Cyprus secondary education begins at the age of 12, and can continue to the age of 18, however it is only compulsory to stay in secondary education up to the age of 15.
Secondary education from age 12 to 15 (Lower secondary school) is known as Gymnasium, whist education from age 15 to 18 (Upper secondary school) is known as Lyceum. All public school secondary education is provided by the state free of charge, but private school secondary education is not, and the cost of private education will vary depending on the chosen private school. Private secondary schools do maintain a considerable degree of independence in their operation and curricula, however the majority of them are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture and comply with certain curriculum and facility requirements mandated by law.
Students at public Gymnasium are taught foreign languages of English and French. All students take written exams in June. Upon completion of Gymnasium level, a school leaving certificate is awarded. Lyceum level is open to all pupils who have successfully completed the Gymnasium level.
If the student chooses to continue their education to the Lyceum level, they can choose between Unified Lyceum or Technical and Vocational Education (TVE). At Lyceum level students have more flexibility to form their own programs according to their aptitude and interests. Unified Lyceum students can select which 2 out of 7 languages they wish to study, those being; English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Turkish. TVE Lyceum students choose from faculties in theoretical and practical streams of; Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, Civil engineering - Architecture, Design, Woodwork - Furniture manufacture, Artistic studies, Clothing, Hairdressing, Agronomy or Hotel and Catering services.
Private secondary schools that teach in English will offer education based on a modified English National Curriculum. Subjects offered will vary depending on the school, but as a guideline they would include; Art, Drama, English, French, Geography, Greek, History, Information Communication Technology, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education, and Science, preparing the student for the GCSE/IGCSE and O-Level examinations, and a school leaving certificate approved by the Ministry of Education, and recognised by universities worldwide.
Further information and contact details for secondary schools, can be found at the Ministry of Education and Culture web site. Please note that at this time of writing, the website is only available in Greek, however a tip for you, if you go to google.com and search for 'cyprus ministry of education, it should come up first result, then beside the listing, you should see a translate button, click on it and it should take you to the website now translated into English. Alternatively you can download the English Guide to Education in Cyprus provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture in pdf format (may be incompatible with mobile devices). Please note this is a large file of 29 mb in size.