Primary and secondary school

Oslo kommune is obligated to provide free public primary and lower secondary education to all children and young people residing in Oslo. Children shall normally start to attend school in the calendar year in which they attain the age of 6 years. The first 7 years children attend primary school (barneskolen), followed by 3 years of lower secondary school (ungdomskolen).

The right and duty to go to school

If the child will stay in Norway for more than three months, the child has the right and duty to go to school. Your child will be assigned to a school according to the child's address. Your child does not need to hold a Norwegian Identification number to get admitted, parents must contact the nearest school to register children. Find your local primary school or your local lower secondary school. It is possible to apply for a place at another school than your local one. There are many advantages of going to the local school. The children will be close to their friends, and walk together to school, visit eachother in their spare time etc.

Find information about the schools and admission in Oslo.

Public schools are free of charge, and girls and boys are in the same classes, and teaching is in Norwegian only.

Language in school

Lessons are given in Norwegian in public schools. If necessary, pupils have the right to adapted education in Norwegian at their local school until they are proficient enough to follow the standard education curriculum. In particular cases, students may study in their mother tongue for a short period.

Newly arrived pupils in grade 3-10 may enter adapted language-training groups. Adapted Norwegian education for newly arrived non-Norwegian speakers is organised according to the pupil's age and school background. It is common to attend a language centre for up to 6 months before starting at the local school. Read more about the adopted language education in Oslo here.


English tuition starts in the first grade in public funded schools. In lower secondary school, a second foreign language is an elective subject, but it becomes mandatory at upper secondary level for pupils who have opted for the higher education entrance qualification.

Before and after-school programme (AKS)

AKS is a programme for pupils from year 1-4. Children with special needs can attend until year 7. AKS is offered before and after school hours and during holidays (except from the month of July , Christmas eve and New Year's eve).

The purpose of the Activity School is to offer activities that contribute to childrens academic and social learning. Each school organizes AKS individually and the offered organized activities and meals may therefore vary.
All pupils are offered part-time participation free of charge year 1. Even though it is free, you still have to apply to attend. From year 2 the fee depends on the household's income, whether your child participate full-time or part-time, and weather the particular school offers free part-time participation.

AKS is both educational and fun, and a great place to get new friends.

You will get more information about AKS when your child is enrolled.

Vacation and days off

Public primary and secondary schools in Oslo have a set dates for holidays and days off for the whole year. Planning days are not listed as separate days off. They are included in the holidays and vacations on this page. AKS (activity school) is open during the school's holidays and public holidays except July, public holidays, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

See when public primary and secondary schools in Oslo have holidays and days off. (Only in Norwergian)

It is possible to apply for leave from school for up to two weeks (ten school days). It is up to the school to assess whether a student should be granted leave. The school can reject the application even if it is justifiable for the individual student to get time off. It is not possible to be granted more than 10 days of absence per school year.

Please note that an absence of more than 10 days leads to a risk of losing the child's place at school.

Read more about leave of absence (Only in Norwegian)

Oslo summer school

Oslo Summer school is a free activity programme for pupils in grades 1-10, and upper secondary education in Oslo. They offer a wide range of activities and places are distributed by lottery.

Check for activities and deadlines

Especially for newly arrived pupils:

Oslo Summer School, together with the Language Center, offers the Norwegian course for newly arrived students. During the week, students get to practice Norwegian through speaking, listening, reading and writing. There are two different courses Norwegian language training with swimming and Norwegian language training with outdoor life.

International schools in Oslo

International schools, particularly in the Oslo region, are very popular. There may be waiting lists, so it is recommended that you contact the school of your choice as early as possible. Foreign students are given priority over local students.International kindergartens and playgroups can be found in and around the Oslo region. A selection of primary and secondary schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes. Please note that these might charge school fees.



Lycée Francaise d’Oslo – René Cassin ( from kindergarten to upper secondary school


Deutsche Schule Oslo – Max Tau ( from kindergarten to upper secondary school