Primary schools

 “The role of the compulsory school, in cooperation with the home, is to encourage pupils' general development.“ From Article 2 of the Compulsory School Act.

The second level of schooling

  • Primary school is the second level of schooling. Primary education is compulsory, meaning that children and young people between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend.
  • Parents are obligated to register their children at a primary school and are responsible for their attendance. Application forms and further information can be obtained from the websites of most primary schools and local communities.
  • According to the Primary School Act, children and adolescents who have difficulties studying because of social and emotional problems are entitled to receive special support with their education.
  • Local communities provide specialist services for primary schools in the form of psychological, student and educational counselling. Arrangements differ between local communities. Schools refer cases to different departments with the approval of parents, and parents may, moreover, apply directly for assistance.
  • If a dispute arises between the guardians of a child and the school concerning a student, and no agreement is reached, either party may refer the case to the school council and subsequently to the Ministry of Education for resolution.
  • Primary education is divided into three levels. At the youngest level the students are in first to fourth years; the mid-level has students in the fifth to the seventh years; and the highest level, the level for adolescents, has students in the eighth to tenth years.
  • At primary school children remain in school for the duration of the school day, which is continuous, with breaks between classes and a lunch break. The school term is a minimum of 9 months per year, 180 school days.
  • Students in the upper classes of primary school can study through distance learning at secondary schools concurrent with their primary-school education. Educational decisions are made in consultancy with the school administration. Further information on distance learning can be obtained from the websites of secondary schools.
  • The education of children and adolescents in primary schools operated by the local communities is free of charge. On the other hand, there is a special tuition fee for children and adolescents in private schools. There are no waiting lists in the primary schools.

Rights of the disabled

  • Disabled children are entitled to primary school tuition where they are domiciled. Their education shall take place in the public schools with the necessary support service or in specialised school departments, according to the Primary School Act.

Disabled - Education and employment, island.is

Links of interest

Laws and regulations