ACCESS NL > Education in the Netherlands > Dutch school system > Primary and secondary education > Who is the leerplichtambtenaar and why did I get a letter from this person?

Primary and secondary education

I am planning to stay here for a long time. Should I send my children to a Dutch or an international school?

I have a 14 year old daughter who is coming to live with me in the Netherlands. She does not speak any Dutch. Therefore, can you recommend a Dutch state school where my daughter can learn the language as well as being taught the normal academic subjects?

Do all international schools teach in English?

What are the principle aims of Dutch primary school education and what subjects will my child be taught?

I want to raise my children bilingually. Are there any Dutch schools that teach (partly) in English?

What are the options for my child’s secondary and higher education options in Dutch schools and universities?

I am moving to the Netherlands soon. I am considering home schooling for my children. Is this allowed in the Netherlands?

Who is the leerplichtambtenaar and why did I get a letter from this person?

The leerplichtambtenaar is an official in charge of checking that the rules regarding leerplichtwet (compulsory educational law) are followed.

According to Dutch law, schools are responsible for monitoring and controlling all absences of their children from school. They are legally required to inform the leerplichtambtenaar (official in charge) when any child misses more than sixteen hours of school over a period of four weeks. The school may also inform the leerplichtambtenaar if a child has been late twelve times for school.

Once the leerplichtambtenaar has received such information from the school, he/she will contact the parents to determine what action may be taken.

Only in a few specific circumstances can schools grant permission for children to miss school during the school year.
Schools may grant permission for a child to be absent from school for events such as weddings, funerals, religious holidays and moving house. For every other absence, it is compulsory for the parent to ask for permission from the head of school in advance.

School attendance records are regularly inspected by a leerplichtambtenaar, who tends to also check for pupil absentees right at the beginning or end of the school term, as they are regarded as very suspicious periods.

How does the Dutch school system work?

My daughter is in group 8 of a Dutch primary school. She is capable of the HAVO or VWO track in secondary school, but her Dutch is insufficient for this level. What options are available?