By the age of seven, all children in Germany are required by law to receive formal education. Compulsory full-time schooling concludes after nine school years, comprised of the primary level, followed by the secondary level I and II. The school-leaving certificate corresponds to the type of secondary school the children attend. Educational policy in Germany is drafted and enforced at the state level. Therefore, school forms are not the same in every German state.
On the Education Portal of the NRW Ministry of Education and Training, you will find detailed information concerning school legislation and the various school forms in North Rhine-Westphalia.