To primary school

Your child can go to primary school at the age of four. There are certain rules and regulations for enrolling children at primary schools in Amsterdam. These rules and regulations are explained here.

The rules apply to nearly every primary school in Amsterdam; there are several schools with different rules in the city centre and the Zuid district. Click here for an overview of these schools. 

Start

your child's birth date

There are certain rules and regulations for enrolling your child at a primary school in Amsterdam.

The rules and regulations ensure that all children in Amsterdam are placed at a primary school in the same way. The placement process is fair, controllable and the same for each child.

Choose

Choosing a school

In Amsterdam, there are public schools, denominational schools and general denominational schools. All public and most denominational schools are open to all children and teachers, regardless of their faith or cultural background. The difference between public and denominational education is that denominational education has a religious foundation, and has a focus on religion and philosophy, partly through existing traditions such as Easter and Christmas, as well as civic education. Public schools also dedicate time to religion and philosophy. A limited number of denominational schools only allow children from a particular religious background to enrol.   Any denominational, general denominational or public school may follow a specific education method, such as the Jena Plan, Dalton method, Montessori method or Development-Oriented Education (Ontwikkelingsgericht onderwijs, OGO). All schools in Amsterdam fall under the responsibility of a school administration board. Amsterdam school administration boards often govern multiple schools.

You are advised to visit different schools, so that you can form an opinion on the type of school that is suitable for your child. There are many schools to choose from in Amsterdam – more than 210. 
 

your child is 2.5 years old: you will receive an information letter and application form

If your child is born between September 1 2015 and August 31 2016 you will receive your application form in November 2018. Don't lose it! You will need it when applying on behalf of your child.

It is now time to start visiting schools and making your choices. At the eight closest schools priority. You can apply for any school in Amsterdam by submitting the application form to the school of your choice. Enter at least five other schools on this form in order of preference.

Placement

After the deadline for submitting the form has passed, school places will be allocated to the children who have applied. This is done in the order set out in the text ‘Allocation of places’ below.

Every child will be allocated a place at the school in the highest possible place on the list of preferences. If there is enough room at the school of your first choice, your child will be allocated a place there. If not, your second choice will be considered.

Allocation of places

The allocation of places at all schools is done in the following order.

 For the first choice:

  1. An older brother or sister is already at the school when the child turns four;  this registered child has a guaranteed place.
  2. a  The child has been assessed as requiring at least 8 months pre-school education (voorschoolse educatie, VVE), attends the pre-school affiliated to the school and has priority at this school.
    b  The child attends an Integrated Children’s Centre (Integraal Kindcentrum, IKC) 2 times a week for at least 8 months and has the school as priority school.
  3. One of the child’s parents is permanently employed at the school.
  4. The child has priority at this school.
  5. The child has no priority at this school.

Applications which have not been allocated a place at the first choice  of school will then be placed as follows:

  1. The child has a priority school as second to tenth choice.
  2. The child has a non-priority school as second to tenth choice.

Apply

deadline for submission of application form

You can enter ten schools on the application form in order of preference. Your first choice is number 1, followed by number 2, etc. Submit the application form to the school that you have listed as number 1. Ensure you arrive on time. All application forms are registered in an automated system. Nearly every school in Amsterdam is linked to this system.

Enter your child's personal information on the form.  If you enter an address that is different from the one on the application form, you must bring proof of this address. For example: an extract from the population register or a lease/purchase agreement.

Download the application form >>

Placement

Each school registers applications in a central system. Places are then allocated to pupils. Every child will be allocated a place at the school in the highest possible place on the list of preferences. If there is enough room at the school of your first choice, your child will be allocated a place there. If not, your second choice will be considered.

Enrol

you will receive a message about your child's place at a school

The school where your child has been placed will then send you a letter. If you wish to accept this place, you should notify the school. The deadline for enrolment will be stated in the letter from the school. Ensure you enrol on time! Only then will your child have a confirmed place at this school. 

Off To School

Your child is starting primary school

Your child is four years old and is going to start school.  The school will inform you about your child’s first school day.