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Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

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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

National policy

The legislature is made up of parliament (the States General), the monarch and the ministers. The monarch and ministers form the executive. Under the Constitution, the ministers, and not the monarch, are responsible for acts of government. The ministers are also politically responsible for what the monarch says and does. This is known as ministerial responsibility. It also means that the monarch cannot be forced to abdicate, whereas ministers can be forced to resign.

The monarch has a number of duties as the head of state:

  • all Acts of Parliament must be co-signed by the monarch and a minister. In doing so, the minister assumes responsibility for the Act and the monarch gives it the royal assent;
  • the monarch plays an important role in the formation of new governments, in part by appointing one or more formateurs to investigate possible coalitions and then an informateur to form a government;
  • the monarch is President of the Council of State;
  • the monarch delivers the Speech from the Throne every year. 

There are two Houses of Parliament: the Senate (upper house), with 75 members, elected by the provincial councils. and the House of Representatives (lower house) with 150 members elected by universal suffrage of all Dutch nationals over the age of 18.

The main task of the 13-strong cabinet is to coordinate government policy. It may also appoint state secretaries (comparable to junior ministers), of which there are currently seven. A government’s term of office usually lasts four years.

The current Prime Minister is Mark Rutte (VVD). The Deputy Prime Minister is Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA). The current Minister of Education, Culture and Science is Jet Bussemaker (PvdA), whose portfolio covers:

  • early childhood education;
  • primary education;
  • secondary education;
  • vocational education, including early school leavers;
  • special education and policy on appropriate education (coordinating role);
  • media;
  • gender equality (including gay rights).

The current State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science is Sander Dekker (VVD), whose portfolio covers:

  • policy on teachers and teacher training, professional development and conditions of employment of education personnel;
  • higher education (universities and HBO); 
  • research and knowledge; 
  • lifelong learning;
  • culture;
  • the Cultural Heritage Inspectorate; 
  • any other issues with which he is tasked by the minister.

Agricultural education falls under the remit of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp (VVD).Agricultural education falls under the remit of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp (VVD).


Provincial government

The Netherlands is made up of 12 provinces. Each province is administered by a Provincial Council representing the entire population of the province. It is elected directly by the province’s voters for a four-year term and its members elect the Provincial Executive, also for a term of four years, from among their ranks. This body has three to nine members, depending on the size of the province. The Provincial Councils also elect the members of the Senate (upper house of parliament). The Provincial Executive is responsible for day-to-day administration and, for example, law enforcement in the province. The King’s Commissioner (in Limburg also referred to as the Governor), who is appointed by the Crown for a period of six years, presides over both the Provincial Council and the Provincial Executive.

Municipal government

There are 403 municipalities in the Netherlands, each administered by a Municipal Council and a Municipal Executive (composed of the mayor and aldermen). Municipal Councils are elected every four years by the inhabitants of the municipality. The number of aldermen appointed by the Municipal Council depends on the size of the municipality. The mayor chairs both the Council and the Executive. The Executive is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the municipality and for implementing decisions taken by central government and the provincial authorities.

Overall responsibility for the education system lies with the State, specifically the Minister of Education, Culture and Science and the State Secretary (junior minister) for Education, Culture and Science. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science lays down statutory requirements for early childhood education, primary and secondary education and secondary vocational education, and has overall control of adult general secondary education (VAVO). The government lays down the framework within which higher education institutions (higher professional education and universities) have to operate, but it is the responsibility of the competent authority of each institution to expand on the government framework in the teaching and examination regulations. The provincial authorities’ role in education is limited to supervisory and legal tasks. The administration and management of primary and secondary schools and schools for secondary vocational education is locally organised.