Over the years, a variety of school forms have evolved on Leipzig's educational landscape. Alongside schools run by the city and the state, a large number of privately-operated schools have opened. The City of Leipzig is the administrator for all public schools in Leipzig.
As school administrator, the City's scope of responsibility includes:
the establishment and maintenance of school buildings and classrooms, including school network planning and naming of schools
the provision of teaching aids and educational materials for the schools, as well as classroom and interior furnishings
the non-state employees working in the schools, such as educational consultants, custodians, and technical personnel. Faculty members are employees of the Free State of Saxony
The municipal office responsible for schools is the Office for Youth, Family and Education (Amt für Jugend, Familie und Bildung).
After-school care is available at every primary school. Special-needs schools also offer day care (all-day child care).
The following provides an overview of the different types of schools, with information about each school.
Primary Schools (Grundschulen)
Primary schools (Grundschulen) comprise grades 1 through 4. Foreign language instruction (English) begins no later than the 3rd grade. Some primary schools offer "intensive language instruction" and begin foreign language instruction in grades 1 and 2. A formal recommendation regarding further education for each student is issued by the primary school. Based on this recommendation, a decision is made during the 4th grade as to whether the student will attend an Upper School (Oberschule) or a Secondary School (Gymnasium).
For children with reading and spelling disabilities, some primary schools offer special classes.
To assist in the integration of foreign children and children from immigrant families, some primary schools have established special pre-school classes.
Upper Schools (Oberschulen)
An Upper School (Oberschule) provides both a general and a vocationally-specialized education, allowing students to fulfil the requirements for a vocational qualification. Upper Schools are further divided into two distinct levels: the Hauptschule and the Realschule. Students may end their compulsory education upon successful completion of grade 9 (the minimum education required), with a certificate of graduation from the Hauptschule. Students, who continue on to grade 10 and successfully pass their final examination, receive a certificate of graduation from the Realschule, indicating completion of an intermediate education.
Secondary Schools (Gymnasien)
A Secondary School (Gymnasium) provides a more in-depth, comprehensive general education to students with commensurate abilities and educational goals. The goal of Secondary Schools is to prepare students for university study, or for professional education outside the university system. Education in a Secondary School culminates in the Abiturprüfung (final examination). Graduates are granted a general higher education qualification, allowing them to be admitted to a university.
The Secondary School (Gymnasium) comprises grades 5 through 12. Grades 11 and 12 are referred to as the "gymnasiale Oberstufe" or "upper levels". Grades 5 and 6 are considered orientation years, and the curriculum and class schedules in those grades are very similar to those in the Upper School (Oberschule).
In grades 8 through 10, specialised course profiles are offered in math/science, languages, music, sports, social sciences, arts, and natural sciences.
Special-Needs Schools (Förderschulen)
Special-needs schools are available for students who, due to one or more physical or mental impairments, either require more assistance than can be provided in the general classroom or vocational schools, or cannot be adequately integrated into a general classroom and therefore require long-term specialized educational support.
Vocational Schools (Berufsschulen)
In vocational education, training, and practice, special emphasis is placed on conveying career-specific knowledge, skills and abilities, while, simultaneously ensuring a thorough and comprehensive general education. Vocational Schools (Berufsschulen) participate as equal partners with companies who engage in vocational training (dual vocational education) as well as with other institutions who provide courses of study leading to vocational certification.
Independent Private Schools (Schulen in freier Trägerschaft)
Independent private schools (Schulen in freier Trägerschaft), operate alongside or in place of public schools to conscientiously carry out the goals of general public education. They enrich and expand the educational system of the Free State of Saxony.
Independent private schools have a special obligation to provide:
the choice of a particular pedagogical, religious or ideological approach
the establishment of instructional and classroom methodology, as well as curriculum and instructional organization
"Second-Chance Schools" (Schulen des 2. Bildungsweges)
"Second-Chance schools" (Schulen des 2. Bildungsweges) are intended for older youth and adults who are no longer taking part in compulsory education. They provide the opportunity to obtain additional educational certification, or in some cases, the very first educational qualification at all.
Evening Upper Schools (Abendoberschule)
Courses held primarily in the evenings, leading to a certificate of completion from a Hauptschule, a qualified Hauptschule, or a Realschule.
Evening Secondary School (Abendgymnasium)
Courses held primarily in the evenings, leading to a general higher education qualification.
A college is a specialized form of Secondary School (Gymnasium), in which adults who have already been in the work force can earn the general higher education qualification during a three-year full-time course of study.