The Dutch cabinet is to investigate the market for international schools in the Netherlands after receiving ‘signals’ that some expats are finding it hard to get a place for their children, according to Amsterdam’s Parool newspaper.
If foreign firms cannot be sure their employees can find a good school, the Netherlands will become less popular as a place to set up in business, the paper says. ‘There is a lot of effort being made to make sure the Netherlands remains an attractive place to do business,’ an economic affairs ministry spokesman told the paper.
The Dutch foreign investment agency has also warned the cabinet about the problems, the Parool says, and the situation is particularly acute in Amsterdam where some schools have a waiting list.
Research published by Amsterdam city council last year showed that the city should be doing more to encourage bilingual education and schools should do more to help new children who speak a different language adjust to the Dutch system.
The survey found 45% of the children of international workers attend an ordinary Dutch school, 40% go to international schools and 15% have a place at a school with a bilingual stream.
While local schools are considered a good alternative, 25% of the 386 parents who took part in the survey are dissatisfied with the way schools cope with bilingual children and the transition from English-spoken to Dutch-spoken education.
The survey also found just 20% of expats are helped to pay school fees by their employer. Most international schools in the Netherlands are private institutions.
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