Access to education


Country Report: Access to education Last updated: 30/11/20


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According to the Compulsory Education Act,  all children in the Netherlands from the age of 5 to 16 should have access to school and education is compulsory. The abovementioned right to education is applicable to Dutch children as well as to children with refugee status or with subsidiary protection under similar conditions. 

The municipality where a child is housed is responsible for its access to education. In most cases, all children who are newcomers go to a regular school.  Schools receive a compensation for their costs to provide this specialised education. Furthermore, they can request for an additional financial compensation.

According to the recast Qualification Directive all minor children have the same access to education regardless their legal status. The Dutch Council for Refugees does not know of any obstacles in practice for children to access education. There are preparatory classes also known as international intermediate classes.

From the age of 16 and 17 children have the obligation to obtain a certificate in order to acquire access (a start qualification) to the Dutch labour market. Therefore, they need to obtain a diploma in secondary or vocational education. The conditions for Dutch nationals are the same as those for aliens.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation