Registering a child with a secondary school

Do you want to register your child with a secondary school? As of the academic year 2023-2024 (from August 2023) registration will happen within a central registration week. You will have to register your child within the period from 25 to 31 March. To register your child, you need to provide a number of data about them. For example, their burgerservicenummer – BSN (citizen service number).

Last updated on 1 August 2023

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Visiting an open day at a secondary school

Would you like to visit  an open day at a secondary school with your child? Open days vary by school. For details, consult the website of the secondary school you want to visit with your child.

Register your child at any time of the year

Are you soon moving house and does your child have to go to a new secondary school? If so, you can register your child at any time during the year.

Conditions for registering a child with a secondary school

Do you want to register your child with a secondary school? Please remember the following:

  • First, consult the website of your municipality to see whether you and your child have the right to choose a secondary school yourselves. In some municipalities, school authorities have made agreements on how pupils are divided among secondary schools. Sometimes, for example, it is done by a lottery system.
  • The secondary school administration will determine whether your child will be admitted. When doing so, the school administration, among other things, looks at the recommendation issued by the child’s primary school (in Dutch). This states the level that is the best fit for your child. For example, VMBO (pre-vocational secondary education), HAVO (higher general secondary education) or VWO (pre-academic education).
  • Sometimes, a secondary school will be full and there will be no space for your child. You may register your child with multiple secondary schools.
  • Does your child need extra support? In some cases, a secondary school cannot offer this to your child. The school may then decide not to admit your child. However, if this occurs, the secondary school does still have a duty of care for your child. The school will then consult with you to search for another suitable place. For example, by registering your child in a different secondary school or in a school for special-needs secondary education.

Proof of identity and burgerservicenummer (BSN) upon registration

When you register your child with a secondary school you need to provide your child’s burgerservicenummer – BSN (citizen service number) (in Dutch).

Also, take your child’s proof of identity with you. Is your child going to a new secondary school? If so, please take the proof of deregistration with you.

Your child will be given an onderwijsnummer (education number) upon registration. This number is usually the same as the BSN. Does your child not yet have a BSN? Then they will receive a temporary education number through the school (in Dutch).

Once your child is registered in the Basisregistratie Personen – BRP (Personal Records Database) (in Dutch) and receives a BSN from the municipality, you must inform the school.

Laws and regulations (in Dutch)

Wet voortgezet onderwijs 2020, hoofdstuk 8

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