The basic principles of the Austrian school system are well described on the web pages of Euroguidance Österreich (available in 20 languages). In Austria; schooling is mandatory for all children between the age of 6 and 15 years. School attendance in public schools is free of charge, while private schools will charge tuition.

6-10 Years

Primary Schools

Children aged between 6 and 10 years attend primary school. For public schools, the principle of residence applies, which means that the child attends a school associated with the parents' place of residence (private schools and pedagogic training schools [Praxisschulen] are exceptions to this rule).

Usually, classes are taught in the mornings only. Currently, there are two schools in Innsbruck with all-day classes (schools: Praxisvolksschule, Innere Stadt).

Afternoon Care of School-Age Children

For childcare in the afternoons either school-organized offers (Tagesheime) or after-school care centers (Horte) are available.


In Tyrol, in general, the following holidays apply:

  • 2 weeks at Christmas,
  • 1 week in February,
  • 10 days at Easter,
  • 4 days at Whitsun,
  • 9 weeks of summer holidays (variations can apply in the different Districts)

10-14 Years

After completion of primary school, it is possible to attend either a New Secondary School [Neue Mittelschule] or an Academic Secondary School [Allgemeinbildende Höhere Schule, AHS].

New Secondary Schools [Neue Mittelschulen, NMS]

New Secondary Schools (NMS) follow the curriculum of AHS and of the NMS. Many of them have a thematic focus (languages, art, music, etc.) and accept pupils up to an age of 14 years.

Academic Secondary Schools [Allgemeinbildende Höhere Schulen, AHS]

Attendance of an AHS requires a specific grade point average. The grades achieved in the 3rd and 4th grades of primary schools are used to determine admittance. 

AHS offers two "cycles" – the long cycle (10 - 18 years) or the short cycle (upper cycle 14 - 18 years) and is completed with a Reifeprüfung examination ["Matura"].

The thematic focus can be on languages, natural sciences, art, sport, etc.

Higher Education

After completion of the 4th grade of NMS or the AHS lower cycle, various further educational opportunities are possible: For example, attending a one-year Pre-vocational School [Polytechnische Schule] and pursuing a dual vocational training – i.e. practical work in a company and attendance of a vocational school. Apprenticeship ends with an apprenticeship exam; apprenticeships with school-leaving examination [Matura / Reifeprüfung] are also possible.

Other options include attendance of an Upper Secondary Academic School [Oberstufenrealgymnasium], a School for Intermediate Vocational Education [Berufsbildende mittlere Schule; BMS] or a College for Higher Vocational Education [Berufsbildende höhere Schule, BHS].


Most schools organize open houses – you should inform yourself about these options in time! At the beginning of a new school year, the School Board of Tyrol [Bildungsdirektion] publishes all information about these open houses. There, you will also find a database with all schools in Tyrol.

The City of Innsbruck operates schools in Innsbruck and offers a list of all schools, after-school care centers and daycare centers.

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