Secondary Education

The Dutch system streams students earlier than elsewhere, not only in terms of academic ability, but also in terms of a future career. Children usually attend a secondary school from ages 12 to 18. 

There are three types of secondary schools in the Netherlands: 

  • VMBO (pre-vocational secondary education) 

  • HAVO (senior general secondary education) 

  • VWO (pre-university education) 

The school week is more dynamic than in many countries. Students start and end their day at differing times, according to their studies. An increasing number of Dutch schools offer their more academic students a bilingual education. In this system, about 50% of subjects are taught entirely in English. 

Dutch schools offer relatively little in terms of sports facilities or extra-curricular activities. Most Dutch children belong to a sports club outside of school.

Official Partners: Education & Careers