More Dutch cities get middle schools


The number of schools in the Netherlands for pupils between 10 and 14 years old will double in the coming school year. These middle-schools are an experiment intended to help pupils with the transition from primary school to secondary school.

Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education approved the applications for six such schools in Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Nijmegen/Groesbeek, Sneek, Emmeloord, and Horst, AD reports. Amsterdam, Gorinchem, Ridderkerk, Zwolle, Groningen and Zetten were already participating in the experiment. From this school year the Netherlands will have a total of 12 schools focused on the so-called '10-14 education". 

In these middle schools, primary- and secondary schools work closely together. The pupils are taught by teachers from both primary and secondary education. In some places a special middle school will be opened. In others pupils will be kept longer at the primary school building, or move to the secondary school sooner. After middle school, the pupils will move on to regular VMBO, HAVO or VWO education. 

The transition from primary to secondary school is always stressful for pupils, according to the Ministry. "Sometimes pupils are not ready to go to secondary school and they need a bit more time. It also happens that pupils are less likely to join in because of language deficits or problems at home", the Ministry said, according to the newspaper. With these middle schools Minister Slob wants to create more space to discover "what works best for the pupils". 

During the experiment it will constantly be checked whether the middle schools uphold the quality of education and whether parents and pupils are satisfied. A report on the experiment will be published in 2020.