Admission Requirements

Pupils are admitted to secondary school at the end of their primary schooling, at an average age of 12.

Decisions on admission are made by the competent authority (school board), which may appoint an admissions board to take such decisions under its aegis. The admissions board consists of the head and one or more teachers from the school. It may also include heads and teachers from primary schools. The head of the child’s primary school is required to draw up a report on his or her educational potential and level of attainment.

For vbo , there are no particular admission requirements, although every VBO school has an admissions board. Admission is open to pupils who have completed the final year of primary school or the last year at a special school where the syllabus is equivalent to that in mainstream primary schools.

Admission to individualised pre-vocational education (IVBO) is open to pupils aged 12 and over who have attended a mainstream primary, special primary and/or special secondary school. The admissions board makes recommendations or decisions on admission after perusing the educational report from the child’s school and a psychological report drawn up by a psychologist or educationalist.

For admission to mavo , havo and vwo , pupils must be assessed to establish their suitability. Where a MAVO, HAVO or VWO school shares a common first year with a VBO school, there are no admission requirements.

The commonest method of assessment is for pupils to be tested in at least the final year of primary school, using tests developed centrally to gauge pupils’ level of knowledge and understanding. The National Institute for Educational Measurement (CITO) has developed a primary school leaving examination, which is used by almost 70% of all Dutch primary schools (1996).