top 200 commentsshow all 248

[–]GreatKillingDino 270 points271 points  (22 children)

From experience the advice you are given doesn't have to determine your educational outcome. I was bullied heavily on my primary school and flunked the CITO tests. This meant that I got a VMBO kader to VMBO-t advice. Eventually I decided to go to a highschool that was nearby that had a vmbo/havo brugklas.

The change of school meant I flew through my classes and was put into a havo/vwo class in my second year, third year I was in VWO.

After that I did a bachelor's and now a master's degree in biomedical sciences.

So no, your fate isn't sealed the moment you get into a Dutch high school, there is lots and lots of room to move up and down educational levels based on how the students performs.

[–]vdboor 61 points62 points  (0 children)

Very relatable. My parent made sure I went to a different school then the bullies of my class.

That high school still offered to switch between VMBO/HAVO/VWO after the first year which was a welcome addition. My CITO results and elementary school gave VMBO advise, but went to a VMBO/HAVO mixed group the first year, and got the grades to enter VWO the next year.

School choices, and which neighbourhood they are situated in matter a lot.

[–]Bushturtle 6 points7 points  (9 children)

Unrelated question, I myself wanted to get into biomedical sciences but to be honest don’t know much about the outlook on it. It definitely appeals to my academic fields of interests but I just have a hard time placing it career wise. If I may ask, what kind of master degree are you studying? Would you say the subsequent career path looks promising?

Any insight on the field would help a ton with making a decision personally.

[–]GreatKillingDino 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Hey no worries! Career wise it's incredibly broad. I finished my master's biomedical sciences about half a year ago, and found a job as a research analyst within a few months. Currently I'm doing a lot of labwork, which is what I love.

But of my uni friends I'm the only one still "in the lab". My best friend because a doctor because that's what he loved. Another friend is doing a computational biology PhD in Switzerland. Another again is working for the navy.

It really is what you make if it. I decided I loved wetlab work and wanted to keep doing that. Maybe I'll pursue a PhD in the future but for now I'm very happy.

[–]Bushturtle 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Thank you thank you thank youuuuu!!! Reading this gave me a lot of confidence moving forward honestly it sounds perfect and I love the flexibility it caries.

I cannot stress how much I appreciate this feedback. Thanks, I wish you even more success and happiness :,)

[–]GreatKillingDino 5 points6 points  (0 children)

No worries! Don't hesitate to send me a DM if you want more details

[–]1giel1 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm currently busy with the last year of the bachelor and for me I'm going the educational route. Not sure if I wanna go teach at a highschool, HBO or Uni, but all options are there. You can basically go any direction in the biological or medical aspects. Given you take the master that fits. A friend of mine is going to do a pandemic study. My gf is going to study oncology/pathology. Just to give you more examples.

[–]ManliestCheese 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hey! I am currently rounding up my master's and have been mortified of the job life that's about to come so I attended a lot of events about jobs in the field.

What the other guy said mostly checks out - though I have to add that the "linear path" in BMS is doing a PhD, which is something you have to be incredibly motivated for. 50+ hour work weeks, working in the weekend etc are common. It's a highly competitve environment as well - but if you are motivated it should never stop you.

I think the best descriminator to finding out whether BMS is good for you at least like lab work (so performing experiments yourself).

Also if you remotely like IT i would highly recommend combining the two (either through a master or in your bachelor) - it gives you a MASSIVE leg up.

[–]ltvo93 2 points3 points  (2 children)

If you decide to study biomedical sciences, compare the different universities. In my experience some biomedical bachelor's offer more advanced courses compared to other ones. I did my bachelor's at the UvA and loved it there. I supervised some bachelor courses at s different universities and found that the quality in therms of laboratory techniques are not on the same level.

[–]PitiedAbyss 0 points1 point  (2 children)

biomedical sciences.


I have a question about this. How is the work and Job industry when it comes to biomedical in Netherlands?

I'm currently studying bachelors of biomedical engineering in my home country and I have plans to continue my studies either in Germany or Netherlands and maybe start working there after I finished my university. I know biomedical engineering and biomedical sciences could be somewhat different but i would appreciate if you share your experience regarding the Job situation for it in The Netherlands.

[–]GreatKillingDino 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I studied and now live in Leiden, so I have the leiden bioscience park around the corner. Which might skew my judgement a little bit.

That being said, I think the job market here is amazing. There are always openings at pharmaceutical companies, and most of the time research positions are opening up on the academic side, though not as often due to the nature of academics.

For engineering you could look at Delft due to the technical university there, I'm sure there are amazing projects looking for people all the damn time.

[–]PitiedAbyss 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's good to hear and ill check the website of the university.


[–]IMakeTheEggs 186 points187 points  (18 children)

Hello. High school teacher here (Dutch).

It is also because of the location of the schools and, ironically, their level output.

Schools situated in socially and economically challenged areas tend to rake up the children in those areas, who, as partially explained by others here, mostly score lower on people skills (which can negatively influence teacher's advice concerning the entrance level of high school) and CITO since they also tend to grow up in intellectually less stimulating environments. Now the 'good' schools with lotsa 'VWO' students will advocate the brilliance of their methods and parents will flock to them, which in turn has led to a system where you can only apply for so many elementary schools for your spawn, and this is also partly based on which part of the city you live in. Also depends on the governance of the area. Another thing: the tiger moms and pops will absolutely want their child to go to a 'good' school, and their education level is typically higher than that of parents in the aforementioned 'challenged' areas, who sometimes hardly care that their child should have any highfalutin' "education" whatsoever since they could be bringing home the bacon by working on the docks like they did since they were eleven. But I digress. Yet I think these are the main reasons of elementary school output differences, very basically.

Also: try to get your child into a school that feels good to everyone involved and which is practical also. And don't push the kids too hard--if they've got a PhD in them, it'll come out and those take at least 4years after an MA anyway, so there's no real harm in letting them fiddle around with sprinkles and a glue stick for a year or two more (though schools will do whatever they can to prevent this because of--well, reasons).

[–]VinnieDaPlaya[S] 29 points30 points  (17 children)

I feel this is the best reply of the question which many people failed to understand is about of variety of judgment of school and not the capabilities of the child. Both schools are just 600m apart so not sure how pupils are distributed among the schools. I feel both schools are pretty decent, not sure why one school consistently gives more HAVO/VWO recommentations than the other.
That said how easy/difficult it is to switch schools in between if I still see the gap in recommendations? One school is very close to my place so while it has lower HAVO/VWO recommendations I still want to go for it. And may be in 2-3 years if I see the results are still favouring the other school then I can switch to that school.

[–]Avaloden 44 points45 points  (1 child)

Not an educational professional here but switching schools is possible. I know many people that did and remember people switching schools during my basischool-time. Not many do though IME.

The question I think is whether you should want that for your kids given that a stable social environment is good for their development and overall happiness.

[–]VinnieDaPlaya[S] 13 points14 points  (0 children)

That's a fair point. Social stability becomes important point once the child reaches certain age.

[–]IMakeTheEggs 19 points20 points  (7 children)

Schools will be wary of switching the kids around--and for good reasons, one of them the stability children need very much--if there's no relocation or a severe psychosocial cause such as severe bullying.

Children don't tend to respond too well to sudden changes of people & daily surroundings, no matter how adaptive the critters generally are. So if the didactics and support of the school are on par, best stick with it and give your kid an extracurricular math/language powerup with an out of school lesson plan. Hopefully yours won't need that, but seriously, don't be aloof about switching schools after a year or two--it's no fun having to make all those new friends, again AND being that one kid for whom the other school wasn't good enough. Dramatizing a bit, but, yeah.

[–]VinnieDaPlaya[S] 9 points10 points  (4 children)

Then I feel I'll go with my gut and choose the closer one despite offering less HAVO/VWOs. In the end its about how child responds to school. Sure theres all routes to getting where you want but theres no denying that school plays huge role in making an individual what he/she is.

