Education law – how the constitution shape German school system

Education has a high priority in a democratic society. Today more than ever the public awareness is that a good education is an indispensable prerequisite for economic prosperity, personal self-determination, and participation in social and political life. In order to ensure that every adolescent receives a good education regardless of his or her parental home, the school system in this country is the responsibility of the state. The state exercises this responsibility primarily through educational law, i.e. by issuing laws and ordinances that regulate the organization of the school system.

What is the function of educational law?

The law has two essential functions that are of great importance for the design of the education system.

On the one hand, it creates legal certainty by defining responsibilities and binding “rules of the game” for everyone involved: It gives students, parents, teachers, civil servants, and politicians guidelines for their actions, sets commandments – the best known: compulsory schooling – and prohibitions and says what should happen if people do not adhere to them. In the event of a conflict, those affected can sue. Then the courts have to check whether the law has been violated or not – if, for example, a schoolgirl does not want to take part in physical education for religious reasons, but the school administration does not exempt her from compulsory schooling.

On the other hand, the law is also a motor for change: If state politicians want to reshape the school system, for example, to introduce a new type of school or to change the regulations for the transition to secondary level, the corresponding reform will be through parliamentary laws, especially the school laws and the ordinances and administrative regulations of the state ministries based on this are bindingly implemented. Then the law is the central means to achieve political and social goals. On the other hand, car services or businesses such as CarCover RV are not exempted from governing laws.

School law – who is responsible?

According to the German constitution, the 16 federal states are largely solely responsible for the school sector. In exercising the so-called cultural sovereignty, each country decides for itself how it organizes its school system and trains its teachers.