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Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Netherlands:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

Netherlands:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

Pupil assessment

Continuous assessment

Most primary schools report on pupils’ progress per subject or subject area (usually three times a year). Parents/carers are invited to the school on parents’ evenings, when they can look at their child’s exercise and text books, and discuss their progress, homework, tests, projects and out-of-school activities. Some schools express pupils’ progress by means of marks, while others provide a written assessment. Many schools use intermediate targets and tests to measure pupils’ progress. Such tests are often part of the teaching material, or are general tests.

Pupil monitoring system
Schools constantly strive to improve the quality of their teaching. Nearly all use a pupil monitoring system. This enables them to respond better to differences between pupils and to interpret the results of teaching at pupil, class and school level. Starting in the 2014/2015 school year, it iscompulsory for all schools to use a pupil monitoring system.

Pupil administration is well-established. All primary schools are connected to the education database (BRON in Dutch only), which is managed by the Education Executive Agency (DUO). Monitoring is facilitated through the pupil’s individual citizen service number and education number. Schools regularly pass on pupil information to the database to ensure that data are accurate and up to date. In addition, schools may keep individual pupil files, which are used to store test results, report marks, the results of special pupil assessments, progress reports and records of conversations with parents/carers. They sometimes also contain information about pupils’ social and emotional development, their level of motivation and any special language approach used.

Summative assessment

Primary schools monitor pupils’ progress by means of observation and testing. It is not yet compulsory for primary schools to conduct specific tests. However, as from 2015, all pupils in the final year of primary school will have to sit some form of attainment test.

The Cito primary school leavers’ attainment test is already well-established for year 8 and is widely used to determine which type of secondary education will be most appropriate for the individual pupil. Cito is the main provider of educational tests and examinations. Approximately 80% of Dutch schools currently use the Cito primary school leavers’ attainment test. The result of the test is often used to underpin recommendations for the pupil’s choice of secondary school. Schools also use this test to determine the outcomes of their teaching and compare them with the results of other schools.

The Cito test consists of 12 tasks, covering language skills, arithmetic and mathematics, study skills, and environmental studies The section on environmental studies is optional and therefore does not count towards the end result. The test consists of 290 questions, including environmental studies. The correct answers to the questions on language, arithmetic and mathematics, and study skills are added up and expressed as a total combined score. The score is then converted into a standardised score on a scale of 501 to 550, using a formula that is adjusted every year to take account of the degree of difficulty of the test. Based on this final numerical figure, the school recommends a particular type of secondary school and first-year class for the individual pupil.

At many schools, pupils in years 5 to 7 sit a diagnostic test (entreetoets), also developed by Cito. This test measures pupils’ basic skills in language, arithmetic and mathematics, and study skills. The results show how individual pupils perform compared with their peers, and how all the pupils at a school compare with their peers at all other schools. Based on these results, schools can decide to devote more time to certain areas of learning.

Schools also have a range of other, non-Cito tests at their disposal for measuring educational progress and pupil intelligence.

Pupils who lag behind
Schools may administer an adapted version (Eindtoets Niveau) of the primary school leavers’ attainment test to children who score substantially lower in language and numeracy than their peers. These tend to be pupils who are best suited to basic vocational training or middle-management vocational programmes.

Parents/carers

Parents/carers have no right to demand that a school exempt their child from taking the test. However, the school board may grant a pupil exemption in response to a request from the parents. The decision lies with the school board.

Advice on secondary education
When a pupil leaves primary school, the head teacher, together with the teaching staff, draws up a report advising on the most suitable type of secondary education for the child. This advice is based on the pupil’s aptitude and performance, including the child’s score on the primary school leavers’ attainment test. A copy of the report is sent to the child’s chosen secondary school. Primary schools usually discuss the advice with parents/carers, who receive a copy of the report. However, the advice is not binding, so it may in principle be disregarded and the child may apply to any type of secondary school. It is up to secondary schools themselves to decide which pupils to admit, and the advisory report from the primary school plays a key role in this regard. Secondary schools also base admissions on pupils’ score in the Cito primary school leavers’ attainment test.


Progression of pupils

Moving up to the next year
There are no statutory rules about when pupils may move up to the next year and when they may not. Individual schools lay down procedures for this in their own school plans or prospectuses. A pupil may occasionally have to repeat a year if their attainment and development lag behind, but the aim of ensuring an uninterrupted process of development means that this is avoided wherever possible.

In deciding whether a pupil may move up to the next year, the school considers the level attained by the child’s classmates. The school must inform the child’s parents/carers if a child has to repeat a year. If the parents/carers disagree with the school’s decision, they can file an objection following the school’s complaints procedure.


Pupil numbers                                         

Approximately 17.5% of pupils take longer than eight years to complete primary education (Education Inspectorate's report 2012/2013; only in Dutch available). Most pupils have to repeat a year in the lower years of primary education. Almost every primary school has pupils who have to repeat a year: the schools where this does not happen account for only 4% of the total.

In addition, there are pupils who fast-track their way through primary school. According to the Education Inspectorate’s report for 2012/2013, 6.5% of the pupils attended primary school for less than eight years. These are the students that enter secondary education well before they are 12 years old.

The diagram indicates the number of pupils completing primary education at the standard rate or at a slower or faster rate.

Percentage of pupils that repeat or accelerated a year the Netherlands.jpg

 Source: Education report 2012/2013 (only in Dutch available)

Certification

After completing primary education, pupils do not receive a certificate but an advisory educational report describing their level of attainment and potential and advising on the most suitable type and level of secondary education. See Advice on secondary education in this section.