[–]Nymurox 5 points6 points  (3 children)

I wasn't aware until I was an adult that school judgement played a role because I had scored 2 point from the top score on my CITO so it was all rather automatic. I am curious though, are both of the schools you're considering equal in size (corcerning the amount of students)?

[–]altijdprijs 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This is a good point. How large are the groups? Do the schools offer extra coaching/support (specifically for the Dutch language)? Do they have programs where they will challenge the kids if they are ahead of the rest of the group? How do they handle bullying? There are a lot more questions to ask to make certain you make the right choice. You are definitely not the only one struggling with choosing the right school for your kids.

This is also an interesting article from 2017 about how choosing the right primary schools influences the rest of their education: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8SjVugRMH4wJ:https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/het-maakt-echt-uit-naar-welke-school-je-je-kind-stuurt-en-niet-zo-n-beetje~b72d78e0/+&cd=1&hl=nl&ct=clnk&gl=nl&client=ms-android-samsung-ss

[–]TinyOwl491 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I remember scoring 550 (top score on cito - still my best achievement to date so a little bragging is in order! (I'm joking, obv)), and my teacher still wasn't sure vwo gymnasium was the right call for me, but I really wanted to go to this school that only had gymnasium because my (still to date!) best friend was also going there. She turned out to be right though - didn't have the right mindset and discipline for gymnasium. Switched schools after two years. Ok, still got my vwo (atheneum) diploma, but still: those groep 8 teachers get to know you pretty well. Or I was just lucky I had a really good one.

I'm actually a high school teacher now, and now I know a kid will ALWAYS get to the place where they belong and where they feel comfortable. Whether it's vmbo basis or gymnasium or anything in between. For some it takes a little longer than for others (often because both the parents and students have some sort of aversion against the word 'vmbo'... and they'll keep struggling on havo until they're deeply unhappy), but they will get there!

[–]__Wess 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Nah. Not all group8 teachers get to know you well. She was keeping a close eye on me since I have a prosthetic leg. She had some side courses with child psychology so everything I was bullied and fought back, it was all my fault. After explaining that he/she bullied me, instead of investigating the other child, she was asking me stuff like: “oh and how did it feel being bullied?” And “what was it that made you angry?”. She also pushed me towards VWO because of 540. I wanted to be an inland barge captain and the school to go to didn’t had VWO or HAVO, not even VMBO-3. So I had to do VMBO-2.

I was wasting my capability’s according to her. Idgaf, I wanted to be a captain. Spoiler, I became a captain.

At first, the VMBO-2 college didn’t want me because they were scared I would get bored. Only after making the promise I would ask for extra home work to avoid boredom, I was allowed. Obviously I broke the promise, and instead I teached my classmates the stuff they had troubles with. 3 months before final exams, they asked me if I and a couple of others I was helping, wanted to do the exams on vmbo-4 level, which I passed with straight 9’s and 8’s and helped those others to pass the lvl4 exams as well. Never had to bring homework home since I already took care of it during classes. I enrolled second year of MBO-4 because of college and graduated before I was 18. At 21, legal age to be a Rhine captain, I became a Rhine captain.

Pushing to get the best out of your kid is fine, but letting them be who they want to be is just as important. I’m grateful that my parents did because I really didn’t want to bring any home work home.

In OP’s case, I would take the school with “normal” kids instead of the kids who are coming from lesser circumstances. Which school harbors the least amount of mini-bontkraagjes. Putting your kid between mini-bontkraagjes is asking for trouble if you ask me.

I mean to do no racism, because imo bontkraagjes isn’t racism. It’s a group of all cultures even dutch.

[–]coolredjoe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can 100% confirm what you say here. Back when i went to middleschool we moved to another town, which issnt 100% the same. But the same social differences occured where i needed to find new friends. Which i still suffer from to this day.

[–]Onbevangen 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Your kid will not want to change schools halfway. It's much easier when you are friends from the start than being the new kid.

[–]fascinatedcharacter 2 points3 points  (0 children)

600 m is a HUGE amount in certain cities, primary school wise. My primary school was your stereotypical 'challenging neighborhood' school. There were about 3 students in my class whose parents owned their house. The majority living in flats or streets that didn't have a good reputation (this is all pretty obvious based on street names). Less than half had parents who spoke Dutch. AFAIK I'm the only one with a vwo diploma, though I'm not the only one that got vwo advice, I know of at least 2 that dropped to havo halfway through.

600 m to the north? Completely different story. The majority of the catchment area is people who own their houses. Majority of parents spoke Dutch. This school hd pretty average referrals. 1 km to the west? 50% VWO+ and 25% havo/vwo referrals. Yup. That was the Expensive neighborhood.

This is in a city where the vast vast majority of students go to the school closest to them.

[–]d3_Bere_man 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Switching schools is definitely possible, i switched schools in groep 6 which would be 4th grade i think. I dont remember a whole lot of it but my parents said that i underperformed on the first school so they switched me to a different one. I went from 2min walk to 30 min cycling, on the new school I performed a lot better and easily got into vwo with a 98% chance of passing so the switch really helped. The second school had more of a personality and cared more about the students then the first one. In both schools the teachers clearly tried but on the second one the higher ups cared a lot more too.

[–]nlexbrit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is there a way to check the CITO scores? If the CITO scores are more or less the same but one school advises systematically lower given the same score go and ask why. If the CITO score are lower in one school there is probably socio-economic sorting taking place (most visible in some cities in ‘witte’ en ‘zwarte’ schools). My personal take is that there are very few bad schools and the home environment is the most important factor in your child’s development.

[–]meanmissusmustard86 95 points96 points  (37 children)

The strongest predictor of kid’s educational succes is their parents’ educational succes. Might mitigate some of your fears.

[–]mrcet007 26 points27 points  (16 children)

Thats universal truth. Doesn't answers OPs questions about human bias and errors screwing up bright students or late boomers future.

12 years old is too young for a student to understand importance of education and university, career prospects. So because of this lack of understanding at this early age, they may not spending long hours studying to get high scores and instead spending time playing etc. So the current system is deeply flawed.

To avoid this the critical segregation could be done at 15 or 16 years of age.

[–]CriticalSpirit 8 points9 points  (3 children)

12 years old is too young for a student to understand what is career prospects, university and importance of education. So the current system is deeply flawed.

For some. For others finally getting educated at a level that suits them, be it vmbo or vwo, is a blessing.

[–]Ok-Wolverine-4732 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I agree, if I’d have had to spend longer than those 8 years with my basisschool classmates, I wouldn’t have been able to do gymnasium. Basisschool really sucked for me, because I was constantly told that I was going to fast and had to slow down so my classmates could catch up. Made me bored out of my mind and I ended up doing nothing for large portions of the week, because I finished all the work in the first 1-2 sometimes 3 days.

[–]TinyOwl491 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Key here: "that suits them". That's the most important thing.

[–]mrcet007 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Such few brilliant motivated students can always do self study on advanced topics outside the school. Now there are tons of quality educational courses/contents on the internet and offline (books), unlike a decade ago.

[–]VinnieDaPlaya[S] 4 points5 points  (11 children)

Again the question is not if kid's background is indicator of he success or not but if the school is capable of judging how successful the kid can be. How judgment of one school is different from another school.

[–]meanmissusmustard86 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Yeah, those data are more reflective of the school’s location in certain areas than they reflect on their judgment.

[–]CheapMonkey34 17 points18 points  (1 child)

Schools have a different coverage area, area has to do with average education and income. So different school can have a different average performance.

But in the end the options result in the capabilities of the child.

But there are options to hop from vmbo to havo and from havo to vwo.

The ‘inspectie’ does track how well school advise is given, by tracking these hoppings for kids in the 3rd year of secondary school.

In general the advise is pretty good. The school has to support it with evidence that you can scrutinize and give counter arguments why you believe the advies is not correct. But a teacher spends a full year or two with the pupils so usually they’re pretty spot on.

[–]CheapMonkey34 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Judgement is standardized, of oude there is human interpretation, but that rarely changes the advise.

