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.



Putting the spotlight on school leaders in the Netherlands

The quality of school leadership is especially critical in a highly decentralised school system, as in the Netherlands, but it has received relatively little policy attention. Although school leaders usually perform to standard, the evidence suggests that if the Netherlands is to realise its educational ambitions, school leaders’ competences need to be further strengthened. This chapter examines the challenges and solutions for developing high quality school leaders in the Netherlands. It highlights the need for a strategic approach to leadership development that rests on professional collaboration and a culture of continuous improvement. It examines how further developed competence profiles for school leaders could support professional development. In addition, this chapter discusses the need for capacity building of school leaders and leadership teams for conducting school self-evaluations, and for supporting the development of schools into learning organisations.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error