School Act NRW

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The legal basis of the school system in North Rhine-Westphalia is laid down in the NRW School Act .

Basic data
Title: School law for the
state of North Rhine-Westphalia
Short title: School Act NRW
Abbreviation: SchulG
Type: State Law
Scope: North Rhine-Westphalia
Legal matter: School law
References : SGV. NRW. 223
Issued on: February 15, 2005
( GV.NRW. P. 102)
Entry into force on: predominantly August 1, 2005
Last change by: Art. 2 G of 6 December 2016
(GV. NRW. P. 1052)
Effective date of the
last change:
15th December 2016
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.


The NRW School Act of February 15, 2005 is the first coherent large school act in the history of the state. Previously, the as yet incomplete legal basis for the school system was contained in seven different individual laws, most of which went back to the time before 1960. This resulted in a confusing and, in some areas, outdated school regulations. In contrast, all important educational policy decisions and the essential bases for the entire school law are now contained in a single law.

Structure and content of the law

With the new School Act, the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia lifted the previous school laws - from the "School Regulations Act" (1952) to the "School Participation Act" (1977) - and the "General School Regulations" (1978) on the initiative of the then School Minister Ute Schäfer (SPD) School year end 2005/06. The uniform "School Act NRW" is divided into the following parts:

I. General principles (§§ 1–9): Mission of the school, scope

II. Structure and structure of the school system (§§ 10–28): school structure, ideological structure, school trials and experimental schools

III. Lesson content (§§ 29–33): Lesson specifications, learning materials, religious instruction , sex education

IV. Compulsory schooling (§§ 34–41): principles, compulsory schooling in upper secondary level, responsibility

V. School relationship (§§ 42–56): General rights and obligations, information and advice, school newspapers , school groups, performance evaluation, promotion, exams, regulatory measures

VI. School staff (§§ 57–61): teachers, other staff, school management

VII. School constitution : (§§ 62-77): principles, participation bodies, student representatives ; over-school participation

VIII. School authorities (§§ 78–85): Tasks, school development planning , minimum size of schools

IX. School supervision (§§ 86–91): school supervisory authorities, responsibilities, organization of the authorities

X. School financing (§§ 92–99): cost units, personnel costs, freedom from learning materials , school travel costs , sponsoring

XI. Independent schools (§§ 100–119): Replacement schools , replacement school funding , supplementary schools, international schools

XII. Data protection , transitional regulations (§§ 120-133): data protection, adult students, administrative offenses, administrative regulations, transitional regulations.

Subsequent changes to the School Act

After the state elections in May 2005, the new coalition government made up of the CDU and FDP and School Minister Barbara Sommer (CDU) carried out an extensive amendment to the School Act in order to set new educational policy priorities. The aim was to develop a self-reliant school. The amending laws of June 13th and 27th, 2006 came into force for the 2006/07 school year. However, some far-reaching changes were associated with transition periods. So z. B. the abolition of the school districts for elementary and vocational schools, which applied from the school year 2008/2009, as well as the shortening of the school time up to the Abitur and the new upper secondary school (grades 10 to 12). Pupils after the shortened secondary level I could only enter the school year 2009/10 at the earliest, generally not until the school year 2010/11 (Section 132 (5) SchulG).

Another amendment dated June 24, 2008 was intended to gradually transfer the results of the expired “Independent School” model project to all schools. The school administrators thus became superiors of the teachers. As a result, schools could decide for themselves how to hire new teachers. The tasks of staff representation were taken over by the teachers' council (§ 69 SchulG).

The amendments to the Education Act of April 21, 2009 and December 17, 2009 contained amendments to service law and a small adjustment to EU law.

After the change of government in North Rhine-Westphalia after the state elections in 2010 , the new red-green state government (School Minister Sylvia Löhrmann ) initiated a first return to the regulations of 2005 with the 4th School Law Amendment Act of December 21, 2010 (keywords: transitional procedure, top notes , third parity and school catchment area).

The 5th Law Amendment Act of April 5, 2011 stopped the gradual advancement of the reference date for school enrollment (keyword: start of compulsory schooling ) and the reference date was permanently set to September 30 (Section 35 SchulG).

