Before starting school, all children in Germany have to go through "Schuleingangsuntersuchung" or school entry health tests. That's what the law in Germany mandates. Such examinations ensure that your child is ready for school. If your child does not take part in school entry health tests, the Health Office notifies the Youth Welfare Office. So, if you cannot keep the appointment, make sure you contact the Health Department in advance and arrange a new appointment. You will receive an invitation for school entry health tests by post. You can find out more in the section "When and where do the school entry health tests take place?".
Paediatricians of the Health Office carry out the tests. They are also known as school doctors ("Schularzt"). These are doctors specifically responsible for school children. During the tests, childcare professionals assist the doctors. The doctors check your child's health, physical development and behaviour towards others. The doctors inspect, for instance, whether your child can hear and see well, tolerate separation from parents for a certain period of time and work with scissors and pen. At the end of the examination, the doctors will share and discuss the results with you and give you a certificate. You need to present this certificate to enrol your child in school.
Please note: School entry health tests are not a substitute for the U9 early detection examination ("Früherkennungsuntersuchung U9"). You need to take your child to both tests. Soon you can learn more about these check-ups in our upcoming chapter "Preventive check-ups for children and young people".