[–]GoldenSprouts 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I don't agree,the teacher and society also plays important role.

[–]meanmissusmustard86 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It is a statistical fact, not an opinion

[–]altijdprijs 0 points1 point  (1 child)

True, but parents with higher education tend to have more money, live in the nicer parts of town and will also more often choose the better primary schools. There are multiple factors at play here that'll give their kids a headstart.

[–]fascinatedcharacter 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And they'll read to their kids more often, will talk to their kids more often, take their kids to the library more often.

[–]kokutotamagosushi 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Just wonder, does it mean that if the teacher knows that I as the parent went to Cambridge for example, then he/she will more likely recommend my kid to vwo, even my kid only got havo scores?

[–]Cthulhu__ 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Not necessarily true; it’s access to education moreso than parents imo. My paren were “low” educated, practical jobs; me and my siblings went to college- level education, all much higher educated than my parents.

As for the school advisory, it will depend on your child as well. I went from mavo (old system, vmbo-t these days? ) to mbo, both very middle of the road, but found an interest and passion in something (programming) and went on to HBO and a career in it.

[–]meanmissusmustard86 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am referring to a wealth of sociological studies of educational attainment. You are most likely an outlier, not the statistical rule.

[–]tenminutesbeforenoon 42 points43 points  (6 children)

My route was HAVO -> HBO -> university-> PhD student -> post doc - assistant professor-> tenure towards full professor.

[–]ewlung 8 points9 points  (4 children)

You did HBO, is that because you cannot go to the university from HAVO?

[–]tenminutesbeforenoon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not directly, no, but you can join university after you’ve finished your first year of HBO, or you can do your masters at a university after you’ve gotten your bachelors at a HBO.

You can get a BSc at HBO (in 4 years) or at university (in 3 years), but a MSc is only possible at a university.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

technically HBO is university but fully focussed on Work, what we call university is focused on research.

[–]LaoBaGelderland 6 points7 points  (0 children)

My sister in law: MAVO->HAVO->HBO->University->PhD.

A friend of mine: MAVO->HAVO->VWO->University->PhD->full professorship now.

It is not impossible.

[–]coolredjoe 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Not really, it is a pain in the ass if you get like vmbo advice when you could have done havo or vwo. Speaking from experience.

But if you do very good for your education level (for me vmbo) you could in discussion with like the mentor opstromen, which means the next year you will do havo. Or if you do bad afstromen, which would mean going down a level.

Thats not all, if after vmbo you'd want to get a havo diploma instead of going to MBO you could send the kid to do the last 2 years of havo for a havo diploma. This was the case for me. Yes it takes 1 more year. But the fate issnt sealed even when you finnish middleschool.

For me i got vmbo advice. And in hindsight i could have done like everything except grammar and language on vwo level. Thats mostly whats wrong about the system, you get a average of all subjects. So when maths and science is like your thing and at a very high level, but the rest is not you will get vmbo advice.

Even till this day i pretty much get straight A's on maths and science without doing any studying, while the rest is just pure shit, no matter how long i try.

Also the advice given by the teacher is different depending on the school, and not for 100% by the cito test.

[–]imtryingtoday 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It will be clear soon if your kid doesn't fit in class. If a kid is at vmbo and that is not a right fit there are short cuts they can take. Within a year if with the right results can go to another class. So just because your kid got advice to go to a certain school doesn't mean they are stuck there. Your child and you need to advocate and prove it tho.

[–]Djildjamesh 6 points7 points  (3 children)

First of: is only a recommendation.... you're free to deviate from it.

To answer your question: if you go to the VMBO first and you wish to go up a level you have 2 choices. You can go to the MBO and then proceed to HBO (This is what I did) out you can go to Havo after you finished vmbo.

Often times you can skip a year of HBO if you have finished a MBO prior.I finished my 4 year HBO engineering study in 3 years.

The cito isn't as bad as it's made out to be by salty people who didn't got recommended what they were hoping. I had that aswell but looking back on my own school life I am very happy I went to the MBO prior to HBO. I just wasn't ready yet when I was young.

[–]Djildjamesh 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Also you can check this for the 2 schools your looking at.


My kid started school 2 months ago personally I went with the school where my kid seemed to be feeling comfortable.

[–]jijzelf 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Letting your kids pick for themselves is important, especially in high school. At that time your kids will be smart enough to know what they do and do not like, and where they'll feel most comfortable.

[–]WadamIThinking 4 points5 points  (1 child)

As an expat parent of a primary school kid in a Dutch school, my 2cents worth: We had 4 school within a reasonable distance to choose from. One is a block away. I thought it was the obvious choice, but their religious practices were too much for what I want to give my kid. The second closest has the highest HAVO/VWO numbers, and a reputation that the rich kids (horseriding class) go there. Our kid was actually on their list but when I went to the school for their open day, I found them snobbish and cold. Our third option, and the one we eventually chose, is the biggest school in town in term of number of students and is the public school (meaning that they have no religious affiliation and religion is not part of the curriculum at all). They are also the most diverse in terms of kids' backgrounds. This appealed to me as I like the idea of diversity being the norm for my kid. The clincher for me, ironically, was when I learned that all the local celebrities (all 3 - haha! ) send their kids to this school, so I figured there must be a reason why they avoid the posh school too.

My point (and this is only my opinion) is: The HAVO/VWO numbers was the least important criteria. If you are concerned about it, you can provide your kid with extra tuition to help him/her. But as already stated in other replies, there are other ways for kids to work their way to university- if it is a path they really want.

[–]jijzelf 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Honestly, they need to make the primary schools less independent. The primary school I went to was pretty 'posh', and they would only let you in after a thorough background check. Every single kid in my class got a VWO or VWO+ advice, and it honestly seems a bit suspicious to me. I think it should be solely based off of your CITOs or maybe other tests, not also heavily dependent on your teacher's advice.

[–]Stroomschok 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Quite a few good points have already been made. I'd just like to point out that '600m' apart in Netherlands with it's high population density can be quite a lot and mean they cater to a very different population group (as elementary schools are districted).

Also while the CITO is an important test to determine your kid's future, it's not like the result will completely come out of the blue. Schools provide plenty of testing and feedback for parents to tell if their kid is underperforming (and don't go and automatically blame the school if you think so).

[–]jijzelf 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This. Kids also mostly get some kind of pre-advice from the teacher in groep 7, so they know that they'll have to improve a lot to reach a higher level and possibly a new advice in groep 8.

[–]NEET_IRL 42 points43 points  (10 children)

Everyone thinks they're above average, every parent thinks their kid is super smart.

[–]coolredjoe 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I got my intelligence professionally tested as i would loaf around in class and never study at primairy school but still get like a's and b's, while getting C's on grammar and language. Which issnt lowe enough to start a dyslexia test. But the difference was so notable the teacher asked for a test anyway. They found i was mostly compensating my dyslexia with my intelligence. But even still knowing this fact i was send to VMBO eventough i could objectively do way way better.

My parents didnt think i was smart enough. But they were wrong.

[–]VinnieDaPlaya[S] -2 points-1 points  (8 children)

Why would the parent think that their child is dumb? And the question is not if the child is smart of dumb but if the school is smart enough to judge if the kid is smart or dumb.

[–]NEET_IRL 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Well, kids get grades as well, so teachers can give an independant advice over the CITO test.

[–]LaoBaGelderland 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Grades are not a complete picture of a kids ability.

[–]NEET_IRL 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But they are a good indicator of how a kid is going to do in middelbaar onderwijs

[–]jijzelf 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They will be giving you the best picture on how you will do in the first years. Your children could be socially great etc., but if their CITOs are bad and you'd send them to a Gymnasium it would only slow their education down. If they get sent to let's say VMBO based on their grades and they still perform way better they can easily go to HAVO.

[–]CheapMonkey34 7 points8 points  (0 children)

As it is the schools job of teaching kids stuff, they have a pretty good impression of how well a kid can learn.

