Expat Survival Guide 2021 - The Netherlands

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• The OECD international rankings for school systems puts the Netherlands as one of the highest in performance. • The Dutch rank highly in many fields of education. Over 48% of Dutch 25-34 year hold a degree in higher education, which is significantly higher than the OECD average of 44%. • The Netherlands is among the world’s top countries for equity in education opportunities. • Children of all nationalities are (under a learning obligation) at 5 years old for 12 years of full-time education, and one or two years part-time (until achieving a diploma). • Less than 1% of the 1.5 million primary school children attends a private (fee-paying) Dutch school.



• International education is available at both state-funded and private schools throughout the country, and nineteen primary schools have implemented bilingual education. • More than 1.150 primary schools in the Netherlands offer English classes from group 1 (age 4), and about another further 119 teach German, French or Spanish. From group 7 (age 10) all schools are obliged to teach English as a subject. • Schools following particular religious or pedagogic principles have had equal state funding as public schools since 1917.

• Every city/town has its own school application policy. Inquire as soon as you can with the municipality and/or school of your preference how it works in your area. • In most cities the schools work with a waiting list and you’ll need to sign up as soon as possible. Some cities, like Amsterdam, Haarlem and The Hague, have a different policy; a school lottery. • Openbare schools (which are run by a foundation that has originally been set up by the municipality) are technically not allowed to refuse admission, unless full. • On the schools’ websites they announce when you can visit the school (open LOCAL OR INTERNATIONAL? day/info session). Most schools don’t give private appointments. • Your finances, location, the age of your • On www.scholenopdekaart.nl (in Dutch) children, and how long you are likely to you can find more information about stay in the Netherlands are factors to the schools, as well as their results. consider when selecting a school. Here you can also find a link to the • Many companies reimburse international school inspection reports. The visual school fees as part of your relocation representation of green (good), orange package, and reimbursement could be (weak), and red (very weak) will give exempt from income tax. some idea of performance. Note that • TIP: While teenagers might appreciate this applies to state-funded schools and the educational and social continuity Dutch international schools only. There provided by an international school, is no official ranking of schools. younger children might get a greater sense of belonging by attending a local school if you plan to stay for a while. SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONALS 2021 • THE NETHERLANDS • WWW.EXPATFAIR.NL


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