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Netherlands 2016

Foundations for the Future

image of Netherlands 2016

How can the Netherlands move its school system “from good to great”? This report draws on international experience to look at ways in which the strong Dutch school system might go further still on the path to excellence. Clearly the Dutch school system is one of the best in the OECD, as measured by PISA and PIAAC and is also equitable, with a very low proportion of poor performers. The report therefore proposes an incremental approach to reform, building on strengths while responding to some emerging challenges. The Netherlands should strengthen the quality of early childhood education and care, revisit policies related to early tracking with more objective testing and track decisions, and enhance the permeability of the system. It should develop the professionalism of teachers and school leaders through enhanced collective learning and working, while at the same time strengthening accountability and capacity in school boards. This report will be valuable not only for the Netherlands, but also to the many other education systems looking to raise their performance who are interested in the example of the Netherlands.

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Foreword

The highest performing education systems across OECD countries combine excellence with equity. The excellence of the Netherlands is evidenced by its strong average performance and few low performers in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). The commitment to further improve education quality is visible at all levels of the education system and beyond. Decentralisation encourages innovative educational practice and facilitates a central government approach that is backed by a widespread commitment to evidence-based policy making. Decentralisation is effectively balanced by strong accountability mechanisms.

English

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