Advice on Schools for three children (6,8,11) with some French

We are potentially looking at a move to Brussels in September 2018, as my husband is working for the EU there and we will be based there for the next 6-8 years.

We have three children (6,8,11) - all of whom have some French, but are currently schooled in English. Both parents speak fluent French, so we would be able to assist them if they were in the French system.

Our options are:
- European Schools
- National School system (in French)

I am looking for non-biased advice on both options and suggestions of good schools. We will base where we live according to what schools the children go to, so are flexible.

My preference would be for the children to study in the national system, as I feel they would be more integrated and have local friends, rather than be part of a constantly transient expat community. However, I am worried about how they would integrate and cope with the change in language (particularly my 11 year old who would start secondary in the Belgian system next year)  and my 8 year old who struggles to keep up at school.

I would also prefer the younger two to be in smaller local schools, where there was more support and a more intimate setting.

So my questions are:
- Any suggestions of schools?
- Any online advice I can be pointed to?
- How do I go about registering the children at schools and what is the timeline for this?

Thank you for your help!

While we wait for responses, you may go through the existing threads on this topic (or on schooling in general) , in the forum area:

For local primaires schools, read the websites for each school and follow instructions. If no website, phone up.

Location will depend on work but assuming you're in the pentagone or EU quarter. In which case wsl, wsp, auderghem, watermael  or etterbeek.

For 1 secondaire, google inscription secondaire, phone up to get form, you ll get average points. Choose realistic options in those communes.

Bct schools support on Facebook is biggest source of information in English.

One school you might want to look closer at is Jean 23 Woluwe, it's secondaire and fondamentale too.

The secondaire is the only school in Brussels which does proper English immersion, but it can only start in S3 so your oldest could do it in 2 years. It is however 13 / 32 hours a week and I know a few mother tongue English speakers there who also of course French speakers. It's a sound academic school, not the most demanding, you really don't want the likes of St Michel for example.

Average points should get you into this secondaire.

The fondamentale usually has space. It has a high percentage of French second language students, but so do many schools in Brussels, a good mix of other languages, not a dominance of one or two other languages, so students have to speak French in the playground to communicate.


I work for the Commission and my 9 year old twins go to the European school in Woluwe.  They have Dutch as their first language and English as their second language - one hour every day in English. Next year they will start a third language. It is a good school - there are only 16 children in the class - and it is not transient - most people working for the Institutions are there for many years. But I think that you may already be too late to apply for the 2018 September intake. I think that the deadline was in January.

You may already find it hard to get places at a good school.

You can apply late for the EEBs but you're likely to be allocated English section in Laeken. Be aware English speakers are now a minority in the English sections in the majority of the classes.

You can apply now for local schools, your ability to get places depends on where you are applying. You'd need to get a move on for the 1 secondaire inscriptions which I'd prioritize. Just choose the communes where schools are not over-subscribed, WSL, WSP, Auderghem, WB.


I have followed the above threads and similar ones on schooling in Brussels for my 4.5 year old.

My daughter and I moved a week ago to join my husband who started work in Brussels late last year. Prior to our move, my daughter attended a Montessori school. Our preference is to enrol her in a French school and some have suggested we choose catholic schools.
Any suggestions on good french schools in Uccle will be most appreciated.
Many thanks.

Try not to concentrate on Catholic or communal or Athenee Royal. What you most need is a school place. Your  ability to find a place depends on where in Uccle you live as it is the largest commune in Brussels.

Take a look on this map, it's a little out of date but is fine for Ucclem no changes in schools there. Work out the nearest 4 or 5 schools and contact them all, see if you can get tours, enrol at one which is to your liking. … a57d56a826

Many thanks for your helpful advice.

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