The Swiss system of schooling is funded and run by individual counties (cantons), who have the responsibility to provide at least 11 years of mandatory schooling. The structure of the system of schools is based on a streamlined approach leading to higher education or vocational training. Each canton may decide upon its own holidays and curriculum, but some similarities still remain.
The Swiss school system explained
Once a child has reached the age of six and has gone through childcare, they are admitted to primary school. They then spend up to eight years in primary and higher primary school before specialising.
Then they attend between four and eight years of secondary education, specialising in an apprenticeship or expanding their knowledge set in order to attend a university. The Swiss school system is especially competitive with places in higher education, so it is important to know what steps your child must take while at school.
Types of school in Switzerland
As well as publicly funded schools, there are many different types of schools in Switzerland to choose from. These can range from schools with a different curriculum to schools that teach in English. Although the state system of schooling is of high quality, it is important to know what alternative options are available.
Swiss school holidays
To avoid crowding and over congestion, school holidays in Switzerland are staggered. The holiday structure is divided into five separate breaks, each with a different length and time of year. It is the cantons’ responsibility to assign holidays to schools, and it is essential to know when your child is free, as taking your child out of school during term time can be expensive.
School fees & Educational costs in Switzerland
Public education is funded entirely by the Swiss system of taxation. On the state, cantonal and local level, taxes are raised in order to make sure that each child is adequately funded when attending public school. However, if you would like to attend an international school or private school, some fees will be required. More information can be seen in the guide to Swiss school fees.