In Greece, public primary school ("Dimotiko" in Greek) and junior high school ("Gymnasio" in Greek) are free and open to everyone. Greece provides for free your child's books but does not pay for school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, or transportation to school.
You can enrol your children in:
- Primary school if they are 6 to 12 years old.
- Junior high school if they are 12 to 15 years old.
Children who completed primary school during the previous school year will be automatically registered with the nearest junior high school.
Children over 12, who are enrolling for the first time in Greece, will need to register at the nearest junior high school following the same process described in this article.
Each child is enrolled in a specific public school, depending on their home address, and each public school covers a particular district. If you want to find to which school your address belongs, you can type the zip code in this address.
In any case, the child must go to school, and the school has an obligation to do what is foreseen to ensure the child's right to education.
Minor refugee students, regardless of their residence status, can be enrolled in public schools with incomplete supporting documents. Children are also registered with incomplete supporting documents in all classes (Kindergarten, Elementary, High School and exclusively in the 1st grade of Lyceum) at any time during the academic year, regardless of residence status (for example, even with a negative answer for asylum, the children typically attend school).
Quick facts about primary school enrollment
- Children who attend primary school will automatically register for the next grade at the same school they attended last year.
- Schools start mid of September.
What if I miss the deadline?
You can still enroll your children. But the Ministry of Education warns that you should enroll your children during registration to give them the best chance of getting a place. Children are also registered with incomplete supporting documents in all classes (Kindergarten, Elementary, High School and exclusively in the 1st grade of Lyceum) at any time during the academic year, regardless of residence status (for example, even with a negative answer for asylum, the children typically attend school).
What if I'm waiting for Family Reunification?
Your child should enroll even if you are waiting for Family Reunification to another country. Enrolling won't affect if and when you can leave Greece.
Will my children attend a reception class at the public primary school?
Greece's Zone of Educational Priorities program offers specialized reception classes and other help for refugee children ages 6 to 15 who are not yet fluent or don't communicate easily in Greek. These classes are 15 additional hours every week where they learn the Greek language only. Students can attend these classes for a maximum of 3 years.
In addition to reception classes, refugee children will also attend regular classes with Greek students.
At the beginning of the school year, the Greek Ministry of Education will start organizing reception classes in primary schools around Greece, depending on the need in each school.
Children can be enrolled in a school whether or not a reception class has been established. The reception class is not a condition of enrolment, nor can a student be refused enrollment due to the absence of a reception class. The reception class is not the school. It is a reinforcing tool for learning the Greek language.
Children must attend formal schooling, not only these 15 hours/week. Otherwise, absences are recorded.
What if my children don't speak any Greek at all?
The Greek Ministry of Education will continue to offer afternoon school classes for children who live in most official camps, who don't speak any Greek or have just arrived.
The classes will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will cover Greek language, English, math, sports, arts and computers.
Children aged 6 to 15 can attend these classes, which will be held in Greek schools and are scheduled to start in October. For more information, ask the Refugee Education Coordinator at your camp.
Who can help you enroll
If you live in an urban accommodation hosted by an NGO, ask a social worker or another NGO worker for help. They will contact the nearest primary school, or a Refugee Education Coordinator, who will help you enroll.
If you live in a camp, contact the Ministry of Education's Refugee Education Coordinator in the camp for help and interpretation.
If you live in private accommodation, send us a message on Facebook, and we will try to help you find an NGO that can help you.
How to enroll?
To enroll, visit your nearest public school. You can enroll at any time during the school year. If you can, ask an NGO working to help you.
If you go to a school alone and don't speak Greek or English, you can take along this letter (in Greek, English, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu). It asks the school to help you enroll your children.
Download this letter if you are going to school alone and do not speak English. Visit your nearest kindergarten or primary school and show it to the School Director to help you. Also, ensure you get your application number with you («protokolo» in Greek).
Documents to bring
When you visit the school to enroll, bring:
- Proof of vaccination.
- Proof of address. If you live in a private apartment, you can take an electricity bill in your name as proof of address.
- Your child's Registration card or Residence Permit. The school will make a copy.
- For Ukrainian nationals, you need to bring the Temporary Protection card.
If you are coming from another RIC, where your child has already attended a class in a school, make sure to ask the school before you leave for certification of attendance and inform, if possible, the school that you are moving to. This will help speed up the process of enrollment in the new school.
If you are missing documents, school principals should enroll your child anyway.
During enrollment, your school will give you a form you must take to a public health centre or clinic. You can also see and print this form in advance here. A doctor will examine your child for free and give you a health certificate to bring back to your school.
What is the full-day program?
Parents can enroll their children in Optional Full-Day Program by submitting a relevant application. There are no specific requirements for students to attend the All-Day Program. Principals and Heads of Primary Schools accept all applications from parents/guardians for students to participate. Students can leave the class only after the end of the second hour (3:00 p.m.) with a signed statement from their parents or guardians.
Since 2022, there is also a full-day Primary School program. In that case, the departure of Primary School students attending the full-day program takes place either at 15:50, at the end of the second teaching hour or at 17:30, at the end of the program.
Students registered and studying in the Optional Full-Day Program have the right to participate in the Morning classes (7:00-8:00).
The enrollment of students from vulnerable social groups in the Optional Full-Day Program is without any requirements.