Description and earlier quality review of the Dutch educational system (primary and secondary education)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The chapter starts out with a brief overview of the structure of the Dutch education system. As compared to other national educational systems the Dutch secondary school system is strongly differentiated, featuring several separate school categories and sub-categories. Next, attention is paid to other important characteristics of the Dutch education system: freedom of education, the role of public and private education, funding, and the role of the education support structure. Specific features of the Dutch educational system are that it is a strongly stratified system, it has a very large section of government dependent private schools (about 2/3 of all schools), schools are quite autonomous and there exists a fairly large education support structure. Early evaluation reports were rather critical about quality and equity aspects of the Dutch educational system, despite relatively high scores on international assessment tests like TIMSS and PISA. A persistent problem is the phenomenon that the various compartments of secondary education seem to function as barriers for attainment of students with a lower SES status.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on educational quality : illustrative outcomes on primary and secondary schooling in the Netherlands
EditorsJ Scheerens, H. Luyten, J. van Ravens
Place of PublicationDordrecht, the Netherlands
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-0925-6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in education


  • IR-92599
  • METIS-276472


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