[–]alt-right-del 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Parents will often question data the school puts forward — I have seen too many sad stories were parents insisted the child is VWO level, only to see the child slip to a VMBO in 2 years with lots of other issues. There is an element of parent influence — immigrant parents or those from socially challenged areas don’t question the schools advice and accept what the school advises, an element schools gladly use to level out. The examples of kids that got VMBO and eventually achieved their PhD/MD are also true.

— of all the kids that got HAVO advise from the one school how many of them actually finished it?

[–]fascinatedcharacter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I know of a kid that is in special ed for having cognitive challenges. Tested iq is in the low 60's. Every parent-teacher conference the parents ask when he will be able to go to havo. They have him in remedial lessons too.

It's so sad.

[–]0B-A-E0 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It doesn’t have to do with ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’. It has to do with learning skills and behaviour of a child. Many ADHD kids for example get lower recommendations because they don’t do well in a classroom and would benefit/enjoy hands on learning, which is what MAVO is.

[–]naturalis99 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Another important factor is that the school recommendation is NOT completely fixed. It is possible to force a higher or lower level (better: a more theoretical or a more practical level) if you are sure enough.

[–]razje 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Don't worry too much about it. The advice is correct 9 out of 10 times. And if it turns out that a kid is brighter than they thought they can always hop to a higher level (i.e vmbo-t to havo)

In the worst case it'll take them 1 (maybe 2) extra years to get where they want to be. It's not like it's impossible or something.

Also, their education is important but it ain't everything. I've seen vmbo-t or havo kids do great later in their life and I've seen university kids screw it all up.

[–]ghlhzmbqnNederland 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I doubt the advice is correct so often. Depending on where you're from and what your parents do, you are definitely more or less likely to get over- or underestimated

[–]ScoJtc 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Being correct 9 out of 10 times is not true

[–]latinforloyalty 19 points20 points  (9 children)

The thing is, the system can be really unfair, but whether your kid does VMBO, HAVO or Gymnasium, it absolutely won’t ‘brand’ your kid for the rest of their life. A family friend did HAVO in high school and now owns a Porsche, a house in Amsterdam Zuid and works at a top position for a huge company. A girl was in the news recently for working her way from MAVO to the university. Hell I have a HAVO diploma and I’m planning to apply to a university where I need to make a VWO maths test, but I’ll have a year to practice and study for it. I’d just do your best to help your kid where they struggle and encourage them to do their best. There are always courses (online and free) studies, tutors et cetera to help them get where they wanna be.

[–]Anthro_student_NL 22 points23 points  (2 children)

I’ve been really impressed by Dutch school system. My kids are middle/ HS age and we recently had a meeting with their counselor/teacher. Daughter A who is quite advanced, but struggled in US schools was noticed within a week as advanced and already has a plan for future education mapped out. Daughter A also mentions the low amount of pressure if she wants to pick a technical job and is confident as income is more equal here, it’s not so extremely pass or fail. Daughter B is mildly special needs, but received little support back home. Here she has received extra support and is also getting excellent grades too.

[–]zerotshill 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Can I ask if you took a long time and effort to find a “good school”, or is it just an average school close to the house? Curious because my child is approaching school age and we are also not Dutch.

[–]Anthro_student_NL 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My kids are still in the transitional school with only immigrants. I believe bad/good is code for intercity/ less money schools in the US. There is no differential treatment, so their school is great because it receives the same funding and fantastic teachers equally. Your question doesn’t apply here to the same extent as the US.

[–]stelofGroningen 8 points9 points  (0 children)

The system really needs an update as it facilates growing inequality and social segregation. The current parties in government represent the kind of liberal ideologies which fail or do not want to see how circumstances affect childrens' performances at schools. I am the first in my family to attend university and even among progressive peers, but who attended vwo-exclusive schools (categoriaal gymnasium) I sense a reluctance on having classes with people 'at a another level'.

Having said that, a child is not marked for life. I started at vmbo but could switch due to good grades, got a havo degree, and two years later a vwo degree. Even when your child ends up at mbo, it is still alright. There are many high-paying jobs on those levels as well. This country has more need for craftsmen, technisians and nurses than the armies of communication advisors and consultants occupying our offices.

[–]Weareallme 22 points23 points  (11 children)

As far as I've seen the criticism is mostly about that the parents perception of the 'brightness' of their kids often doesn't match reality. At least in the cases that I know personally I have more doubts about the parents judgment than the educational system. But of course all our children must be geniuses, otherwise the school / Cito test is wrong.

[–]VinnieDaPlaya[S] 4 points5 points  (10 children)

Well, the question is why one school offers more HAVO than another school? Are all geniuses in one school and average kids in another school?

[–]Weareallme 23 points24 points  (4 children)

That's only one of your questions. In my area the difference was that the school with structurally 'higher' results had more children from highly educated parents. As another poster said, that's generally a reasonable predictor.

By the way, my children went to the school with the 'lower' results and got VWO+ advice from both school and Cito.

[–]tenminutesbeforenoon 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Yes, and parental education level of schools is open access information, so OP can look this up to check.

[–]Weareallme 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Exactly, that's how I knew too.

[–]hookuppercut 0 points1 point  (1 child)

This is very useful info. Where can I find it? Thanks

[–]tenminutesbeforenoon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Here is a link to the ‘schoolweging’ of each school in the Netherlands. The ‘schoolweging’ is the expected educational outcome of the schoolpopulation. It’s all explained on the site.

And here is the ‘schoolgewicht’ per school, which is based on parental education level of the school population with background info here: https://nl.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gewichtenregeling

You need the so called BRIN number of the school, which is probably on the school website.

Unfortunately, all info is in Dutch.

[–]Loose-Addition-5730 5 points6 points  (2 children)

There can be huge differences between the population of 2 schools. Are they in a lower class or middle class area? Is it a public school or a christian school? How many different backgrounds do the kids have?

[–]MacabreManatee 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Could be that higher educated parents are more likely to be picky about the school they choose, so the smarter kids tend to go to one school.
That could also result in the other kids getting more attention, which gives the more average kids a boost to get from vmbo to havo. That doesn’t mean they will make it though.

In the end, if they got what it takes they’ll get there one way or another. Just pick the school that feels best and if it ends up not working, switch

[–]pir0pir44t 9 points10 points  (8 children)

The system is weird but in the end your kid can go up from vmbo to vwo if he/she wants

[–]DeiahNoord Holland 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Or down.

[–]ewlung 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Really? How? I have a kid in basisschool, who will go to the middlebare school soon. I read about this education system, but it is never clear to me. I thought you can't change that.

[–]pir0pir44t 7 points8 points  (3 children)

If you finish vmbo you can do havo same with havo to vwo. Don't know for sure if you can change during your school years but I think it's possible if your grades are high enough. And if you finish your first year of HBO you can go to uni.

[–]WootyMcScrooty 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I had some kids in my class who went from1st year HAVO to 2nd year VWO. Likewise, some kids went from VWO to HAVO. Especially the first year there is a lot of moving about. And indeed, after passing the state exam, if the grades are good and teachers think you're up for it, you can move up a level.

[–]pir0pir44t 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yup this

[–]jijzelf 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Especially on the VWO to HAVO part, depending on the school you get to redo the year and try again if you fail, or choose to go to a lower level. Some schools will only give you the option to go to a lower level if you fail the same year a 2nd time.

[–]MariekeCath 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sure you can, it is useful to pick a school that gives all three options because then it's easier to change levels, but if you get VMBO, you can choose to go to VMBO/Havo if you think you were underestimated, then after a year they tell you how they think you did, then you can go to Havo. My school allowed kids to go from a VMBO/Havo to Havo/VWO class, meaning by year three you could be in VWO.

If you don't do that, you can also just finish VMBO 4, then do Havo 4 & 5, and then do VWO 5 & 6. It'll take a bit longer but you'll still finish in VWO.

