The access to education for child beneficiaries is equal to that of child asylum-seekers. This means that children immediately have the right to go to school and are obliged to receive schooling from 6 years old until their 18th birthday. Children have to be enrolled in a school within 60 following their registration in the Aliens Register. Classes with adapted course packages and teaching methods, the so-called “bridging classes” (in the French speaking Community schools: DASPA) and “reception classes” (in the Flemish Community schools: OKAN), are organised for children of newly arrived migrants, a category which includes children of beneficiaries of international protection. Those children are later integrated in regular classes once they are considered ready for it.
In practice, the capacity of some local schools is not always sufficient to absorb all non-Dutch speaking children entitled to education. During the school year of 2022-2023, hundreds of non-Dutch speaking children are on a waiting list to get access to the Flemish OKAN-classes. They might have to wait until September 2023 before they are able to get access to education. On the basis of numbers provided by some cities, approximately 550 students are on a waiting list and don’t have access to education.  These numbers concern all non-Dutch speaking students and not only children of beneficiaries of international protection.
 Vrt Nws, ‘Hundres of foreign speaking youngsters might wait until september to go to school’, 3 April 2023, available in Dutch at: http://bit.ly/3zBBNHn.