The Dutch Educational system

In the Netherlands there's compulsory education for children till they've turned 16. Almost all children in the Netherlands start primary school as they're four years old. They don't have to start so soon, since education only becomes compulsory once a child reaches the age of five.

The primary school consists out of 8 groups. The youngest children start in group 1 and the oldest are in group 8.

When they've finished primary school, usually when they're 12years old, they have to go on to a secondary school. This is a big change, because then they have to deal with several teachers and have to do homework.

Which kind of secondary school the children will attend, dependson their efforts at primary school. This primary school advises the child tochoose between MAVO (junior general secondary education),HAVO ( senior general secondary education)and VWO   (pre-university education).The child can also choose to go to VBO or IVBO . These are vocational schools. All courses begin with 'basic secondary education'.

The Netherlands also has combined schools.  These are schools with more types of secondary education. This comes in handy for children who want to change schooltype, because the education is too easy or too difficult for them. They don't have to go to a completely different school.