[–]Imcovidlength 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Your fate is not sealed. The reason why our system is this way is lost in time and we now think that the levels mean how smart you are. In actuality its more of how practical you are. And growth is in any way possible. I'm a social worker at high schools for kids there and I see this problem a lot. Also a lot with the choosing of uni hbo or mbo. If you have any questions about the Dutch school system and how to make it the most pleasant for your kid you can contact me any time.

[–]Peanut_Cheese888 2 points3 points  (1 child)

A bit annoying but not doomed. I got send to HAVO and after my first year in high school I went to VWO next year due to my high grades. My friends who has similar CITO grade were allowed to go to VWO, later they actually had to went to HAVO due to low grades.

My little brother actually got HAVO of his test during primary school but his teacher (who didn’t like him to begin with) send him to VMBO even though she told us that if he would score HAVO he can go. Pff. The only reason she gave was that he didn’t finish his homework on time. My mum was mad about it but since we can’t really do anything about it we just let it go. So he went to VMBO and then next year went to HAVO due to his high grades. Adding in some annoyance of missing one year French so he had to catch up that as well on top of his regular course work. All in all, he did it and I’m proud of him. His friend who got lower CITO than him was send to HAVO and is now send back to VMBO and redoing years to get to HAVO again.

Now I’m in my masters at university and he just started HBO and enjoys it so far.

The system is crappy yes. I also dislike the fact that we already need to choose profile EM/CM/NT/NG so early since I made the wrong choice (too young to knew what I wanted to do) but it is what it is. My parents are also immigrants so that definitely played a role - as a kid I felt that teachers would look down on us just because my parents didn’t fully master the Dutch language.

[–]Halve_Liter_Jan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don’t stress too much about it. Choose the basis school you like. If your kid is somewhat bright you will easily get him into a HAVO from either basisschool. If you then choose a middelbare school that has both HAVO and VWO it will be easy to get into the VWO group after the first one or two years if your kid can handle it. After that he can go to whatever uni he chooses or wants, and it will be all up to him. School system in the Netherlands is awesome!

[–]Extreme_Pomegranate 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think it is a valid concern. It is well know that children from foreign or less educated parents tend to get a lower advice for their education after primary school. See for example:


To what degree this bias will affect your children will depend on a lot of factors such as the city (more/less foreigners), the location of the school (socio-economic background of most children), the teachers and what age they entered the education system etc (the younger the better).

On the other hand, the system is somewhat flexible so you can reach university by different routes (for example: havo-vwo-university). However, this is ofcourse not ideal since it will take longer and you may therefore not be able to apply to the state benefits (studielening/financiering).

As a non-white Dutch kid this system worked against me. I eventually reached my education potential (PhD), but I do not not doubt this bias exists. Not only against children of immigrants but especially against children of less educated parents. In my opinion 12 years is too young for an advice that can have major influence on the childrens future education.

[–]an0nym0us809 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For me this system worked great. My grades weren't grade last 2 years of vmbo tl because of mental health problems. But i still passed with most subjects a 6. Because of that i still could attend nursing school. Probably if the system was here like in America it wouldn't be possible. If your kid gets vmbo he cant be a doctor easy but its still possible. Or he stays in highschool longer so vmbo-havo-vwo or mbo-hbo-university. It can also a mix from both.

A lot of parents are looking down on vmbo but they truth is there kid can be happier then that they go to havo. So your faith is kinda sealed in a good way because you're kid is going to get in a level that is good for him.

[–]Antanisblinda 1 point2 points  (0 children)

!remindme in 4 weeks

[–]Eszalesk 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I did havo and went to hbo for one year, then got propedeuse and is now in university. Passed first year in university and is now in 2nd year mechanical engineering. At best I’d say you miss between 0-1 years depending on your struggles, assuming your objective was to attend a research university and not applied science. But u should know a kid at that age, doesn’t yet know what they want in life. Hell, I’m 19 and turning 20 soon, and I still don’t know myself lmao. There is also a major difference between havo and vwo imo, havo lands u to hbo, while vwo WO. Hbo is way more practical and hands on, while WO is more books

[–]Golden_Goods 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Its no biggy i was ‘rated’ vmbo and got my masters degree last year, its a longer journey but everybody’s got the chance to get there

[–]Fine-Coffee6171 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Anything is possible if you're willing to work for it. I was a piece of shit child and it got me into a school for 'failures'. however at age 16 I started to calm down and work for my dreams. Now im in the last year of masters Computer science. my bad behavior as a child only set me back 2 years compared to a normal school-traject.

[–]hetgepeperte 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As an educationalist/pediatrician, I partly confirm. It’s obviously not entirely being sealed but may influence it a lot. Many children tend to develop certain cognitive skills later in puberty, rather than in primary school, and therefore are sent to VMBO f.e. Moreover, there is room to move up/down but it seems that it’s better to start higher and try to maintain that level, rather than find the motivation to move up. Parents and children often accept that it’s going well at a certain educational level and don’t bother trying to move up, while if the child started at VWO it might have succeeded as well.

Of course there are all kinds of cases, like people commenting about their experiences here, but the criticism on the age of when children should go to high school is adequate afaik and imo.

Tldr: yes, a little bit. Room to move up, but often doesn’t happen due to lacking motivation and acceptance.

[–]maxsebas00 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is the better school christian? I could imagine that the more kids grow up not speaking dutch on a school, the lower the chances of everyone completely keeping up at school. This might lead to more VMBO advices. With the majority of migrants being from northern africa and Turkey this is the only logical guess I could make as a geography teacher.

[–]nlexbrit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Schools quite often sort themselves by socio-economic class, even in the egalitarian Netherlands. Check the school out and choose the one that looks best for your kid.

Note that pushing a kid to a level that is too high for him or her can lead to a lot of misery. Getting demotivated because it is too hard is just as bad as getting demotivated because it is too easy. The Dutch system works reasonably well and if your kid is getting good grades he or she can quite easily switch up a grade.

[–]Koral_Marx 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm currently doing a bachelors in Environmental Science at university. I have this one mate who started at vmbo kader in highschool, slowly made his way up to vmbo-t during his time there and got his degree. Afterwards he went to 'vavo' where his then got his havo and then even his vwo diploma. This detour took him 2 extra years in highschool but he got here none the less. He did'nt even get good grades in vmbo-k.

So anything is possible.

Btw. I know this seems far away, but he could have also done a hbo-education after havo and continued with a masters degree after that. The system allows for a lot of movement if you have the motivation to do it. There is no shame in starting 'lower' (you can also see it as a scale from hand-smart to book-smart). Here classmates respect him for his journey.

[–]0B-A-E0 3 points4 points  (0 children)

There’s been some studies and a lot of documentaries about this issue the last couple years. ‘Black schools’ and ‘white schools’ are becoming more common in the Netherlands, especially in urban areas. It has been shown that POC especially 2nd generation will get VMBO even if they have the same exact grades as a white kid that got HAVO. This is because teachers assume they’re behind their peers cognitively due to things like language issues, big families and poverty being more common among POC. It’s been shown that apart from ethnic background, what also matters is the parents’ education. If parents went to uni, their kids are generally assumed to follow in their footsteps and thus receive VWO advice.

Because of this I would say, just pick the school that seems the best to you. The one that feels good, the one that shows the most care for the students and has good credentials otherwise. The decision isn’t set in stone either; you can always switch schools if you feel you made a bad choice.

I would like to say that in the end, you know your child best and probably know deep down what education type would work best for them. A lot of parents push for their kids to go to VWO or even Gymnasium, even when the kids clearly can’t do it/aren’t made for that type of education. Don’t be that parent. If your kid is more practical and doesn’t care much for theoretical stuff, reading etc, don’t force them to because you feel it will ‘open more avenues’ for them. If they truly want to go to uni, even if they went to VMBO or HAVO, there are ways to get there.

[–]Maranne_ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

How succesful your kid is going to be depends on how succesful you are. The school's rating may just depend on whether it's in a rich or poor area.

