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Banks and bankers fleeing Brexit have fuelled the rise of the financial sector, but international school openings are lagging behind. You’ll need to hurry if you don’t want to miss out on a place at one of the few international schools which offer an education taught in English. 

Best schools in Frankfurt Germany

Education in Frankfurt 

The word ‘Frankfurt’ originally meant crossing but if you choose to live in central Frankfurt am Main, you will probably live on the north bank of the river in Holzhausenviertel or attractive Westend and only cross the bridge to grab some culture or go to the latest cool restaurant in Sachsenhausen. Most of the international schools are also north of the river. 

Frankfurt is relatively small (750,000 inhabitants) and traffic is manageable, so the international schools can be fairly easily reached by car, even if you live in one of the central neighbourhoods. The schools do tend to be outside the favourite residential spots but, again, the size of the city means that twice daily trips to the suburbs are do-able. A couple of the schools are relatively close to metro stations but although the shuttle is swift, be prepared to walk for 15 minutes at each end. 

The vast majority of Germans attend state schools for the excellent reasons that the educational standard is high and they’re free. Schooling starts age 6 and covers elementary, middle and high school. Another advantage (apart from the extra cash in your pocket) is that the schools - in particular the elementary sector - are almost all reachable on foot or by metro, if you live in central Frankfurt. 

However, this system presents a practical problem for international families with two parents at the coal-face (particularly if it is in the banking section) as they are usually only open in the mornings. Also, as they don’t operate all day, they tend not to offer any of the extra stuff that international parents are used to (sport, in particular). 

Before and after-school care for primary school children is often provided by onsite school clubs (Schulhort or Kita for kindergarten children) but beware they can stop at 4pm and always close by 6pm.  

Fees at international schools are fairly hefty (although cheap compared to neighbouring Switzerland), depending on the grade your child is in. Don’t be surprised if everything, apart from tuition, comes with an additional charge. 

Choosing a school in Frankfurt 

While German state education is extremely good, bear in mind it is very different from the American or English programmes when it comes to grading. So if you want your child to transition easily, you will probably need to consider one of the international schools, which operate the same grades system as back home. 

The international schools are low in quantity but high in quality, which is what you would expect from a German city where families expect their children to be well-taught and qualified. Consequently, they tend to have long waiting lists. There is always the possibility that some of the global education groups will leap at the opportunity to supply demand but opening schools takes time, so don’t hold your horses, just start the process of signing up as soon as you get an inkling that Frankfurt is on the cards. 

Best schools in Frankfurt 

These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them. 

European School Frankfurt

European school-developed curriculum/ European Bac; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,600 students

One of the thirteen European state schools, originally established in the 1950s. This one was opened, mainly for the children of employees of the European Central Bank but now caters to other expat families. Students are taught in their mother-tongue, in this case, German, English, French or Italian with a Spanish section being built up.

Frankfurt International School (FIS)

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,820 students

English speaking school on two campuses, one in Oberursel in two adjacent properties and the smaller, more rural Wiesbaden campus, a sister campus for pupils from age 3 to grade 8 (at this stage, they can move on to Oberursel to continue at FIS). Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Graduates progress to leading global universities, mainly in the UK (including Oxbridge) and US (including Ivies).

ISF International School Frankfurt Rhein-Main 

German curriculum/ Abitur/ SABIS/ IGCSE/ A Level/ AP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 850 students

Located between Frankfurt and Wiesbaden with impressive facilities for both sports and the arts. Part of the global SABIS school network (classes taught in English) and accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA) and the American National Council of Private Schools Association (NCPSA). The ISF High School Diploma is recognised by many US universities but graduates really do ‘go global’ when it comes to university paths.

Lycée Francais Victor Hugo Frankfurt 

French curriculum/ Brevet/ French Bac/ Abi-Bac; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,000 students

Rare for a member of the AEFE (French Agency for Education Abroad) network in offering a combined qualification from its host country. Accredited by the French Ministry of Education and also holding the status of Ersatzschule. Located in Praunheim in the north-west of Frankfurt, with approximately half the students holding French passports.

Metropolitan School Frankfurt 

 PYP/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 630 students

Dually accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS) and also has special authorisation from the City of Frankfurt as a state-approved private school. The school was founded by investment banker Peter Ferres, in 2007, who describes the school’s offering as ‘an international education with German roots.’ Now teaching students from over 40 countries from kindergarten to graduation.

SIS Swiss International School Frankfurt 

German curriculum; ages 5-11; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned

The latest offspring of the Swiss International Schools Group. Opened in 2020 with a reception class as well as the two first years of primary and intending to grow upwards annually until they reach the level of German Abitur and International Baccalaureate Diploma. Located north of Frankfurt in the Taunus area and teaching the curriculum of the federal state of Hesse.

Strothoff International School Frankfurt 

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma/ Abitur-Equivalent IB Diploma (Abi-IBDP); ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 350 students

Located in the horribly hard to spell and pronounce town of Dreieich, in the Offenbach region outside Frankfurt. Recently accredited by both the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Growing steadily, the aim is to double the present number of students. They come from over 40 different nationalities with American and British pupils heading for 40 per cent of the total and Germans nearly 20 per cent.

In Erlangen

Franconian International School

International Primary Curriculum/ MYP/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma/ PTC; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 700 students

Founded in 1998, now located in Erlangen, Nuremberg, two and half hours south of Frankfurt and teaching 45 different nationalities, although just under a third tend to hold German passports. Unusual in offering the PTC academic courses which have been designed to act as a bridge between sixth form students and businesses.

For more information on the schools above, please go to each school’s individual entry on the Good Schools Guide international search.



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