Most teachers have been pressured by parents to change secondary school advice

Children could be sent home to highlight the issue. Photo:

Primary school teachers are being pressured by parents to change their recommendations about what sort of secondary school children should go to, according to a survey for the CNV teaching union and television current affairs show EenVandaag.

The survey of 2,000 teachers showed three-quarters had faced pressure from parents to recommend children went to a more academic secondary school.

Since 2015, the role of teachers in deciding what sort of school pupils go to at the age of 12 has been boosted and that of national tests, such as the Cito, downplayed. Despite the pressure from parents, just 1% of teachers wanted a return to the situation prior to 2015.

The survey found teachers had been threatened with violence and legal action if they did not do what parents wanted and one in five had actually changed their position.

The CNV teaching union said the situation is ‘completely unacceptable’ and is leading to teachers leaving the profession.


The primary schools council PO-Raad said parents should be briefed on their child’s abilities from as soon as they start school, so the type of secondary school should not be a surprise.

‘When parents have been told continually that their child is doing well, it comes as a shock to hear that their child should go into the bottom level of vocational training,’ Peter Hulsen, director of parents’ lobby group Ouders en Onderwijs, told the Volkskrant.

Dutch children are selected for one of three streams at the age of 12: pre-university (vwo), pre-college (havo) and vocational training (vmbo).

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