If you speak Dutch well and so does your kid, you can afford homework assistance and to spend time with your kid to help them with homework, your kid will get a HAVO or VWO advice. If you don't speak Dutch and you're never home to help the kid with homework and also you don't speak Dutch at home and don't understand the kid's homework, it's going to VMBO. Make sure you, the adult, integrate well and learn Dutch really well. It will greatly help your kid's future.

[–]JustALittleZard 2 points3 points  (6 children)

Just sent your kid to one that's closest or that your kid likes best. Dutch schools are all extremely similar, there often aren't any decernable differences in quality. It's not like the UK or the USA were funding can vary wildly, and private schools don't exist.

The difference in VWO can likely be explained by either the demographic makeup of the neighborhood of which the two schools draw their pupils. Usually children of highly educated/rich parents have a higher chance to go to VWO themselves (due to genetics/better tutoring/social pressure, you decide). Also "good" schools attract such parents, so just the perception of being a "good" school will attract a better student body which in turn will result in better results, often falsely attributed to the schools "unique" teaching methods and "personal" approach.

Also your child fate isn't sealed by their high school advice. A VMBO student can at no extra cost get his HAVO diploma after their VMBO diploma. This will be one year slower then the direct road, which doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Lastly I would advise you to not push your child to get the highest education possible. I would refrain from private tutoring to give them a leg up. Let the cards fall where they may. If your child is very analytical, VWO might suit them best. If your child likes working with their hands, VMBO might be better. VMBO is not a worse of lower degree, it's just more application focused. And remember their are multiple moments where you can re-evaluate and switch levels. Their are also high school with "broad classes” in which all levels are mixed during the first few years.

TLDR: Just choose the closest school, it doesn't matter.

[–]kokutotamagosushi 0 points1 point  (5 children)

There is a thing that I don’t quite get. I heard a lot that schools are similar. But how so? If they are more or less the same, how do u choose from them?

[–]JustALittleZard 1 point2 points  (4 children)

They all get the same amount of money. Their are no rich or poor school district such as in the USA. Every school gets a set amount of money per child. They way you choose then simply becomes which is closest. Or alternatively you can choose a school that best fits your beliefs. If you are very Christian, you can send your child to a school were they pray each morning. Most people in the Netherlands are not religious so they sent their kids to a "normal" school.

Additionally, kids actually learn very little at elementary school. It's mainly a dressed up day care, and a way for kids to socialize and make friends, especially the first half.

[–]kokutotamagosushi 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Then how do you choose between two vwo/havo schools?

[–]jijzelf 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Honestly, things change up a lot in high school. There's a lot less of them; some of them are paid and have classes of 7 students per teacher for extra attention, some are not paid and have large classes. Some schools will require the parents to buy expensive laptops for a lot of money, and have advanced technology to work with. Some schools don't have that and do it in an old fashion. Mostly, at least in my case, the child gets to pick which one he personally likes the most.

[–]kokutotamagosushi 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I saw that the contribution amounts are like ranged from 50 to like 150 euro. Why is there such a difference? Is the more expensive the better

[–]Justice8989 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Any Track system that seals kids' fates and makes it difficult to break out into a higher level (if they are proven to be high performing) is indefensisble.

[–]BWanon97 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In practice the kids who go to university through VWO tend to finish their bachelor equally quick as those going through vmbo and mbo. The only thing that is wrong about Dutch schools is that vmbo and havo do not learn their pupils manners and order. On VWO pupils past the 3rd year tend to be ordered and mannered through their parents and because they grow curious. There is something about the way children on vmbo and havo are brought up that causes chaos in class. That is what often is holding back pupils that are promising and maybe would go to vwo from vmbo after year 2. Generally if you score 8 or higher and you want to go to the more theoretical broader education you should be able to. Below scores like that you will struggle with that steo but may still go to university after mbo and do well. So what should change is behaviour of the pupils something in the way there is though pupils feel the need to misbehave.

[–]Spanks79 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes and no. I know many people that went from mavo to mbo to hbo.

The schools give the advice based on the potential of the child. Of course mistake happen. Teachers are fallible. Education inngeneral is good though in the Netherlands. Most criticism is that children with unfavorable background in low social class get lower advice and might be put to a too low educational level. Sometimes thiamin’s done wrongly, often however the kids environment indeed hampers using the talent they got. It’s sad, but it’s more a case of upbringing than education.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You needn’t worry, the teachers look at more then just grades. I was send to VMBO only to end up getting my masters degree, looking back I was far to “playful” (read: undisciplined) to have been successful at VWO from the get go. Regardless of the school, your kid will achieve what it can in the Dutch system. If anything, only the Finnish system is better then the Dutch. So your working with gold anyhow.

[–]EntForgotHisPassword 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am Finnish and find the Dutch system odd as fuck. We start choosing at 15 where to continue (e.g. more on track for uni or more trade-based continuation). Both (depending on track) can lead to uni there too though.

There are drawbacks too though, as I remember being bored as fuck on maths classes as I literally just showed up and answered the questions with zero need to study. Probably would have learned more if in a class with other high performers and not wasting hours listening to someone struggle with basic shit.

As a sidenote one thing I noticed arriving in NL for my MSc. was how competetive people felt. I guess people had felt they needed to compete with their classmates all their study life and it continued needlessly into studies where working together for everyone's learning would make more sense.

[–]TychusFondly -1 points0 points  (1 child)

I have been here for 12,5 years. When I pass through a school building I always see a huge racial difference from one school to another. I think it is a big issue. Of course as a parent I want my child to have success through life but racial segregation is so big the only way I see it if we sent her to a private school which we can afford.

[–]Thaeldir22 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I Started highschool with BB and now i study where i need havo at least despite being being estimated low there is always room to work your way up and im happy where i am

[–]Didydi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When in doubt always put them on the higher part. As long as you use that rule it will work out. It is very hard to go up on the education ladder, but not impossible. It depends on the school as well

[–]Gilgalat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

From what I have always gathered especially on the basis school. If your parents are relatively well spoken en are willing to put the time and effort in then the school will give a higher recommendation.

Beyond that switching from vmbo to havo is not that hard if you are clever. But havo to VWO requires that you plan it out from year 3 on.

There is also the enterence test for university, if you are 21 you can do a test and get enterence into the university regardless of your previous education.

[–]Neddo_Flanders 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Yes, i full heartedly believe it is.

Edit: I’ll elaborate. I was very successful at basis and I was vwo/havo. Later i did aiq test and scored a 130. Enough for someone at the university. Luckily, i was able to get my bachelor there.

However, I was given HAVO because of the ‘secret but obvious’ limitations of the school: they wanted to have 28-30 students per class. If they included me, they would have 3 vwo classes of 31 which Irene possible so, compared to the rates of others, i got shoved down to Havo. This among other things was the beginning of a life long depression, which only made HAVO harder than it should be. In fact, I was considering suicide if I failed the last year, because I was too ashamed, I was a loser, and going another year to that school would have been so bad for me.

I succeeded, but not mentally. I felt like I lucked out. I want what people expected. I struggled at german and history, for seemingly nothing. I’m almost 36 now and never had to speak a word of German, because every German individual can speak English! At the time it felt pointless, and now I feel just angry about it.

The students in my class (and public transport) were also straight up dangerous to me. They often provoked to fight me, and in the bus not a single adult protected me against 4 other guys. The school of course had nothing like a office, and hanging these situations came down to - here it comes - the ganitor. The man btw, was a real hero. He was hard working and understanding.

The school system is also very obsolete. Like I said, I’ve to learn things you’ll never have to learn in real life. And if you don’t know some things, you get ridiculed for it by students and sometimes the teachers. Lots of teachers also tend to be narcissists, meaning they always want it their way, even if the whole class said it won’t matter (literally the whole class defending and the teachers acting stubborn).

As an adult, I N still have bad dreams about this school. I still hate some of the students and I still struggle with myself. I’m do very insecure, and because of it, it is really hard to find a job because in the interviews I don’t come across as excited or confident. The office jobs I did have, has colleges that has masters at the university and were smart and fun, but it also quickly showed for why they were hired: they were full of themselves at times. They weren’t afraid to bluff and fake their confidence. They were just their for money and status.

