Primary school

Background and policy

It is an 8-year primary school for students between the ages of 7 and 15. At the request of parents, a child who turns 6 in a given calendar year may also start compulsory schooling instead of preprimary class (zerówka).

Types of facilities

Primary education in an 8-year school which includes two stages:

  • grades 1-3 (early education),
  • grades 4-8, where subject-by-subject instruction is mandatory.


Public primary schools are free of charge.


Primary school education is compulsory.

In Poland, child’s compulsory schooling begins at the beginning of the school year in the calendar year in which the child turns 7 years old and lasts until the completion of primary school, but no longer than the completion of 18 years of age. 

Enrollment process

In Poland, the admission of students arriving from abroad to schools is a continuous process that takes place throughout the school year. According to the regulations, a student arriving from abroad is qualified for the appropriate class or semester and admitted to:

  • A public primary school, defined within a specific zone of residence, is obligated to admit a student residing within its boundaries, provided the admission is supported by the child’s previous educational records. If admission to the local primary school is not feasible, the school’s administration must recommend another school that can admit the child.
  • A public primary school other than the one associated with the student’s place of residence – based on documents on the child’s previous education, provided the school has available spaces.

The main enrollment process for primary schools for the next school year begins in March every year. However, it is possible to enroll in school at any moment during the year, but in that case, it is only based on available spaces.

How to enroll a child in school

  • A child may be enrolled in school by a parent, guardian, or another person who has custody.
  • Collect documents from your child’s previous education (certificates, diplomas, etc.). If you do not have them, write a statement of the total years of education completed with an indication of the institution the child attended.
  • There is no need to translate the documents into Polish.
  • Contact the Polish school of your choice and submit an application for admission to the school. The application for admission of your child to the school can be written by hand or on a form available on the website of the selected school.
  • The decision on admission is made by the director of the school.
  • The primary school located in the same district as a child’s residence is required to enroll the child, provided that there are available spaces.
  • If there are no available spaces in a particular grade at the school of your choice, contact the municipality where you live and ask for a school where your child will be able to study.
  • For information on the availability of places in primary or secondary schools, contact your municipality. A list of all primary and secondary schools is available in the Register of Schools and Educational Institutions.
  • A child’s lack of Polish language skills is not an obstacle to school admission.
  • A student from Ukraine who does not know Polish sufficiently is entitled to additional Polish language classes of no less than 6 hours per week; the school organizes these classes.
  • The school may also create so-called preparatory classes. Students in the preparatory classes have at least 6 hours a week of Polish language, the remaining hours can be freely allocated by the head teacher to carry out activities that support the students’ adaptation and prepare them for further education in regular classes.
  • Students and their parents can count on psychological and pedagogical assistance in connection with the migration experience, provided by psychologists, pedagogues, and educational therapists, among others.

The headmaster may expel a student when: the child or pupil/student no longer resides in the area in which the nursery, other preschool education setting, school, or educational institution is located, or the child or pupil has ceased to attend classes in a nursery, pre-primary class, other preschool education setting, school, or institution within a period of two months for at least 50% of school days.


The eighth-grade examination, also known as “egzamin ósmoklasisty”, is a three-part written test conducted in the final year of schooling. This exam assesses the knowledge and skills outlined in the examination requirements for three subjects: Polish language, mathematics, and a modern foreign language (which could be English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, or Italian).

For the 2024/2025 school year, Ukrainian students will be tested in mathematics and a modern foreign language.