How can you find the ideal primary school for your child where he can develop optimally (as far as acquiring the basic skills and knowledge he will need in society) and be happy at the same time?

Around the time your child turns 4, as a parent/caretaker, you have to make the important decision about which primary school you want your child to attend. There are other occasions when you must make the choice, such as when your child(ren), either voluntarily or unvoluntary, has/have to switch schools. You may have to make this choice when you intend to move house or when your child doesn’t function properly at his current school. A lot of parents are afraid making a bad choice of school will have drastic — and sometimes permanent — consequences. Their biggest fear is that their child will fall behind when it comes to literacy and numeracy, and/or will be socially excluded.

In collaboration with www.scholenkeuze.nl, www.basisonderwijs conducted a survey of 508 parents. The results indicated that there are 3 potential pitfalls when selecting the school best suited for your child:

  • The lack of objective and reliable information about schools – Teachers and school principals will present you the ideal picture of their school on their websites, during open days, and in their school prospectuses, which include their vision statement. However, the question remains as to how this corresponds to daily practice within the school. As a parent, how can you get a more reliable picture of a school?
  • You don’t have a complete picture of your child. Some parents must get on the waiting lists of their favorite primary schools even before their children turn one. Even when there isn’t a waiting list involved, you’ll have to start looking for schools early — around the time your child is 3 years old — in order to make an informed decision. Many parents are faced with the fact that, even at this point, they still don’t have a clear picture of their child’s unique talents and personality. This makes it difficult to determine which schools are best.
  • The potential impact and consequences of the decision. Parents want to provide their children with a firm and good basis through education. This is why choosing the right school feels like a huge responsibility.

We want to provide you with useful tips and knowledge to guide you through the process of selecting the right primary school for your child. On this website, you can download an action plan for free, which contains an overview of questions you should answer before you start looking for schools. There is also a checklist of important indicators that can give you an idea of what to look for when you visit or assess schools. On the Schooltypes subpage, you will find introductory information on the different types of primary schools in the Netherlands. These schooltypes are more extensively explained in de Keuze Basisonderwijs, also available for free on this website. On www.basisonderwijs.nu, you can also get the latest news on Dutch primary education.