Fundamental changes in the state's school system have resulted from the law on the further development of the school structure in NRW (6th School Law Amendment Act) of October 25, 2011 (GV. NRW. P. 540). This has changed the school structure in North Rhine-Westphalia, albeit differently than previously planned (keyword: community school ). After the CDU, SPD and Greens reached an agreement on the introduction of the secondary school in the school consensus on July 19, 2011 , this new type of school will largely replace the secondary school in the coming years . The state constitution ( Verf NRW ) has also been changed for this purpose.

A 7th School Law Amendment Act of December 22, 2011 created the legal basis for the provision of Islamic religious instruction as a regular subject (GV. NRW. P. 728).

Through the Participation and Integration Act of February 14, 2012 (GV. NRW. P. 97), the canon of learning objectives in § 2 SchulG has been expanded.

The 8th School Law Amendment Act of November 13, 2012 (GV. NRW. P. 514) has expanded the possibilities of municipal school authorities to ensure school offerings close to home even when the number of pupils is declining.

The 9th School Law Amendment Act of November 5, 2013 (GV. NRW. P. 618) created legal regulations for inclusion in schools.

The 10th School Law Amendment Act of April 10, 2014 (GV. NRW. P. 268) mainly affects the vocational college .

With the 11th School Law Amendment Act of March 25, 2015 (GV.NRW. P. 309), the conversion of school types was facilitated and the strict commitment of teachers to the school credentials was relaxed.

With the 12th School Law Amendment Act of June 25, 2015 (GV. NRW p. 499), the legislature reacted to a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of March 13, 2015, according to which the general headscarf ban for teachers is not compatible with the Basic Law . The court had declared the privilege of “representation of Christian and occidental educational and cultural values ​​or traditions” enshrined in the School Act as unconstitutional discrimination against others for religious reasons. There is no viable justification for preferring Christianity or Judaism .

The Service Law Modernization Act (Art. 11) of 14 June 2016 (GV. NRW p. 310) and the Inclusion Principles Act (Art. 5) of 14 June 2016 (GV. NRW p. 442) contain specific changes to the School Act.

The law on the new regulation of equality law of December 6, 2016 (GV. NRW. P. 1052) has also made minor follow-up changes to the School Act. They concern the contact person for gender equality issues, who can now be ordered in all schools.


Since 2006, “Reverence for God” has been anchored in Section 2 Paragraph 2 of the School Act as the learning objective. This statement corresponds literally to the constitutional text in Article 7, Paragraph 1 of the state constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia. This alleged violation of the separation of church and state led to clear criticism. In 2011, for example, the “Sozis für Laicismus” initiative addressed the MPs. The initiative proposed the following amendment: "Respect for human dignity, the unconditional acceptance of human rights and the willingness to arouse social action is the primary goal of education." It was also criticized that the current school law allows publicly financed schools, non-denominational schools or to reject non-denominational students or to oblige them to take part in religious education. The initiative also suggested deleting the first sentence of Article 12, Paragraph 3 of the state constitution (“Primary schools are community schools, denominational schools or ideological schools”). An initiative of the Group of the Left is in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia , however, pushed all other fractions with unanimous rejection.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ GV. NRW. P. 102
  2. See: Christian Jülich , School Legislation in North Rhine-Westphalia - A Review. In: Brockmeyer / Hamacher: School between law, politics and planning. Festschrift for Siegfried Tiebel . Paderborn 1982.
  3. For the history, see Christian Jülich , Uniform State School Act for North Rhine-Westphalia - An overdue step: legal adjustment, continuity and school reform. North Rhine-Westphalian Administrative Gazette (NWVBL), issue 12/2004
  4. ^ GV. NRW. P. 394
  5. ^ GV. NRW. P. 486
  6. ^ GV. NRW. P. 224
  7. ^ GV. NRW. P. 863
  8. ^ GV. NRW. S. 2011
  9. Van den Hövel in: SchVw NRW 2013, p. 19
  10. ↑ On this van den Hövel in: SchVw NRW 2015, p. 124
  11. ^ Karlsruhe overturns Christian privilege in the school law . Welt online from March 13, 2015. See also SchVw NRW 2015, p. 191
  13. LT-Drs. 15/3532 of December 13, 2011; Plenary minutes 15/51 of December 22, 2011.


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