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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


6. Education and Training

Special feature

A distinctive feature of the Dutch education system is that it combines a centralized education policy with decentralized administration and management of schools. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science lays down statutory requirements for early childhood education, primary and secondary education and secondary vocational education. It also lays down the framework within which higher education institutions 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 (Paragraph 6.2). The aim of the Appropriate Education Act (2014) is that all children are placed in a school that fits their qualities and capacities.


The Equal Opportunities Alliance (Gelijke Kansen Alliantie) (only in Dutch), is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (2016). The Alliance promotes equal opportunities in education for all children (Paragraph 6.6). Central government, schools and municipalities try to prevent early school leaving. The Netherlands has a relatively low percentage of early school leavers (8,2%, January 2017). This means that the European standard of 8% has almost been reached (Paragraph 6.1). Government has initiated a website to stimulate digital citizenship of young people: a Dutch media literacy network called (Paragraph 6.8).