191 Dutch schools deemed 'excellent'

Primary school classroom
Primary school classroom. (Photo: racorn/DepositPhotos)

A total of 79 schools in the Netherlands were awarded the predicate 'excellent school' on Monday, bringing the total number of excellent schools in the country up to 191. The predicate is awarded to schools who distinguish themselves in a specific area, like being very innovative or helping children who need extra attention in a special way, NOS reports.

The 'excellent school' predicate was introduced in 2012 by then Education Minister Marja van Bijsterveldt. Primary schools, secondary schools and special education schools can register for the predicate. An independent jury assesses the schools and then sends advice to the Education Inspectorate on which schools should get the predicate. 

While the 'excellent school' predicate was celebrated at 79 schools on Monday, not everyone is happy with it. The national action committee for students LAKS, for example, thinks that the opinions of pupils are not sufficiently taken into account. "The jury only speaks with a few pupils. While they are the only ones who really know how good a school is", Jordy Klaas of LAKS said to NOS. LAKS also calls the predicate misleading, because it only covers a small part of education. According to Klaas, parents use the predicate to decide on a school, while other schools can also be very good.

The Education Inspectorate denies that the jury only looks at the opinion of a few pupils. In addition to interviews with pupils, the Inspectorate also looks at the schools' pupil satisfaction surveys when deciding who will get the predicate.