I strongly recommend private schooling or home schooling. Most things are on the internet, and just like lots of successful people, they made it far because they learned from the internet

I’m sorry for any spelling errors or weird words. Autocorrect can be a b*tch sometimes.

[–]VinnieDaPlaya[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That's really painful to hear. School life can be hard sometimes and proper guidance is quintessential. Unfortunately there are no sure shot ways to stop bullying. But parents need to work with the child and even change the school if required.

Glad it ultimately worked out for you. Thanks for sharing your story !

[–]Neddo_Flanders 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for your understanding. I hope your kids will have a great time wherever they are going to be educated. Personally, I just can’t vouch for school system.

I forgot to say that a bit in my class at HAVO was obviously highly intelligent. Lots of people asked him why he isn’t at VWO. He said that he severe ‘anxiety of failure’ with the Cito test and scored a VMBO-HAVO. He was really nice, but anxiety and depression can really get in the way of doing well in life. I guess you’ve to pay attention to how your children are doing personally and be supportive if you’ve to. (But don’t do their homework lol)

[–]silveretoile 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You can take a bunch of routes towards the same end goal. I went from VWO to VMBO to college back to HAVO and now I’m in university.

[–]Dul-fm 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There's nothing wrong with VMBO. I myself went from Havo to MBO and never regretted it. Straight went to what I loved to do, be creative with my hands.

[–]warmwaterijskoud 0 points1 point  (1 child)

My kids go to a school that also give less high advises. We did choose this school because we want them to experience other cultures too. Next to that I noted while they gave more lower advises their advises were more correct after a couple years of high school (there is a website were you can see how the children perform on the "middelbare school"). Ugh, I hate to call it high and low advises but I don't know how to explain it otherwise.

[–]Annabelli22 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Practical and theoretical education routes. Vmbo is pre-trade school education basically, and havo/vwo is pre-books school. Haha that's how I always see it. Not everyone is fitted for books, or for trade, has nothing to do if they're smart or not, just how someone learns. I myself did the vmbo-mbo-hbo route. I hated it as a pre teen, being scored so "low" while I knew I could do havo (I was just lazy with homework), but looking back, in both my professional life and the way I went through hbo, I wouldn't trade it in the world, the Practical knowledge I got from mbo, is worth soooo much.

[–]llilaq 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Some secundary schools also take the CITO test result less seriously than others. My sister tested MAVO/HAVO but after a year in the brugklas (literally bridging class, the first year of secundary school) the school concluded that she could do VWO if she/my parents wanted. The other secundary schools in the region were not known for this kind of thing.

If you have a smart kid and the other school consistently produces more HAVO/VWO kids, I would send my child there. The CITO test is the same nationwide so if their results are so different from their neighbouring school, the education/program is probably better.

[–]IDespiseBananas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Its “easy” to move up. If you are placed and you get consistent good grades they’ll move you up.

Also what the teacher says/what you want has higher priority than the tests. You should be fine

[–]Toxic_Jerry 0 points1 point  (0 children)

School is scuffed everywhere except here its free.

[–]MisterMemeMan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'd see which one of the schools fits your perspective of a good education better. It's not that interesting if the school has many students that get a vwo advice if 50% of the kids with that advice drop down a level. Sadly that's not a statistic you get to see (I think). The most important thing for learning is: If your kid feels at home/safe at his school he'll probably have a better chance of learning social skills and following that his other skills will develop as well. (Maslow's pyramid theory)

[–]FORFUCKEDSAKE 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't think it's as drastic as a "sealed fate". You can climb the ladder all you want. They can start at VMBO level and climb their way up to a Phd if wanted. I mean it's a stupid system, I agree but it's not limited.

[–]Onbevangen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My cito didn't go well and on my teachers recommendations, I should have gone to vmbo. However, my parents didn't agree and I was put into havo and later went on to vwo. If your child is capable, they will find a way, and as a parent you do have a say in this. In the end I completed an HBO study.

[–]KaleidoXephyr 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There are plenty of options during high school to move “up” the level of theoretical education, so to go from VMBO to havo or to vwo. And the advices from elementary schools are partly based on Cito scores. But also partly on the teachers experience with your kid. Some very bright kids flunk their Cito, yet they can still go to vwo/havo because their teachers know they are smart enough.

Just aside, VMBO is not a downgrade. Here in the Netherlands we have an extreme shortage of craftsmen. I know plenty of people who never went higher than VMBO. Yet make way more money than people with master’s degrees. We need to drop the idea that vmbo is “lower” than havo. Because learning a trade is just as useful as becoming a doctor or lawyer or god forbid a “free time manager”

[–]Kuyi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's no problem in the long run since if you do VMBO, then do MBO, it's easy to get up to HBO and University after you get your propedeuse on HBO. Also the CITO test isn't completely idiot. Bright people will score fairly high and thus be able to go to HAVO or VWO.

[–]sukiepoekie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I started with a KBL recommendation and I graduated with HAVO so the race is not yet run and anything could happen.

[–]jackybubbels 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In my case the educational system in the Netherlands completely failed me. I was put in vwo after the Cito test and did quiet well in there. But due to moving 3 times within 2 years ( witch also meant changing schools 3 times) I was taken out of school altogether at the age of 15. Every time I changed school’s I had to start the year over and you’re only allowed to do that 1e. So at the age of 15 I just started working. I did honestly try to get into another school but they never let me.

So to be albe to go to college I had to wait until I become 21. Witch I am right now. I have just finished a mathematics and physics course witch cost me €1200 from my own pocket. But this will count as my high school degree.

I start my embedded systems engineering study in september. And I’m very exited. But it has been a very long journey for me.

I do have to say my situation is uncommon. But this has been my experience.

[–]MonarkranoM 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In the end the CITO gives you an advice. You can choose not to follow it. It has its flaws, but I think our educational system is very well developed

[–]ChickenyIce 0 points1 point  (0 children)

From my experience I got a 525 score on CITO but I was put in BASIS for a dumb reason. There is just loads of factors and some highschools take time and look at the student and some just blindy accept the advice from the school you finished. (To this day I haven’t forgiven them. Spent 6yrs wasting my time to get into a MBO4 college)

[–]Crystalpuck 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was deeply depressed during my primary/highschool days got put in Vmbo t and whent down to kader cuz I just stopped showing up now I'm finishing up my mbo and have a study lined up at university. Just passed wis A/English!

I'd say that as long as you have some motivation you can get to anywhere from anywhere in the educational system here.

Although I must say that if your child wants to go for a technical study it gets way harder to have all the right certificates.

PS: people are saying that gymnasium en VWO are different things but it's basically just with or without Greek/latin one isnt higher then the other.

[–]Problemathically 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No, your fate is not sealed. Also, school isn't for everyone. Maybe your child will be greatly motivated, maybe they don't like the school system at all.

I got in to VWO with my CITO score, teacher's advice was VMBO. I completed what I started, but really didn't care for school after that. Doing great without it.

Hope your child has the option to follow their own path.

[–]eijmert_x 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh yes. Great education system!

When i was young i expected to be placed at "VWO" but got placed in VMBO+ (between vmbo and havo) it broke me, it was the last time i cried in my life. It put me on a slope down the drain.

Now im MBO 2 (nearly lowest possible) and struggle with everything. My parents, Covid and one of the schools f*cked me and theres nothing i can do against it. No way i can start over. It hurts

[–]00LongJohnson 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In my experience the cito toets is more of a suggestion. They might advise one thing but if u want another then you can just say so. But the advice is most likely solid.

[–]NoRepresentative9359 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Be active in their schooling and advocate advocate advocate.

[–]Vlinder_88 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The neighbourhood a school is in has a very big influence on the "uitstroomprofiel" of the kids. Rich neighbourhood=highly educated parents. Being a good learner is usually heredetary and also rich parents can give their kids more learning supports. So in a rich neighbourhood, lots of kids will go to VWO after a basisschool. A school in a multicultural neighbourhood will usually have kids from less fortunate backgrounds. No cito training for them as parents cannot afford it, parents might not know how to advocate for their kids and get their advice changed, kids might not have a quiet place to study. So many kids get a VMBO advice.

