Luxembourg & Netherlands education systems


Preschool education from 1 to 4.

Compulsory education from 4 to 15  and consists of pre-primary school (Spillshoul) from 4 to 6; primary education from 6 to 12 ; lower secondary from 12 to 15.

Secondary education lasts 4 years: 2 years of general type and 2 years of specialization.

The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is the person in charge for schools.                             The pre-school level provide education, the second year is compulsory starting at the age of 4, while the first year is optional. Pre-school education is free for all kids, even for children who attend the non-compulsory first year (the so-called ‘early education’), the children are divided into mixed age groups, in accordance with a ‘familiar’ model. Generally, the maximum number of children per teacher is 25, even if the national average is about 17-18 children; but if in the classes there are more than 26 children, they are divided into two groups; except for low-populated areas where the number is more or less 10 students each class.

Kindergartens opening hours are as follow: from 8 to 11.45 and from 14 to 16 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 8 to 11.45 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. In many municipalities schools are closed on Saturdays. The framework program (1991) lists the activities considered important for the development of children: physical activities (games, dance, swimming, etc.), musical activities, artistic activities (drawing, painting, printing, etc.), and exercises of logic and mathematics.

Because of the trilingual reality of Luxembourg and the high number of immigrants, teachers have regular Luxembourg language sessions for foreign children. No evaluation is foreseen during the two years of the compulsory preschool education; in case kids do not reach  language skills, or the expected standard level of development has not been achieved, the teacher informs the inspector and the parents; and sometimes a compulsory third year of school attendance is required before entering primary school.

The teaching staff must have a certificate of pedagogical studies (Certifìcat d’étu despédagogiques – CEP), got at the “Institute supérieur d’études et de recherces pédagogiques” (ISERP). Teachers work 25 hours per week and one hour is dedicated to training and contact with parents.


In the Netherlands compulsory education lasts 12 years, from 4 to 16.

The school system is organized in primary school 4-12, secondary school  12-18.

In the Netherlands there is no level of pre-primary education organized within the educational system. Children from 4  can attend the optional year of the Basisonderwijs (full-time compulsory education), otherwise they will go directly to the primary level.

There are care services for 4 years (from 0 to 4 ), and Basisonderwijs 1 year (from 4 to 5).

The Ministry for Social Affairs and Employment, together with the municipal authorities, is responsible for facilities for the care of children under the age of 4. The following services are available:

  1. Day nursery schools: for kids from 6 weeks to 3 years old and  are opened on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with qualified staff , but we can also find part time nurseries opened 5 hours per day.
  2. After school services are available for children aged from 4 to 12; they are opened centers before and after school hours (sometimes in the lunchtime), they are opened in the afternoon when there are no  lessons at school or during summer holidays but many centers are opened all year round.
  3. Maternal helpers, usually people who take care of a group of 4 children maximum in their own home. This service is offered by agencies organized to take in touch parents with private people offering this kind of home service;
  4. Childcare services at companies for internal employees. The companies provide an internal nursery service for their employees’ children;
  5. Municipal nurseries, organized and managed by parents groups, who follow the children without any retribution;
  6. Game groups for children 2-3 years old, who usually attend these centers two mornings or afternoons a week. These groups are financed by the municipal authorities with a variable contribution from the parents. Priority is given to children with social and health problems, or to children at risk.                                                                                                                                                   The services described as above  do not include a curriculum and a formal evaluation.

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