Generally speaking, education in Poland is of an excellent standard. Public schooling is well worth considering for expat families with young children or those intending to settle in Poland permanently.
That said, the private schooling sector in Kraków offers some extremely competitive options and is popular among locals as well as expats. International schools in Kraków are often the most convenient choice for globally mobile families.
Public schools in Kraków
Compulsory schooling in Poland begins at age six in what is often referred to as 'form zero', after which children continue to primary school. Schooling remains compulsory all through high school up to the age of 18. Public education in Poland is free for both local and expat children.
Parents can expect a high quality of education in local public schools but, with Polish as the language of instruction, English-speaking international schools are often the easiest option.
Private and international schools in Kraków
There are a number of high-quality private and international schools in Kraków. Private schools will often teach through the lens of a particular religious ideology (such as Christianity) or teaching method (such as Montessori).
International schools, on the other hand, teach foreign or globally recognised curricula in English or the language of the school’s origin. Most international schools in Kraków teach the International Baccalaureate curriculum, though there are also British and American options.
Some international schools also offer the Polish curriculum, in which case the school teaches in both English and Polish. This puts expat children in a good position to pick up the local language without the pressure of being taught solely in Polish.
Both international and private schools are expensive, and the fees often don't include extras such as textbooks and uniforms. If choosing a private or international school for their children, expats should negotiate a school allowance into their salary.
Special-needs schooling in Kraków
Expat parents of children with disabilities can rest assured that in Poland, special assistance is given to children who have special educational needs or those whose opportunities for education, development and learning are limited to such an extent that they can't meet the educational requirements at mainstream schools.
Special-needs institutions provide care for differently abled pupils by allowing the implementation of individualised educational processes, forms, curricula and revalidation. Children with special needs are also able to attend mainstream schools if they are deemed able to cope with the education system at these schools. Support will be given at these schools, but not to the same extent as special schools.
Tutors in Kraków
Education is highly valued in Poland, and Polish parents use tutoring as a tool to assist students in their learning. It is also invaluable to expat children adapting to a new environment, language and curriculum. Even for children in international schools, tutoring is useful in gaining confidence, or for assistance with particular subjects such as maths, science or Polish. Expats can hire private home or online tutors through several online tutoring companies. Good tutoring companies in Poland include Apprentus and TeacherMe2.
►Learn more about International Schools in Kraków.
"Unless you plan to be here for a long time and are prepared to immerse yourself in the language, the three international schools are your best options. They all offer tuition for all age groups and have their own merits. We really love our school, Embassy International School, because of the small class sizes, pioneering spirit and value-based leadership." Learn about Leonie's experience as a South African expat in Krakow in her interview.
Are you an expat living in Krakow?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Krakow. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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