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Costs Incurred in Local Belgian Primaire

(7 Posts)
LivFran Sat 01-Mar-14 20:06:33


As some may know, we're moving to Brussels in August and the youngst will hopefully be attending a French speaking primary school. My questions is, compared to UK schools what are the extra costs incurred and roughly how much are they?

Thanks for answers. smile

PortofinoRevisited Sun 02-Mar-14 11:45:47

At my school, lunches are about 80 euros per month - but I live out of the commune, so for locals they would slightly cheaper. That includes Wednesdays - as it is a half day but dd stays in the garderie. This is of course optional. You can take a packed lunch or go home for lunch.

The schools are generally open 7.30 to 6 or 6.30. It costs about 2 euros per day on average for the garderie. I pay about 40 euros per month then for after school care to include Wednesday afternoons and lunchtime supervision, and this includes a 45 min home work session 3 afternoons for Primary age. I usually collect her about 5 - 5.15. Again this is optional - depends on whether you work or not.

September is pricey. You get 150 euros CB instead of 100 to "cover" the extra costs. <<hollow laugh>> You basically pay for everything - pens, pencils, scissors, glue, paint, dictionaries, books, folders, decent school bag as they have to lug stuff about. This is in the French system mind - the Dutch system funds a lot more. Obviously stuff can be reused year to year - folders etc, and the list tends to get a bit shorter the older they get. The school will provide a list.

When school starts you usually get a list of things that will have to be paid for - 1 or 2 course books, swimming - about 50 euros a year, class fund which is 10 euros at my school. Extra curricular activities ie dd does a dance class at lunchtime which is 50 euros for the year. PE kit with school logo. They have various trips and animations though the year - probably another 50 euros worth. Less cost overall in Maternelle for everything.

Then in 3rd Primary you get classes de mer/classes verts - they go on a week long trip somewhere - costs about 150 - 200 euros. In 6th Primary they go skiing for 10 days/2 weeks - costs about 500 euros. These are part of the curriculum so everyone goes. The school usually lets you save up monthly over years.

On the upside - no uniform required.

PortofinoRevisited Sun 02-Mar-14 11:50:02

Oh if you have more than one child you will get MORE CB than mentioned above. It goes up the more children you have. ie 100 euros per month for one, then 150 euros per month for the 2nd and more still for the 3rd. All childcare/activities for the under 12s are tax deductible - so we get a statement each year from the school, holiday club providers etc which we put in which our tax return. Holiday clubs/stages are numerous and cheap. Sports clubs/swimming etc ditto.

LivFran Mon 03-Mar-14 20:40:00


Thanks for that Porto. Appreciated. Just trying to see what extras wold be. The things like text, books and photocopying, things we take for granted in the UK.


PortofinoRevisited Mon 03-Mar-14 21:13:29

Ha - yes - my memory of primary in UK was you turned up with a new pencil case. Here they don't supply as much as a pencil. I otherwise have no complaints.

mummeez Mon 17-Mar-14 23:12:55

I would just add to the excellent info already given that costs can depend on whether a school is a "commune" school or a Catholic school - I believe they will tend to be higher in a catholic school. Also, not all primary schools do an annual trip away from home for the kids. Think we pay 2E day for homework club, about 60E each year to cover educational visits, annual trip is around 130E (not the ski trip though ;-) ). Don't do school dinners - dd pronounced these disgusting! The "rentree" costs seem negligible now (dd is in 5th year)- maybe around 25E on new pens, effaceurs etc and one or 2 books.

I have an older dd in secondary and the book / equipment costs there are substantial 300-500E per year.

But that sounds like it a long way off for you.

Good luck with your move!

LivFran Wed 19-Mar-14 09:52:15

Hi Mummeez

Thanks for the extra info. We are all really excited now and looking forward to the beginning of August, yay. We do have the option of an international school, but feel she would get more at her age in a local school, but wanted to know what we have to pay, so not surprised with costs, which we have to pay. It would actually be cheaper for us to go international, but we've done pro's and con's.

Thanks again

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