Updated : Sep 03, 2020 in

dutch school system

dutch school system

The Netherlands has a huge variety of schools to choose from. Education is compulsory for children from the age of 5 till the age of 16, but most children start their primary education when they are 4. If a diploma is not obtained after turning 16, school is compulsory until a diploma is obtained or until the age of 18 has been reached.
The atmosphere at Dutch schools is pretty informal, with less authority given to teachers than in many other countries. For example, it is not unusual for pupils and teachers to call each other by their first names. How teachers and pupils address each other varies per school and even per teacher. This informal atmosphere is also seen in another aspect of school life: children don’t wear school uniforms.

In order to find a Dutch primary or secondary school, the website of your municipality is probably a good place to start. Unfortunately, these websites are likely to be in Dutch only. Nonetheless, they will provide you with a list of schools in the region. Please find below a list of words that will be useful in your school search.
How to know what schools are in your area and are best suitable for your child.

Dutch school system
The Dutch International Schools are spread throughout The Netherlands. Find your school here.
International Departments in Primary Schools cater for the age group of 4 to 11/12 years of age.

After completing primary school, pupils move on to one of three types of secondary education: pre-vocational secondary education (VMBO), senior general secondary education (HAVO) or pre university education (VWO). Secondary education prepares pupils for secondary vocational education (MBO), higher professional education (HBO) or university education. In the lower years of secondary school, pupils follow a broad curriculum. Pupils in the upper years of HAVO and VWO choose one of four subject combinations. Pupils in the upper years of VMBO-T choose one of four sectors, while those in other VMBO programmes choose one profile from a total of 10.
All national exams for this school year have been cancelled, education minister Arie Slob has decided in consultation with the .

Though Western European nations are easing coronavirus restrictions as death and infection rates fall, some experts fear an over-hasty relaxation could bring a second wave.
It was the first to close again after the Netherlands, which has reported more than 46,000 COVID-19 cases and 5,977 deaths, reopened elementary schools on May 11 at reduced capacity as part of a gradual lifting of lockdown measures.

Generally the summer holidays start at the end of June or early July and run until late August/early September. Aside from the various public holidays throughout the year, there are further breaks in October (1 week), Christmas (2 weeks), Spring/February (1 week), and Easter/April (1 week).
Please note, not all international schools will follow this same pattern.