General secondary school

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General school (also general school according to the new spelling ) is the generic term for all schools that do not end with a vocational qualification . What these schools have in common is the imparting of general knowledge as opposed to the primary imparting of specialist knowledge at vocational schools . In fact, vocational schools also provide general education, and there are numerous forms of general education that are specifically preparatory to vocational training or are relevant to the subject (such as business schools or sports schools).

General education schools can be compulsory schools (schools for the fulfillment of compulsory schooling) or secondary schools , regular schools or independent schools (private schools) , special schools and special needs schools .



An education, the basic education , general living and social skills and a certain mental horizon ensures (life skills) , without direct involvement in the working world, belongs to the modern basic requirements, such as those the program Education for All ( Education for All , EFA) demand from UNESCO .

In the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), the general education schools include early school programs ( pre-schools ) and basic education (levels 0 and 1), non-vocational secondary education (levels 2 and 3A), and the post-secondary forms for university access  (level 4A ).

Since there is a ban on child labor in the developed nations ( every person's right to education , Universal Declaration of Human Rights  1948), vocational training generally only takes place after 14/15, so all schools up to this age are general education, although many schools provide general education Set special subject-relevant priorities ( vocational schools ).


The separation of the explicitly general higher schools ( upper secondary level , i.e. up to around 18/20), whose primary purpose is university preparation, and the vocational schools is a special feature of the German-speaking school system - the general educational qualification as such is not considered particularly valuable, and the The proportion of those who only graduate with a high school diploma is extremely low. In the Scandinavian school systems, for example, general and vocational education are on an equal footing in course systems in the secondary level, and the majority of all students graduate with a university entrance qualification.

Structure of formal education of the 25- to 64-year-old resident population in selected European countries, in% (according to ISCED level )
country ISCED 1–3 without assignment ISCED 3B, 3C  long , 4 ISCED 3A ISCED 5B ISCED 5A, 6
(formally low-skilled ) ( Professional
( general
education A.
( Professional
) (1)
( University
BelgiumBelgium Belgium 35 10 24 17th 13
DenmarkDenmark Denmark 18th 45 05 08th 20th
GermanyGermany Germany 16 56 02 10 15th
FranceFrance France 35 31 10 10 14th
FinlandFinland Finland 23 00 43 17th 17th
IrelandIreland Ireland 37 10 24 11 17th
ItalyItaly Italy 52 09 28 - 11
LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg 37 24 15th 09 13
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 29 20th 22nd 02 26th
NorwayNorway Norway 11 44 12 02 30th
AustriaAustria Austria 20th 56 06th 09 09
PolandPoland Poland 50 04th 31 - 16
PortugalPortugal Portugal 75 01 12 - 13
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 17th 48 06th 10 18th
SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia 16 36 36 01 12
SpainSpain Spain 55 06th 12 07th 19th
SwedenSweden Sweden 17th 00 48 15th 19th
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic 11 43 33 - 12
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kgr. 35 21st 15th 09 20th
Source: OECD, as of 2004.
(1) tertiary, non-university education
Such ISCED assessments of vocational qualifications do not include persons who receive further training within the profession ( on-the-job training ) ; they only represent the role of the school system in educational qualifications.



General secondary school
Country Germany
ISCED level 0-3A, 4A
student 8,796,894 (2011/12)

General education schools in Germany are: pre-school classes , school kindergartens , primary schools , school type independent orientation levels , secondary schools , schools with several courses of education, secondary schools , high schools , integrated comprehensive schools , Waldorf schools , special schools , Abendhauptschulen , Abendrealschulen , Abendgymnasien and colleges .

In the 2008/09 school year, 9,023,572 students attended these schools in Germany, 926,426 (10%) of them private schools . In 2010/11 there were only 8,796,894 students.


General education school (ABS) School
Country Austria
ISCED level 1-3A, 4A
Classification (national) Category 1
School board public or private
requirement no
Duration Levels : 0–13 (all levels except 14/15 professional) Standard
age 6–18 and part-time
Graduation Compulsory school leaving certificate or Matura
School types General b. Compulsory schools  (APS), middle schools  (AMS), higher schools  (AHS), other schools (statute, SAS)
number 5,512 -  (2011/12)
student 797.186 -  (2011/12)

In the Austrian school system , there are four types of general education school :

The general school types and forms make up almost 90% of all schools (5512 of 6178, 2011/12), and of 2 / 3 of all students attended (797,186 of 1,166,525, 2011/12). The high proportion of schools is due to the fact that elementary and secondary schools are typically much smaller than higher schools: there are around 330,000 students in over 3,000 elementary schools (public or statutory), and secondary and secondary schools (AHS) each have 200,000 students attended, but there are over 1000 primary schools and only a little over 250 AHS schools with lower and upper grades, and another 70 pure upper grades.

In Austria, every student must spend at least nine years of school at the general school ( compulsory teaching time from 6-15). After this general education up to secondary level I , around 20% remain without further school education (those with low formal qualifications , including internal professional training), 5% remain after the upper level with Matura (purely higher general education), around 55% choose vocational training with or without a higher degree , and almost 20% complete a university or technical college degree (in equal proportions).

Individual evidence

  1. see Education for All ( Memento from January 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) ,
  2. cf. for example Anne Ratzki: Scandinavian education systems - school in Germany. A provocative comparison . In: Imbalances in the education system . No. 1 , 2006, p. 23-31 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-531-90367-5_2 .
  3. a b quoted from Arthur Schneeberger: Qualification Development and Research for Vocational Education and Training - EQF as a Transparency Instrument and Experiences of Comparative Statistical Educational Research . Ed .: ibw - Austrian Institute for Economic Research in Education (=  Vocational and Economic Education - online . No. 11 ). November 2006, ISSN  1618-8543 , Table 1 ( online [accessed March 8, 2012]).
  4. a b c General education schools: Pupils by type of school ( Memento from 10 August 2010 in the Internet Archive ) , Federal Statistical Office Germany
  5. General and vocational schools: Pupils in private schools by type of school ( Memento of November 14, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), Federal Statistical Office Germany
  6. a b Austrian school systematics , status 2011/12
  7. a b c Schools in the school year 2010/11 by type of school , Statistics Austria
  8. a b Schoolchildren 2010/11 by detailed type of training and gender ( memento from May 13, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), Statistics Austria (pdf)
  9. a b Schoolchildren in the school year 2010/11 according to the school provider ( memento from October 16, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), Statistics Austria (pdf) - total number of students not explicitly stated there, added up