Here in the Utrecht region, you will find a generous selection of schools with a wide range of educational philosophies and practices. Children are truly put in the forefront here, supported to be competent, confident participants in the modern, connected, multi-disciplinary world we find ourselves in. In the Netherlands, most children start primary school (basisschool) the day after their fourth birthday, with many children transitioning from Dutch childcare centres. Children are required to attend after they turn 5. The school year begins in August and is broken up by numerous holidays (listed below). In the final year of Dutch primary school, parents, children and teachers decide together, with the help of a standardized national test (CITO), which type of secondary school is most appropriate.
Dutch secondary education
Children usually attend a secondary school (middelbare school) from ages 12 to 18. There are three types of schools:
VMBO: Pre-vocational secondary education
Havo: Senior general secondary education. A completed havo degree gives access to a University of Applied Sciences.
VWO: Pre-university education
Dutch schools are government funded and require only a small parental fee, if at all.