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.


Improving quality in early childhood education and care in the Netherlands

High participation rates and a strong focus on early intervention programmes for vulnerable groups reflect efforts to improve access and provide quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC). However, the quality of ECEC is sometimes too weak and the organisation of provision is fragmented. This chapter examines challenges and solutions for strengthening the quality of ECEC in the Netherlands. It analyses the governance, financing and structural and process quality of different ECEC services and identifies a need to strengthen the quality of ECEC through the development of a national curriculum framework, better skills for ECEC staff, and a move towards a more integrated approach to ECEC provision.


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