Municipalities are responsible for providing free primary and lower secondary education to all children and young people residents. Children usually begin attending school when they turn 6 years old and will spend 7 years in primary school, followed by 3 years in lower secondary school.
Children who will be staying in Norway for more than three months have the right and obligation to attend school, regardless of whether they hold a Norwegian Identification number. They will be assigned to a school based on their address, but parents can apply for their children to attend another school.
Public schools are free of charge, and teaching is conducted in Norwegian, with girls and boys in the same classes. Newly arrived pupils in grades 3-10 may enter adapted language-training groups, and pupils have the right to adapted education in Norwegian until they are proficient enough to follow the standard curriculum.
English tuition begins in the first grade, and a second foreign language becomes mandatory at upper secondary level for pupils who have opted for the higher education entrance qualification. It is common for newly arrived non-Norwegian speakers to attend a language center for up to 6 months before starting at their local school. While attending the local school offers many advantages, including being close to friends and walking together, pupils can apply to attend another school.
Read more on Welcome to Oslo website (link).
If you are at work outside of school hours, which most Norwegian parents are, your children can attend something called Aktivitetsskolen (AKS) (that’s Norwegian for “activity school”) in Oslo, or SFO (Before-and-after school program) in the rest of the country. This is an activity offer before and after school, and during some of the school holidays.
Norwegian high school
High school (or A-levels) are also free in Norway, except from private alternatives such as IB (International Baccalaureate), which is taught in English. The costs for an IB program are usually around NOK 6500 - 10 000 a year, depending on which school you attend. You can also attend IB at some public high schools and middle schools, see the complete IB list here. In Oslo there are also Lycée Francaise d’Oslo and Deutsche Schule Oslo.
Kindergarten (barnehage in Norwegian) is a voluntary educational program for children below school age. Your child can attend either a municipal or private nursery. In Oslo, more than 90% of all children attend kindergarten.
Read more on Welcome to Oslo website for information about kindergarten admission, cost and opportunities (link).
The main language spoken is Norwegian, but with over 200 nationalities presented, employees are trained to meet the children's need for extra care and support when they do not know the language.
Maximum price for kindergarten (link) attendance in Norway is NOK 3050 a month. This applies to both municipal and private nurseries. You pay an extra price for food offered, which varies from place to place.
The admission to Oslo’s kindergartens are allocated through a common application process administered by Oslo municipality. The main admission deadline is 1 March of every year with commencement the following August or September. You can apply at any time, also after the admission deadline. However, most kindergartens do not have vacancies to accept new children outside of the normal process. To apply for kindergarten in Oslo, check this website (link).
If living in another municipality, check the official municipality website for more information.