Young school students often forced to repeat year by age 7

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Many Dutch kids repeat a year of school before they reach the age of seven. This is especially true in Group 2 of primary school, where about 1 in 10 kids are forced to repeat. Last year it amounted to 18 thousand children, RTL Nieuws reports.

State Secretary Sander Dekker of Education thinks he knows why this is and has a plan to change it. "In many schools Group 2 is very much play and Group 3 very much school, which results in a hard step. If a child really isn't ready for school learning, it is quickly said that the child has to do the whole year over", Dekker said, according to the broadcaster.

He believes that repeating an entire year is not the answer, and therefore sent a guideline to all primary schools on how to better help children from Group 2 to Group 3. The manual contains concrete ideas for primary school. "You can make the step between Group 2 and 3 less hard by, for example making Group 3 a little more playful. Or it can be done by not having one moment a year when your take the step, but by graduating to Group 3 on a number of moments in the year. Two or three of those moments for example."