Secondary education is part of compulsory education. All children must attend school until they reach eighteen years of age. Following a part-time course from 16 years of age is also an option (15 years of age if the student has followed a second full year of secondary education). This is what is called.
Secondary education is split into four tiers, with four orientations:
- general education
- technical education
- vocational education
- art education
All these orientations provide access to higher education, except vocational education, for which a seventh year must be completed to obtain the Certificate of Higher Secondary Education).
More detailed information on these secondary education orientations (FR/NL) and the apprenticeships combined with work placement (FR/NL) is available at www.belgium.be.
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The central examining board enables students that have not followed or completed their secondary education to prepare for exams and obtain their 'Certificat de l'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur' (CESS, Certificate of Higher Secondary Education).