As from May 2011 German schools abroad that have been deemed worthy by a Federation-federal state inspection team will be awarded the “Excellent German School Abroad” quality seal in the form of a certificate signed by Federal President Christian Wulff.
With these certificates the Federal President will reaffirm the excellent reputation German schools abroad enjoy as places of education and inter-cultural exchange. The new quality seal for German schools abroad will also be a tribute to their efforts to raise standards with the aid of a comprehensive quality management process.
The 140 German schools around the world offer programmes leading to school leaving certificates recognized by Germany’s Standing Conference of Ministers of Education. They receive funding from the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Office of Administration’s Central Agency for Schools Abroad and the federal Länder (states).
In 2008 a new system of joint Federation-federal state inspections was introduced to assess the quality of German schools abroad. Using 72 different criteria, inspectors assess schools’ specific profile and performance. Every year some 30 joint inspections are carried out; 57 schools have been inspected to date. Re-inspections take place every five years.
Schools that have been inspected and deemed worthy may use the “Excellent German School Abroad” quality seal awarded by a special certificate. To enhance the seal’s value for the schools, as from May 2011 the Federal President will sign the certificate in person.
The 140 German schools in over 70 countries around the world currently have some 81,000 pupils, 60,000 of whom are not German. The schools regard fostering contact with their host-country’s culture and society as just as important a priority as providing an education for German children abroad and encouraging interest in the German language.