pointers for getting on a waiting list, or even registering for next year, I would be hugely grateful.

Oh and Desperately if there's anything else you need or you find yourself out this direction feel free to give me a shout. I may not know the school system but I have managed to figure some other stuff out about life in Brussels!

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 20:39:13

And find your school place before you sign a rental contract. is the main search engine for houses and apartments.

Portofino Wed 15-May-13 20:36:59

If you don't plan for international schools long term, definitely get him local school ASAP. 2nd and 3rd maternelle will really prepare him for Belgian primary and is plenty of time to pick up the language. I know lots of people who have put kids into Belgian schools at that age. He will do fine. I cannot stress highly enough the need to contact the schools to see if hey have places before school breaks up on 28th June.

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