Bilingual secondary schools

In bilingual schools at least 50% of the subjects are taught in English. The children speak English during for instance geography or history lessons, or during physical education.

The schools still follow the Dutch curriculum and the children need to take the Dutch school-leaving exams. Almost half of the curricular subjects are therefore still taught in Dutch.

International focus

The acquisition of a second language (English) is not the only goal in bilingual education. The schools also usually have a more international focus than regular Dutch schools. Bilingual education integrates this international focus into the curriculum: this is referred to as European and International Orientation.

Network of bilingual schools

All bilingual schools in the Netherlands are part of a network, that we coordinate. We monitor and regularly visit schools in the network to see if they comply with the standard for bilingual education.

The standard specifies, for example, the recommended level of English proficiency of teachers, as well as guidelines for international orientation across the curriculum.

Standard for bilingual education(397 kB)

Collaboration with a Dutch bilingual school

The European and International Orientation of the bilingual schools includes cooperation and exchange with schools abroad. If your school is interested in working with a Dutch bilingual school you can contact one of the schools to explore options for collaboration and exchange:

Find a bilingual school in an A-Z list of cities (website in Dutch)

Find a bilingual school on a map (website in Dutch)

Children who attended school abroad

If you are relocating to Holland from abroad, you may be considering whether a Dutch bilingual secondary school is an option for your child. Keep in mind that almost half of the lessons at these schools are still taught in Dutch and the school-leaving exams are also in Dutch. So if your child doesn’t speak Dutch, a bilingual school may not be a good option.

Some schools do offer special programmes for non-Dutch speakers. You can contact a bilingual school in your area to check if they have such a programme. Use the links above to find a school.

Otherwise you can check if there are international schools in your area that teach a completely English curriculum. There is an overview on the website of the Foundation for International Education in the Netherlands.

More information about moving to the Netherlands with children:

last modified Apr 06, 2018 09:19 AM