Secondary education: fees and other educational costs

Education is free and open to all, so parents do not pay fees for their children’s secondary education and most textbooks are provided by the school. Every secondary school pupil costs the government about €7300 a year.

Learning materials

Schools provide their pupils with most textbooks and other learning materials. However, this does not include supplementary items such as atlases and dictionaries, so parents are required to buy these as specified by the school. 

Adapted learning materials

Schools also provide adapted learning materials for disabled pupils, including those with a visual impairment or dyslexia. Examples include:

  • audio books;
  • Braille books;
  • large-print editions.

Educational expenses

Certain educational expenses have to be met by parents. They include:

  • gym clothes and shoes;
  • atlases;
  • dictionaries;
  • calculators.

Voluntary parental contribution

Schools may ask parents to pay a voluntary contribution towards such items as:

  • school camps;
  • excursions;
  • cultural activities. 

It is entirely up to the parents whether they wish their child to participate in these activities and are therefore prepared to pay the contribution.

School transport costs

In some cases, parents may be entitled to an allowance to help with school transport costs if their child is disabled. Information is available from the school or local authority.

Fees for over-18s

School fees have to be paid if the student:

  • is 18 or older on 1 August;
  • is in full-time adult general secondary education (VAVO) or secondary vocational education (MBO).