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European School in Laeken


Hello everybody,
Our seven year old son is at a local school in Schaerbeek and we now have the possiblity to send him to the European School in Laeken. We'll have to accept or reject the place by Monday and are unsure about what to do. Ideally we would like him to continue one more year at his current school (for practical reasons as his little brother is yet too small to go to the European School and logistics would be easier if they could both be at the same school) and change then for the school year 2014/2015. But I am afraid that we won't get a place anymore since the European Schools are so overcrowded. Also I am wondering about some practical aspects: They have got after school activities on offer but if I understand the site correctly, those activities take place in Laeken and I would have to pick him up there at the end of the activity. That's of course impossible with the distance between work and school....... Thanks for any advice you might have!


If you're a lifer, have no outstanding language issues, and the local options are good, stay local.

The ESs are a better option if you need a different mothertongue education, or are going back to wherever soon, or have crap schooling options locally.

You only get a place at an ES (at the moment) if you are entitled to it, so the option will remain open to you.

Apr 28, 2013 00:06

If you're happy with your son where he is, why move him?
Draw up a pros and cons list perhaps?
What would happen if you accepted a place and then withdrew it in a few months when you've had more time to think, surely you could just apply again next year?
Our children go to school with children of many nationalities who could go to European school but mainly for integration/locality reasons, they stay in the local system.

Apr 28, 2013 17:47
sarah i

My children are at Laeken and we are extremely happy with their education. They don't do after school activities there as indeed it would be complicated collecting them afterwards.
If you are an EU official, you should not have a problem to get a place next year - so I think if you wanted to keep your child in the local school for another year and start both children in european school at same time, you wouldn't have any difficulty.
If you are EN mother tongue - be aware that there are a lot of 'issues' at the moment as the UK is not seconding more teachers as they are well over quota due to many non EN mother tongue families getting places in EN (a similar problem arises in the FR section).
Re the suggestion of accepting a place and withdrawing it again in a few months - this would be possible, but it is unfair on the school who are trying to calculate their needs with respect to the number of children/teachers etc ... and also unfair on other parents who may be further down list re getting their choice of school.
Many people do this in the Belgian system (hedge their bets by trying and accepting many schools) and it causes a lot of complications and difficulties which are (in my opinion) unfair on the schools.

Apr 28, 2013 21:34