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Public maternelles in Brussels and Kraainem

(12 Posts)
FindingBelgium Wed 24-Dec-14 13:43:04


I will be moving to Belgium with my 3,5 year old daughter . My office will be in Diegem. I am looking for a nice French school -which seems difficult. Whichever school I called told me they were already full for 2015-2016. I was looking around WSP,WSL, Etterbeek ( easy access to train to Diegem ) .

I also started thinking of Kraainem . I learnt that it is a facility commune so there are French schools there.

Could you suggest me some advise on schools Kraainem, WSL,WSP, Watermael-Boitsfort, Auderghem? I am really desperate.

I will look for a house depending on school area cause I don't want my daughter to spend time commuting.

FindingBelgium Wed 24-Dec-14 13:43:38

Thank you in advance!

cannotseeanend Thu 25-Dec-14 08:55:10

Look at the following maps.

You'll always get places in Crommelynck and Joli-Bois in WSP.

You should get places in the 4 facility schools in Wezembeek and Kraainem, must live in one of these communes to get a place.

The closer you get to the centre of Brussels, the harder it becomes.

Many schools say no first phone call. You need to be persistent. There are high numbers of expats in many schools, either you get a place early in the preceding school year (yes you are too late for some schools already) or you get on waiting lists and keep calling end August to take a place left by expat kids who've left or by multiple applications, parents finally let go of their multiple places.

FindingBelgium Thu 25-Dec-14 13:27:04


Thank you for taking my question and sharing the maps. Crommelynck and Joli-Bois , are there particular reasons that these schools have places? I have read somewhere that these are less popular but I do not know why. Do you have any ideas?

And it is really good idea to be persistent.I will try one more round.

In Kraainem, Ecole Diabolo , is it a good school? I see that being driven by Flemish commune makes already a plus? Is it a correct perception in general?

Thank you very much!

cannotseeanend Thu 25-Dec-14 16:05:37

Joli-Bois was built for expanding capacity, can have 2 classes per year but if enough demand, then it becomes 3 classes per year.

Crommelynck is less popular at a guess as the secondaire is not the choice of local parents and the primaire holds a large percentage of boarding pupils, whereas the maternelle does have more locals, the locals tend to go for Mater Dei or Don Bosco or Sacre-Coeur de Stockel or Ecole communale de Stockel or Joli-Bois communale for primaire.

Do not worry over reputation of any schools in WSP, Kraainem or Wezembeek. The advantage for Diabolo is you pay less for extras like school supplies, a few hundred a year, the disadvantage is if heading for secondaire in French, you get average points and that could mean not getting into most desirable secondaires and taking a place at Crommelynck which always has space at secondaire and given a choice between Crommelynck and a sink school in a poorer area of Brussels region, Crommelynck is a rather good choice still.

Yes it is essential you are persistent. But if you want a place in WSP/Wezembeek/Kraainem before finding a house, secure a place at Crommelynck or Joli-Bois and if they don't suit you, then go for the other schools. All schools do their own enrolments at different times and you can enrol in as many as you like.

FindingBelgium Fri 26-Dec-14 07:59:57

Hi, thank you very much your replies are really comforting!!

Just a point I did not get clearly. For Diabolo , you say you get average points. Is it because of bad quality of education or the school pushes too hard that it is not easy to get good points?

My daughter will be M2 in Sept 2015. What about getting a place in a school for coming year, and then re-applying for M3 (for Sept 2016), while we start living in Belgium ? In this case I will have more opinions about areas, school system, points to go in secondaire. Or will it be even harder since she gets 1 year older?

Hope to hear from you smile

cannotseeanend Fri 26-Dec-14 11:48:08

Diabolo P6 children get average points to enter secondaire French in Brussels region because they are not a French community funded school. Same rule for those coming from other Flemish community funded schools and those coming from abroad. So average points mean, depending on the number of applications for the most sought after schools, may or may not get a place, whereas if you're at a French community funded school near your home and applying for a secondaire, your points are high and you should get a place. It has nothing to do with academics.

In maternelle, you re-enrol every year, you can therefore change school every year. In primaire, you can only change at the end of P2 and P4 without good reason. Yes the longer you leave it to enter the school of you choice, the harder it becomes, since happy parents at sought after schools are less likely to withdraw their children to create places. But in the area you are looking, there is always a considerable amount of movement out and in due to the expat population coming and going, so it's more a case of applying on time.

Just secure a few school places in your desired area, even if they are not your first choice places, then look for housing and move before August, then try your luck at the end of August with first choice school, or go into temporary housing until you pass end August/beginning of September, if you cannot get your first choice school now, then choose housing after end August, depending on success of school search.

FindingBelgium Fri 26-Dec-14 14:21:20


FindingBelgium Fri 26-Dec-14 14:30:52

Hi, Thank you.

So the schools in my radar would be in addition to Crommelynck or Joli-Bois are , Vervloesem, Van Mayel, Parc Malou, Princess Poala, Chant d'Oiseau. Do you have any specific and significant information related to any of these. I guess these are all convenient schools. not necessarily for each of these , but any piece of information you provide would be very valuable. I will try to come to Belgium in January and arrange some appointments with these schools.

And just a final question for general education system. These types of Catholic vs commune schools. Normally I would prefer commune because I am not a believer , it depends on how and what these schools expose to children.. Any comments on this? This is not a personal question , just how they are structured and how they are perceived in Belgium society..

Thank you.

have a great year!

cannotseeanend Fri 26-Dec-14 15:34:06

There is no religion at maternelle in ALL schools.
Commune schools make up about 50% of schools so only looking at them means your chances of a place is halved.
At primaire, religion/morality is obligatory in all schools, 2 hours a week, age 6 to age 18 on leaving school. Choosing communal does not mean no religion and people tend to choose schools NOT for religion these days but for convenience, what each school offers.

Just choose whichever school you like best, remove the Catholic 50% from the list if you really don't want your child in primaire in Catholic for 2 hours a week, which is not for another 2 years.

By secondaire, 75% of schools are Catholic and 90% of the academic schools are Catholic. You will really be limiting your choices if you specifically exclude Catholic schools.

I chose my children's school because I liked it wasn't full of tests and liked it having a separate garderie area, it having residentials only every 2 years and not every year, it had a high expat population and many nationalities. There is one teacher I dislike out of 25 teachers, so far so good.

FindingBelgium Fri 26-Dec-14 15:44:58

Thank you, it is very clear. Then it does not make sense to reduce alternatives. Good to hear you are lucky with your school. Thanks for now. If I have specific questions when I start to enroll , hope you will still help me .

cannotseeanend Sat 27-Dec-14 08:34:50

You may find it very useful to join our secret facebook group for Benelux countries, lots who live in Brussels. Send me a pm with your email and your FB identity and I can add you.

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