New problem looms for coalition in senate, this time over school tests

Government plans to give a less dominant role to the primary school Cito test have been criticised by opposition MPs, making it doubtful there will be majority support in the senate.

Ministers say a child’s test results should have a less important role in deciding what form of secondary education he or she should have. They also want to shift the final test from February to May or June, once secondary school places have already been agreed.

It will also be made compulsory for all pupils. Currently some 85% of children take the test.


But Christian Democrat MPs say schools should be able to choose what sort of test to administer, rather than be forced to use the Cito system. They say the government’s plans have been put together too hastily.

Groenlinks opposes any form of compulsory testing and the ChristenUnie described the plans as a ‘confusing compromise’.  The PVV, by contrast, opposes downgrading the importance of the test.

The government needs the support of one or more opposition parties to ensure the plans can pass through the upper house of parliament.

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