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Netherlands: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

Children may go to primary school from the age of four, but attendance is not compulsory until the first school day of the month following the child’s fifth birthday. Most children go to primary school for eight years. Children who need a lot of extra support may go to a special school for primary education. Under the Appropriate Education Act that came into force in August 2014, schools have a duty of care to offer all pupils an appropriate place.

Primary education is regulated by the Primary Education Act (WPO). The areas of learning prescribed by the WPO are listed in section 5.2.1. Attainment targets define what pupils are expected to have acquired in the way of knowledge, understanding and skills by the end of primary school (see 5.2).

The WPO governs both mainstream primary schools and special schools for primary education. The latter type of school is intended for children with learning or behavioural difficulties, and children who need special facilities or extra assistance. Special schools for primary education have the same attainment targets as mainstream primary schools, but pupils are given extra assistance to achieve them. The classes have fewer children and more specialised staff. Pupils can attend special schools for primary education until their 14th birthday. They can then transfer to pre-vocational secondary education, practical training, other forms of mainstream education or special secondary education.

Special education has its own attainment targets (see Attainment Targets in Special Education). For more information on special education, see 12.2.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science publishes a national education guide for parents, carers and pupils containing information about what goes on at primary schools (‘Basisonderwijs 2013-2014. Gids voor ouders, verzorgers en leerlingen’; only in Dutch available).

School plan, school prospectus and right of complaint

Every school must have a school plan, updated every four years, describing the steps being taken to monitor and improve quality and indicating the school’s policy on educational matters, staffing and internal quality assurance. Through this document, the school accounts to the Inspectorate and the participation council for its policies. A school plan may cover one or more mainstream primary schools and special schools for primary education and one or more other schools which share the same competent authority (school board). It must be approved by the participation council.

The school prospectus, which must be updated every year, contains information for parents and pupils about the school’s objectives, how it intends to achieve them and what it has achieved. It also gives details about the voluntary parental contribution and the rights and obligations of parents and pupils. The prospectus has to be approved by the parent members of the participation council before publication.

The right of complaint supplements the existing opportunities for participation in decision-making and the management of the school. The school board is obliged by law to draw up a complaints procedure. Every school must also have a complaints committee with an independent chairperson.