Enrollment in school

Five-year-old children need to be enrolled in pre-school education, which lasts one year and can be provided in kindergarten or school. Usually, children enter the first grade at the age of 6 or 7. All children of compulsory school age – regardless of their status – have the right to access free primary and secondary education in Bulgaria.


The school year begins on 15 September or, if it is a day off, on the first working day thereafter.

The procedure for enrolling children with refugee and humanitarian status in pre-school or school education depends on the availability of documents for previous educational level.


  • If children are between first and sixth grade, have attended school in their countries of origin and have a diploma issued by an educational institution in their home country, their parents must submit a translated copy of the diploma and a completed application for enrolment in the school of their choice. The school may reject the application if there are insufficient vacancies in the classes. This means It may be necessary to submit an application to other schools. If the child has a class diploma between the 7th and 12th, an application for enrolment is submitted to the Regional Department of Education. Children up to sixth grade do not need to pass additional exams during the school year. Children in seventh grade must take an exam in Bulgarian language, and those between eighth and 12th grade must pass in addition to the exam in Bulgarian language and exams in several other school disciplines, including history, literature and geography.
  • If the child does not have a diploma from his country of origin, the parents apply for enrollment in the Regional Department of Education. This institution directs the child to a specific school with a recommendation for the class in which he should be enrolled. After a conversation with the child, a committee in the school itself makes the final decision about the particular class and class in which the child should participate. The child cannot be enrolled in class, which is three years lower than that corresponding to his age. Enrollment is possible throughout the school year except for the last 45 days. Children from first to fourth grade are exempt from validation of previous knowledge. Older children must validate knowledge in all subjects for the previous class from the one in which they are enrolled until the end of the school year. They are allowed to carry over the validation of a maximum of three subjects to the following year.

Additional training in Bulgarian language

Children with refugee or humanitarian status are entitled to additional Bulgarian language classes at school. It is necessary for the parent to write an application to the school principal. The committee that spoke to the child upon admission assessed the need for additional language training. If there is a sufficient number of applicants, a group is formed within the school, and if not, the children are directed to another nearby school.


Compass for refugees
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