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Compulsory school from five years confirmed
School in Belgium will be compulsory from the age of five, after Dutch- and French-speaking authorities approved lowering the compulsory school age by a year.
The Wallonia-Brussels Federation parliament unanimously approved the move on Wednesday, after Flanders did the same last week.
The third and final year of nursery school will become compulsory from September. Some 97% of five year olds already attend.
While education policy in Belgium is devolved to each of the language communities, the compulsory school age is a decision for the federal government, which voted in favour of the move last year.
Cutting the school age from six to five aims to allow schools to detect and fix possible learning difficulties earlier, increasing children's chances of succeeding in primary education.
In the French-speaking system, from September, children in the final year of nursery school will be allowed up to nine half-days of unjustified absence per academic year, before sanctions are considered.