Choosing schools


How do you choose a school for your child? What do you think is important in a school? Which study programme is suitable for your child? It can sometimes be difficult to choose a school. Therefore, gather information about the Dutch-speaking schools in Brussels in good time. This page tells you how you can do this:

How to choose schools: 6 steps

1. Find schools

The 'scholenzoeker' (school finder) gives you an overview of all Dutch-language schools in Brussels. For each school there is a file with practical information. You can also find this information in the 'scholengids' (directory of schools).

2. Gather information about the schools

Visit the school's website, inform yourself about the pedagogical project, read the school regulations... If necessary, have a look at the inspection report of the Education Inspectorate (in Dutch). Also talk to children who already attend that school and to their parents. You can also visit schools to get to know them better.

3. Think about what you think is important in a school

For example: is the school close by? What is the pedagogical approach? What is the attitude and style of the teachers and the management? How can I participate as a parent? Is there childcare or supervised study time before and after school? Are there school meals?

4. See how many available places there are

Check if the schools of your choice still have places available.

5. Choose multiple schools

Make a list of several schools. This is especially important when applying: this way you have a better chance of getting a place.  

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6. Prepare

Prepare your application or registration well. Inform yourself about the procedure. Check whether your child has priority and gather the necessary documents. More information on how to prepare your application.

Visit schools

Do you want to get to know the schools better? Be sure to take a look at the schools' websites. There, you can read how you can get to know them: through a video on the website, by telephone, through an individual appointment, etc.

Some schools organise group visits or information sessions. Click on the button to go to the list of all the activities (in Dutch).

Increase your chances of getting a place

Planning on registering your child in a nursery or primary school or in the 1st year of secondary school? Then you have to apply for a place first. Whether your child gets a place depends on several factors. Places are assigned to children that have applied based on priority rules and established order criteria. More information on how places are assigned.

Keep in mind the following tips to have a better chance of getting a place:

  1. As your first choice, take a school with sufficient available places for your child's priority group.
  2. Choose several schools. Dutch-language schools in Brussels are popular: sometimes there are not enough places. Therefore, choose several schools when applying, this way you will have a better chance of getting a place.
  3. Watch the video on how places are assigned after the applications. This can help you establish the order of your chosen schools when applying for a place.

  4. Only if you are applying for nursery or primary education: choose schools that are close to your home or work. In secondary education, distance has no impact.
  5. Only when applying for a place in nursery education: apply for a place for all children born in 2022. The younger the child starts in nursery education, the greater the chance of obtaining a place. Children born in 2021 who only apply for a place now, have a much smaller chance of obtaining a place.

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