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04 Jul. 2024

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School education in Poland: what are the rules for Ukrainian children in 2024 and do their parents face fines and cancellation of payments?

Education
For refugees
Poland
School education in Poland: what are the rules for Ukrainian children in 2024 and do their parents face fines and cancellation of payments?

Poland has introduced a number of changes for refugees from Ukraine, some of which relate to children and school education. Here's everything you need to know about fines for not attending Polish schools, financial assistance for children and the rules of studying in Ukrainian educational institutions for refugees in Poland

Legal advice on education and employment for Ukrainians abroad
Legal advice on education and employment for Ukrainians abroad
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Polish authorities have introduced amendments to the law on assistance to Ukrainian refugees. Some of the innovations concern the attendance of local schools by refugee children. While previously the Polish authorities did not oblige Ukrainian children to attend local schools, the rules have changed. We will discuss how these changes will affect the obligations of parents and possible consequences for violating the new rules in the article below.

Read about all the new laws in Poland that came into force on July 1 in this article.

School and preschool education for Ukrainian children in Poland


According to Prawo.pl, Deputy Minister of Education Joanna Mucha said that since the beginning of the war, 3 million Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Poland, 43% of whom are children under 17. According to the Ministry of National Education, 75,000 children do not attend local educational institutions. However, 145,000 refugee children are already enrolled in Polish schools, and 34,000 in kindergartens.

Previously, all Ukrainian children could study remotely in Ukrainian schools, but with the adoption of new amendments to the law on refugee assistance, the situation has changed. These changes are primarily due to the fact that the Polish authorities could not verify whether the children actually continued their studies in Ukrainian schools, as required by the law on compulsory school education.

The law on compulsory school education in Poland and penalties for its violation


Education in Poland is compulsory until the age of 18. Failure to fulfill the obligation to attend school is subject to enforcement. A student is considered to be in default if he or she fails to attend half of the school days in a month without a valid reason.

In the event of a violation, a warning is sent to the parents, after which an application for enforcement may be filed. The fine for failure to fulfill the obligation may reach PLN 10,000 and may be applied multiple times, but the total amount may not exceed PLN 50,000. Unpaid fines are canceled if the obligation is fulfilled. However, these rules do not apply to Ukrainian students studying remotely in Ukraine.




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Are Ukrainian children obliged to attend Polish schools?


The Polish government grants refugees the right to decide whether to attend local schools. It is enough for parents or guardians to submit an application to the territorial community that the child will continue online education in the Ukrainian education system. However, such a decision entails a number of consequences, including the loss of the right to receive child benefits.

You can download a sample declaration of continuation of education of students in the Ukrainian education system by following this link.

Loss of benefits for non-attendance at Polish schools: what rules apply?


The new rules stipulate that parents must enroll their children in Polish schools if they want to retain the right to benefits. This includes family allowances (Act of November 28, 2002), education allowance (Act of February 11, 2016 on the obligation of annual preschool and school education) and a one-time payment of 300 PLN for the purchase of school supplies.

Local authorities providing benefits will require proof that children actually attend a Polish school.

How do I enroll my child in a Polish school?


To enroll your child in a Polish school, you need to submit an application to the school principal. If there are no places at the school, you should contact the governing body. The class is determined on the basis of documents issued by a foreign school or parental declarations on the total number of years of study.

— Detailed instructions and answers to common questions about enrolling a child in a Polish school are available here.
— A template of the declaration on the total length of study of a student in the Ukrainian education system can be downloaded here.

You can get advice on the education of Ukrainians abroad on the Visit Ukraine portal. Our lawyers can answer all your questions about the current rules for admission to certain educational institutions, as well as help with the preparation of documents for admission and study abroad. To order a specialist consultation, please follow this link.

We remind you! Upon returning to Ukraine from abroad, children can continue their education in Ukrainian schools even if they attended educational institutions in other countries instead of distance learning. Read this article to learn how children can resume studying at a Ukrainian school after returning from abroad.

Photo: Freepik


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Ihor Usyk is the Head of Legal Department at Visit Ukraine


A highly qualified education lawyer will help you deal with all the intricacies of the admissions campaign, the specifics of the exams and the package of documents required for admission to a university. Order a specialist consultation at the link.




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