What you need to keep in mind for school-age refugees

Among the refugees are also many children. They are subject to compulsory education in Germany. To minimize the impact of the war on their schooling, these children are integrated into German schools as soon as possible. Questions regarding the enrollment of refugee children in Hamburg schools are answered by the Hamburg Authority for Schools and Vocational Training (BSB).

Where can refugees find a central registration office to register their kund for a hamburger school?

The School Information Center(schulinformationszentrum@bsb.hamburg.de) helps in the search for a school place. The legal guardians are asked to register there directly by mail so that it can be assessed in which grade and which school the child should be enrolled. However, it is also possible to contact a school in the area.

All information about registration, the school system, and preparatory classes can be found at https://www.hamburg.de/bsb/ukraine. Here you can also find information in Ukrainian.

How are the school places allocated? Can wishes be taken into account in the choice of school?

The School Information Center provides support in the search for a school place. There, in addition to the school route, the previous schooling and possible German language skills of the students are taken into account in order to find a suitable school and class.

What documents are necessary for this?

A scanned identification document is required.

How do children learn the german language and are prepared for the german school system?

In principle, the following applies: In the regular and preparatory classes, instruction is given in German. However, we attach importance to the fact that part of the lessons will also be held in Ukrainian, provided that we find enough teachers for this. We want to ensure that Ukrainian students remain closely connected to their homeland, language and culture. At the same time, they should also get to know the German language and culture and find their way around Hamburg and Germany. No one knows how long these students will actually stay in Hamburg. We know from previous flight movements that many stay longer than initially planned. We have to take that into account. In practical terms, this means that children from the first and second grades are admitted directly to the regular classes and learn the Latin alphabet and German together with Hamburg children. Older children and adolescents who are to start school in the third grade or higher initially attend International Preparatory Classes until their German language skills and subject knowledge are sufficient to attend a regular class. Hamburg schools also offer language of origin classes in which native language skills can be improved.

How and where do refugees register their child for a daycare place?

The social welfare authority is responsible here.

Do refugee children take part in all subjects right from the start?

First and second graders attend classes in the regular classes, while older students first go to an International Preparatory Class, where German and subject matter are taught. They will later join a regular class where they will also take all subjects. It is possible to attend the language of origin classes instead of a second foreign language.

What can German children and their parents do to make it easier for refugee children to start school / daycare?

The Hamburg school communities show solidarity and have set small and big signs for peace with different actions. Many students demonstrated against Russia’s war in Ukraine and for peace in Europe. The wave of willingness to help and the high level of commitment in Hamburg are overwhelming. For those who want to do more: Hamburg provides information online at https://www.hamburg.de/ukraine and on Twitter @UkraineHH about current events and points of contact for immigrants and volunteers. There is also a FAQ there on help available and ways to get involved.