Private schools in Germany are divided into so-called „Ersatzschulen“ (substitute schools) and „Ergänzungsschulen“ (supplementary schools).
Supplementary schools offer teaching content that public schools and substitute schools do not offer (e.g. language schools, alternative practitioner schools or cosmetic schools). State-recognised qualifications cannot be obtained at supplementary schools. This requires the participation of the pupils in the external state examinations.
Substitute schools have to correspond to the school types of the public school system. In principle, they offer the same teaching content as public schools and are entitled to work according to their own teaching and educational methods, which are equivalent to public schools. They may have a special pedagogical, religious or ideological character. Those who attend a substitute school fulfil the compulsory schooling requirement.