At the end of their primary education, children transfer to different levels of secondary education. Based on the advice from the primary school and the score on the national test (Cito test), children go on to one of the following types of secondary education. This advice (the educational report) is very decisive when it comes to the type of secondary education a child will receive. Most schools won’t accept children who apply for a higher level of secondary education than that advised in the educational report.

  • Pre-vocational secondary education (VMBO): this 4-year education programme prepares children for either the HAVO or MBO. Within VMBO children can follow one of four tracks, which range from practical to more theoretical.

  • General secondary education (HAVO): this 5-year education programme prepares children for professional higher education (HBO), usually at a university of applied sciences.

  • Pre-university education (VWO): this 6-year education programme allows children entry to all universities, including research universities.  

More information

Click here for more information about secondary education (Expatica).

How does it work?

Contact schools that interest you (most people choose a school in their neighbourhood) and ask for an intake appointment. You need to register your child(ren) at a secondary school that accords with the advice in the educational report, and normally within a certain period. Ask the school of your choice about the procedure.