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Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

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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

Action programme ‘Tel mee met Taal’
'Tel mee met taal’  - only in Dutch available - (‘Count me in’) Is the title of the new action programme launched jointly by the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science, the Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport, and the Ministry of Social Affairs & Employment. The purpose of the new programme is to prevent people with limited language skills from becoming marginalised. Every functionally illiterate person is one too many. To address this issue, the government is focusing extra attention on Dutch language skills over the next few years. The action programme is designed to create synergy by linking areas in which language plays a key role: schools, libraries, community centres, neighbourhood outreach teams, debt advice bureaus, school dropout monitoring, reintegration programmes, youth care services and social benefits offices.

Numerous national and local organisations have teamed up to help people with a low level of education to speak and write better Dutch. For instance, as part of the Taal aan Zee (‘Language by the Sea’) programme in The Hague, over 250 volunteers give Dutch lessons to isolated foreigners. Their students include housebound women, asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants. And as part of the VoorleesExpress - only in Dutch available - (‘Storytelling Express’) scheme in around 100 municipalities all over the Netherlands, children with a poor command of Dutch receive weekly home visits from volunteers who read stories t them.

The challenge is to ensure that initiatives like these are accessible to all functionally illiterate members of the community, no matter where they live, where they come from or how old they are. The government wishes to empower municipalities, employers and the many gifted professionals and volunteers that are available to help tackle functional illiteracy at local level. This would also mean that all parties, including functionally illiterate people themselves, are challenged about their responsibilities. The government provides this action programme at national level as an incentive to municipalities to step up local efforts to promote literacy and reading skills.

For the duration of the programme, the ministry has earmarked an average of €18 million, of which 11 million is from the education budget, €5 million from the Social Affairs budget and €2 million from the Ministry of Health budget.

Amendment to the law
The Adult and Vocational Education Act was amended in 2015. Under the new arrangements, municipalities are empowered to offer more customised schemes for illiterate adults (see above, Adult and Vocational Education Act). In addition, promoting reading skills and combating functional illiteracy are a significant addition to the core functions of reading, literature, information and education in the new law on public libraries: the Public Libraries System Act (only in Dutch available). The government’s emancipation policy is aimed at boosting the economic independence of functionally illiterate women, including through the EVA (‘Education for Women with Ambition’) project.

Adult education support
Due to an amendment to the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB), municipalities have more resources from 2015 to provide tailor-made courses for illiterate adults. In addition, municipal funding will change so that municipalities have to make agreements at regional level about how available resources are to be allocated. To help municipalities and language providers to prepare for these changes, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) in partnership with the Adult Education Support Agency and the reading and writing Foundation have produced a support document entitled 'More opportunities: the transition from adult education to the social domain' - only in Dutch available.

The document covers a range of topics, including key information on how to implement and comply with the Adult and Vocational Education Act, guidelines on accounting for the use of adult education resources and quality assurance, and several up to date case studies from adult education practice.

Lifelong learning
By providing a broad and comprehensive package of measures, the government is seeking to encourage adults to pursue lifelong learning – even if they are working –.
These plans are outlined in the letter (only in Dutch available) to parliament on lifelong learning. Part-time students studying care, welfare and technical subjects will be given vouchers to buy either an entire course or study modules. In addition:

  • education and training institutions will offer more tailor-made programmes to part-time students;
  • it will be easier for employees to obtain official recognition for previously acquired knowledge and skills, and
  • secondary vocational education students will be able to obtain partial qualifications for completing part of their course. The plans submitted by Jet Bussemaker (Minister of Education, Culture & Science) and Lodewijk Asscher (Minister of Social Affairs & Employment, were approved by the Cabinet at the end of 2014.

 
Policy priorities in the past
The government has made extra funding available to tackle functional illiteracy through the 2012-2015 Functional Illiteracy Action Plan (only in Dutch available). One of its key measures is the emphasis on language and arithmetic classes for adults with a low level of education.

The 2012-2015 Functional Illiteracy Action Plan is a continuation of the 2006-2010 action plan (only in Dutch available).

Literacy and numeracy projects
The government is funding a range of projects aimed at improving people’s skills in Dutch and arithmetic. The organisations Steunpunt Taal en Rekenen (only in Dutch available) and the Reading and Writing Foundation are running these projects as part of the 2012-2015 Functional Illiteracy Action Plan, jointly with the Dutch public libraries, the ABC Foundation (only in Dutch available) and the Stichting Expertisecentrum ETV.nl (only in Dutch available) (a foundation with literacy expertise).

Examples of projects:

  • The Lees en Schrijf (‘Read and write’) programme on regional television.
  • The website Oefenen.nl, which offers practice exercises in basic language and arithmetic.
  • Taal voor het Leven (‘Language for life’). In six regions, language coaches give training to people who have trouble reading and writing. For these experimental projects, central government is making an annual €5 million available at the end of 2015.
  • Leeslicht.nl for books in simple language. People with a low level of literacy can also find books in simple language at the Makkelijk Lezen Plein (easy reading section) in public libraries.

The Reading and Writing Foundation has developed special materials for employers, which enable them to help staff who have trouble with reading and writing.

Click here (only in Dutch available) for the evaluation of the 2012-2015 Illiteracy Action Plan [link toevoegen], which will terminbate at the end of this year.