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/enrolling in a polish school for foreigners. how to enrol your child in a polish school and what you need to know about education abroad?

Enrolling in a Polish school for foreigners. How to enrol your child in a Polish school and what you need to know about education abroad?

Poland is a civilized and European country, and it is not surprising that everyone living on its territory has the right to education. If you have just recently moved your family to Poland, it can be stressful not only for the adults but also for the children. It is important to do everything you can to ease the process and help your children adapt successfully to their new society. One of the best ways to ensure their smooth adaptation and development is to ensure that they have the opportunity to receive quality education and socialize with their peers.

Today we will tell you about what schools in Poland are like, the peculiarities of education, the cost of education, pitfalls and much more. Enjoy reading the article!


How many school classes are there in Poland and how much do students have to study?

Education is important in Poland, and the country's legislation stipulates the obligation to complete a minimum of 9 years of education.

Before children enter a regular school, there is an opportunity to take preparatory courses called zerówka. These are preparatory classes that give children the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the learning environment and the basic principles of education. Zerówka courses are often organised either in kindergartens or in schools themselves. Children usually enter the zero grade at the age of 6 or 7.

The education system in Poland is quite different from that of schools in the CIS countries. After completing zerówka, education begins at the basic school (szkoła podstawowa). This stage lasts from the first to the eighth grade, which is 8 years of education.

After completing basic school, 14-15 year olds have several options for continuing their education:

  • General education lyceum (liceum ogólnokształcące) – complete secondary education.

  • Technical school (technikum) – complete secondary education + practical vocational training.

  • Secondary vocational education institution - complete secondary education.

As a rule, study at a lyceum or technical school lasts 4-5 years. As a result, enrolment in higher education in Poland takes place at the age of 19-20, which is different from the education system in CIS countries, where many students can finish their university studies at the age of 21.


School assessment system in Poland

From the first to the third grade, the descriptive system method is used instead of grades. Teachers make written reports on the child's work, describing his successes and progress in learning. From the fourth grade onwards, Polish schools introduce a grading system with a 6-point scale. It consists of values from 1 to 6, where 1 corresponds to a very bad result and 6 to a great result. As in some CIS countries, Poland also sometimes uses plus and minus values, which allow for a more accurate assessment of a pupil's level. For example, grades 5+ and 5- will have different values.

The degree of importance of each grade is specified through the «Waga oceny» grade weights set by the Polish Ministry of Education. This means that each type of assignment or work can be assigned a different maximum grade. For example, a student may receive a maximum of 6 points for a term, 5 points for a test paper and 2 points for a class work.


A complete guide to enrolling your child in a Polish school in 2023

→ Looking for a school. The first step is to find a suitable school. Usually, children living in Poland are automatically enrolled in schools in their neighbourhood. However, parents have the option to choose a public school elsewhere if it meets their requirements and wishes. You can find all available schools in your neighbourhood by clicking here.

→ Collecting documents for admission. Each school may require a package of documents that is slightly different, but in general you can't do without these documents:

  • Passport of the child and parents/guardians;

  • A residence card or visa;

  • A statement to be written by the child's parents or legal representatives about the wish to enroll the child in this particular educational institution;

  • Documents proving that the child has studied in his home country (if the child has studied);

Meldunek (residence registration may not always be required, but in some cases it may be required).

→ Pay school fees (if you have chosen a private school, as all public schools in Poland are free of charge).

It is important to note that unlike university admission, it is not required to provide a foreigner's language certificate to the school. Usually children adapt to the Polish language during their schooling and teachers try to help foreign students in this process.


When do children take exams in Poland?

1. Final exams

After completing primary school, eighth-graders face their first important test - the final exam. To pass this exam successfully, a pupil needs to cope with four subjects:

  • polish language;

  • foreign language;

  • maths;

  • one subject of your choice.

As practice shows, the set minimum score for passing this exam is quite low. This means that the majority of pupils cope with it without any problems.

2. Matura

After graduating from lyceum or technical school and completing secondary education, graduates face a more difficult exam – Matura. It is an analog of the Ukrainian EIT, the Russian USE and the Belarusian CT.

To successfully pass Matura, it is also necessary to pass four tests in the chosen subjects, and two oral exams in Polish and a foreign language. To pass this exam, a graduate needs to get only 30 percent of correct answers. The exam season starts at the end of May and lasts until August (in case you fail or do not attend the exams).


How to save money on preparation for the school year? Financial assistance program «Dobry Start»

As we have already mentioned above, school education in Poland is free for children from 7 to 18 years old, but you should still realise that there are some costs involved.

It all starts before September, when parents start travelling to supermarkets in search of stationery and school uniforms. You can save on these costs thanks to the state program «Dobry Start». This program offers annual one-off assistance of PLN 300 to parents to prepare their child for the school year. Therefore, its unofficial name is simply «300».

According to this act, foreign citizens who live legally in Poland and have a residence card, refugees from Ukraine or citizens of EU countries and Switzerland can get help from this program.

In order to receive money from the «Dobry Start» program it is necessary to submit the necessary documents and application before 1 July, and the money can be received via internet banking services such as: PKO, Pekao, mBank, ING or through the portals PUE ZUS, Emp@tia.



If you have recently moved to Poland, whether for work or as a refugee, you already know that according to the law, a child cannot just sit at home and do nothing. Therefore, to ensure that your child does not sit at home doing nothing, it is necessary to start enrolling him in a Polish school without delay. Now you know exactly how to take this important step and provide your child with the basis for a successful future.

Worried about enrolment and want everything to go quickly and smoothly? Don't be! The aksis Migration Agency is ready to assist you every step of the way in applying to a Polish school. Our experienced agents will help you find the best school (public or private) that suits your preferences and your child's needs. We will provide professional assistance with all the necessary documents and translations to make it easier for you to deal with the official formalities.

Getting your child into a Polish school is easier than you think. Contact aksis for assistance!


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