Homeschooling is not legal in the Netherlands.
Sending children to an approved school (compulsary education) is required in the Netherlands from age 5 at the oldest, and this remains until age 16.
But from 16 years of age until 18, students only have to attend education for at least two days each week or until they’ve received an approved qualification.
This means you can not keep your child at home and undertake home education in the Netherlands.
The country allows very few exceptions and it’s thought there’s around 1500 students who are exempt from attending regular schooling.
It’s not common for exceptions to be given and families in the Netherlands would need to provide exceptional reasons for why their child can not attend an approved school if there’s to be any chance to be one of the very low number of approved homeschooling students.
So if you’re considering a move to the Netherlands and you come from a country where homeschooling is allowed, make sure you become familiar with laws in the Netherlands and be prepared to send your child to one of the renowned high quality public or special schools in the Netherlands.
Is schooling free in the Netherlands?
School education is available free of charge to all children in the Netherlands. Most students attend government funded public schools which are of a high quality. There are not many private schools in the Netherlands.
There are also schools knows as special schools which are religious based, but in most cases these schools will accept students regardless of their religious background. In general public education in the Netherlands is highly respected and suitable for all children of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
However, students who attend an international school in the Netherlands will usually have to pay fees and these can be quite high, for example the International School of the Hague costs over €8,003 annually for primary students.
Netherlands Compulsary Schooling Age
Children are legally required to attend school by the age of 5, but most kids in the Netherlands are in school by age 4.
Full school attendance then remains compulsary until students are 16 years old. From age 16, students need to follow partial compulsory education regulations by participating in approved education for at least two days per week and by age 18, compulsary education comes to and end. These laws ensure that every single child in the Netherlands receives equal educational opportunities.
It also means that homeschooling is not allowed in the Netherlands, besides in very rare exceptions, but these are few and far between.
Netherlands education for international students
The Netherlands has more than 150 international schools. One of the most well known is The International School of The Hague which is open to all students from age 4 to 18.
This is a large school with more than 2000 enrolled students from more than 100 different countries.
The school has a strong focus on bilingual learning where both English and the home language of the students is developed through all aspects of education.