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Business Start-Ups and Self-Employment in Spain

Furthermore, in the German school system, students may have to repeat a year in the case of insufficient grades. Such grade retention occurred more than 150,000 times, which is about 1.8 percent of all students in the school year 2012/2013 (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2014a). Moreover, in the case of a lack of learning progress, school students are permitted to change the type of school, e.g. from the “Gymnasium” to the “Realschule”. Such switches are also possible the other way around, e.g. from the “Hauptschule” to the “Realschule” (Figure 1). In the school year 2010/2011, almost 100,000 students switched from one type of school to another, while the majority of students downgraded to a formally weaker school (Bellenberg, 2012). Besides this classical system of types of schools in Germany, there are also comprehensive schools (“Gesamtschule”) and special needs schools (“Sonderschule”) as well as many other special schools like Waldorf schools. While the “Gesamtschule” integrates the classical three types of schools in Germany (“Hauptschule”, “Realschule”, “Gymnasium”), the “Sonderschule” focuses on children with special needs like learning difficulties. In addition to the general education system, there are several higher secondary vocational schools (“Fachoberschule” and “Fachgymnasium”), which usually start at eleventh grade and finish after twelfth or thirteenths grade. Those schools focus on certain professional specializations like engineering or economics. The minimum entrance requirement for the higher vocational schools is a secondary school leaving certificate (“Mittlere Reife”) obtained in a “Realschule” or “Hauptschule”. Students can obtain a higher education entrance qualification (“Abitur”) after three years (if they performed very well at “Mittlere Reife”) or an advanced technical certificate (“Fachhochschulreife”) after two years. In the school year 2012/2013, there were approximately 8.5 million school students in the German general education system. Of those, 2.7 million children attended elementary school, while about 350,000 children were assigned to one of the special needs schools. Almost 2.4 million school students attended a “Gymnasium”, 1.1 million and 600,000 adolescents attended a “Realschule” or a Policy Performance and Evaluation: Germany 11 “Hauptschule”, respectively. Approximately 700,000 school students were enrolled in a comprehensive school. Additionally, there were more than 300,000 students in higher secondary vocational schools (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2014a).