Starting primary school in school year 2024-2025

In Amsterdam there are rules and agreements for registering children for primary school. We explain these rules and help you take the right steps.

  1. Start

    You will receive a letter with a (Dutch only) by post to your child's address, around the child's third birthday. With this form you can indicate which primary schools you prefer. 

    Check the information on the form, such as your child's date of birth, name and address. Are there any errors? Then correct this on the form.

  2. Choose a school

    You can choose from more than 200 primary schools. You can choose a school with a foundation of education (Grondslag) for example public or Protestant Christian. Schools can also differ in the form of education, such as Montessori, Dalton or Developmental. Please contact the schools you are interested in. Ask the school about the possibilities to get acquainted.

    You can find your 8 priority schools by going to and fill in your address at “Uw woonadres” and then fill in your child’s birthday at “Geboortedatum kind” and save by pressing the blue button called “Opslaan”. 

  3. Register

    It is important to register your child on time by submitting the application form (Voorkeursformulier) to your preferred primary school. Also submit this form if there is already an older brother or sister at the school.

    Checklist for registering

    1. Check the information on the form, such as your child's date of birth, name and address. Are there any errors? Then correct this on the form.
    2. Enter at least 5 schools on the form. Put your first preference at number 1. Place the school you choose next at number 2, and so on. These may be priority schools, but that is not necessary required?.
    3. Submit the form to the school that is ranked as your number 1 school of your choice. Check the dates below to see what date you must submit the form.:
    4. Your child’s date of birth Closing date for submitting form at school
      1. 1 September to 31 December 2020 March 7th 2024 
      2. 1 January to 30 April 2021 June 6th 2024
      3. 1 May to 31 August 2021 November 7th 2024 

    After submitting the form to the school of your first preference, this school will process your application form in a central registration system. You will receive a letter of proof from the school within 1 school week that your child has been registered. Check the information on the letter of proof. Contact the school immediately if there are any errors.

  4. Placement + Registration

    After the return date, places will be allocated to the registered children. This is done according to the rules of allocation. The rules of allocation are mentioned below in the F.A.Q. You can register your child at all schools in Amsterdam, but children have priority at the 8 nearest schools near to their officially registered home address.

    Your child will be offered a place at the highest possible school of your preference. If there is enough space at your first preferred school, your child will be offered a place there. Otherwise, your next preference will be considered. Typically, more than 90% of registered children receive a place at the school of first preference and 98% a place in the specified top 3.

    After placement you will receive a letter from the school where your child will be offered a place. With this letter you register your child at this school. The letter explains how to do this and what the deadline is for this. Make sure you do this on time. In principle, your child will then have a place at this school and will be officially admitted and registered as soon as your child starts school.

  5. Going to school

    When your child is 4 years old it goes to school. The school will inform you about your child's first day at school.

Some general tips when searching

Start on time

View, compare and visit different schools. Then you can make a good choice and register your child on time.

Use the School Finder

The School Finder helps you find the right school. You will find information about all primary schools in Amsterdam:

Determine what aspects are important to you

What do you find important? The distance from home to school? The lesson times? The way of teaching? The size of the school or the classes? Care before and/or after school? Make yourself a list.

Visit schools and ask questions 

By visiting a school, you can see for yourself what the school is like: the building, the children, the teachers and the schoolyard. You can also ask all your questions. Many primary schools organize introductory days. You will find more information on the school's website.

Check what the school results are 

Would you like to know how a school is doing? View the detail page of a school on the school guide  for example, the number of students and the inspection assessment.