Quality of primary education

In the Netherlands the Education Inspectorate is responsible for monitoring the quality of education. More and more primary schools have adopted results-driven teaching. They set clear goals and encourage each pupil to perform to the best of their ability. The government is also investing in teachers and school heads.

More money for education

The government is investing heavily in education. Extra funding has been earmarked for primary education, secondary education and secondary vocational education. By 2015 annual investments will total €1.2 billion. Part of the money has been added to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science’s budget. The rest has been freed up by redeploying existing funds.

In primary education, the money is being invested in:

  • the professional development of teachers, school heads and administrators;
  • digital teaching materials;
  • identifying and challenging talented or gifted pupils;
  • more, and better, physical education;
  • reducing the number of pupils having to repeat a year;
  • reducing pressure of work by employing caretakers and classroom assistants;
  • further improving education.

Focus on talented pupils in primary and secondary education

Dutch pupils do well in school. But some of them get bored, and don’t perform as well as they could. Schools need to challenge all their pupils to develop their talents to the full. This is why the government has introduced a special programme for talented and gifted pupils in primary and secondary education.

Combating language disadvantage

Early childhood education helps reduce language disadvantage in very young children.

Children with a language disadvantage in years 3 to 8 sometimes receive extra language lessons, usually in bridging or top-up classes.

Language and arithmetic

Children need a good grounding in language and arithmetic before starting secondary school. Benchmark levels for language and number skills describe what pupils must know at different stages in their school career.

Teacher 2020 Action Plan

The Teacher 2020 Action Plan aims to improve the quality of teachers and school heads. Teachers can register with the Teachers’ Register, which records their qualifications and activities undertaken to keep their professional knowledge up-to-date (like courses and study days). The Primary School Heads Register was introduced in June 2013.

The Learning Schools Programme

The Learning Schools Programme aims to improve education by encouraging schools to become learning organisations. Participating schools set ambitious goals, such as improved results for reading, arithmetic or technology, or support for dyslexia or difficult behaviour. Schools can also ask experts’ help to improve their organisational skills.