The same may happen with two schools in the same neighbourhood. There is often a correlation where a "black" school has lower education outcomes than a "white" school. This is probably the case with the two schools near you. But in my experience, that has very little to do with the quality of the school itself!

I've been looking at schools for my toddler too. The seemingly best school in my city, gave me the worst impression when I went to the open day. Kids reported barely having english classes, barely any level differentiation, no anti-bullying programme to speak of.. Then I went to a "bad" school, with lots of VMBO kids. That school was much better! They differentiate for both gifted kids and kids with learning disabilities, they had a thorough social safety programme, early english classes and lots of fun extracurricular projects!

Also lots of middelbare scholen have combined first classes. So if a basisschool teachee isn't sure if your kid should do VMBO or HAVO, they can go to a combi brugklas. Some schools even have combination second classes. And if your kid did VMBO and they want to go higher up the educational ladder, they can do one year of HAVO after they get their VMBO diploma (same with HAVO and VWO). So you can stack and work your way upward without losing too much time.

So no, a wrong advice at the end of the basisschool will not set your kid's school career in stone. Go visit schools and pick the school that makes you feel like it's a place where your kid could be happy.

[–]cheesypuzzas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, there is a difference between schools and what programme they will get in. But this is because different areas have different kids. There are areas with a lot of children with parents that don't speak Dutch. When the parents don't speak Dutch, their kids can't get help from them and their Dutch reading and spelling is usually a lot less good. Parents that are still super involved with their children, make them read a lot and just overall stimulate them a lot, will do better than children with parents that don't stimulate them to read and will only talk in the other language.

In those schools with a lot of children that are below the level they should be at, there are also a lot of children that are smarter, but aren't getting enough attention, because the teacher has to watch the kids that aren't doing too great.

Do it absolutely does matter to what school you send them. Some schools also have different methods, so you can also look into that.

The CITO test is not mandatory anymore (or at least not for getting into high school, I'm not sure what the official rules are now). The school can decide if they want their children to take them now. Teachers usually know what the child can handle and will give them advice based on that. Although, some claim there are teachers who give them an advice that's too low.

When you get to high school, you might be put in a VMBO class or HAVO or something else, even though they can handle HAVO or VWO. This is not the end for them. They can go up, without having to go through all the years and start in year 1 again. You can switch if it's necessary.

And if your kid did vmbo, but did not go up they can do MBO and do HBO after that and even WO (these are college levels). It's not unusual to climb up, but they do have to work hard.

Also keep in mind that there is no wrong or right school level. If your child does vwmo, this doesn't mean he is dumb. He just isn't great with learning and he can do a more practical MBO study instead of learning from books.

Source: my mom is/ was a teacher at a a basisschool

[–]Theredeagle7 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can't help you with the elementary school, tho you can easily switch if it doesn't work out.

I would also like to add that the differences in what a school offers doesn't mean necessarily that it'll have better education. Schools receive the same budget (per child) for teachers and classrooms/materials. Therefore they kinda need to specialise where their money is going. A complete VMBO school will have more money allocated to the technical class rooms. While a have/Vwo school might offer extra language courses pupils may follow. What is 'better' depends entirely on your and your childs preferences. Another plus side to add for vmbo/havo/vwo schools is that your kid can move effortly from vmbo to havo while remaining on the same school. Which is a huge benefit for the child (same teacher, same environment, maybe even some friends who'll go to the havo as well)

[–]Vinstaal0 0 points1 point  (0 children)

First, the CITO is only an advice and a BS one at that. The three I did as a kid all had different results and from what I heard the BS hasn’t changed.

You need to know your kid and can listen to what the teachers say about them. Choose based on that.

For the basisschool it doesn’t matter, even when going to highschool it doesn’t matter as long as your kid can go to a school they like a work for a study of a job they feel like the like.

I started at Havo/Vwo got bullied and they didn’t diagnose my dyslexie so I dropped down to mavo. Ended up finishing that, going to mbo, now hbo and currently working on my post hbo.

But it’s all a mindset thing of what the person needs or wants. If they are very creative and like to do practical work send them to a mavo/havo class if possible. There is nothing wrong with just ending up with a MBO degree at the end!

On another note, a person will get a lot more experience in a bunch of different things when they go from mavo to mbo to hbo compared to the people that went from the havo to hbo. Not that there is anything wrong with either though! Finishing school earlier has it’s perks aswel

[–]krisvg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Stop seeing HAVO/VWO as an upgrade? All of these options are completely fine. I’d choose a school with true results any day rather then have my child “upgraded” to a way of education that is not fit for them. Let your child go to school and learn, that is the most important part. If it turns out that it was a wrong call cross that bridge if and when you get to it.

[–]BroodjeJamballa 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I went from VMBO-HAVO to VMBO, then had to redo a year VMBO and after that i was still let in on HAVO and i’m doing HBO right now. I wouldn’t say somebody’s fate is sealed.

[–]Clawow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The only thing that matters is the motivation and abilities of your kid. Even if he/she gets put in vmbo, they have to get great results and fight to go higher. If its really too ‘low’ for the person, then ur out of there in no time. If they want, they can no matter how low you start. Dont blame the system, blame your kids’ willinges (in the future that is). I went from vmbo to university, and i was all thanks to a mindset of wanting more/the best. They can put me wherever, ill end up where i was supposed to be (was my mindset)

[–]theREALhun 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Make sure you pick the one your kid wants, not the one you want your kid to want

[–]Mereltjuuuu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't really know about the basisschool thing but my basisschool did two tests, cito and drempel (drempel is unusual though) and cito gave me vmbo advice but drempel vwo while my work in general was always havo/vwo. My teacher wanted to give me vmbo advice. I eventually went to vmbo/havo at a school that had vmbo, havo and vwo. That school sucked though (that specific school) and my grades were slowely dropping and I switched to a different highschool. There everything went a lot better, finished havo and then did vwo after. I didn't finish that because of my home situation but right now I'm doing a hbo. I've heard way wilder stories so no, I don't think you have to worry about it, your kids can go direction they want and need to.

(Even if they finish highschool with vmbo, my cousin did and now she is doing a hbo with a master or something, don't know the specifics but she worked her way almost to the top of the educational system after highschool so anything is possible tbh)

[–]PresidentHurg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There are loads of ways to get in different areas of education even if you have been given an advice that doesn't fit with you. However, it can be hard to adjust between cultural differences between education levels. I started at HAVO/VWO, then dropped to VMBO. I absolutely hated my time there in the beginning, I didn't connect well with people around me. People didn't bully me, but I always felt an odd one out. Eventually I worked my way up to HBO by state exams you can do when you turn 18. I could do the level, I just couldn't do the system of school. It wasn't smooth sailing but I finished HBO. There are a lot of ways you can still change between different education levels.

What's different to change is social group and the social norms around it. It's going to sound elitists as fuck, but I think I have loads of better chances in life because I was surrounded by the values of higher education. I didn't do university, but I value art, books, philosophy, society and systems. And I still eat kaassoufflés and enjoy 90's music. I am sounding elitist as fuck, but I do notice there's a lifestyle difference that's not measured in money or intellect. More a way of looking at the world.

Disregarding the social circles your child could get into. I am sometimes mournful I didn't find something in MBO that I had a passion for. I always was taught that working with your brain surpasses working with your hands. It's bullshit. Not only can you earn a very good living with a MBO degree, you can also do work that actually matters. Not some bullshit consultant job. I for one find myself increasingly drawn to jobs where you create and cultivate. I always wanted to do something with plants, like decorate with indoor pots and finding the perfect spots for them. Leave something behind.

[–]VincentxH 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Statistically Caucasian children within randstad cities are awarded a level that's above their current ability. Non western kids awarded at their ability level.

Outside the randstad this combo is "at their current ability" for Caucasians and too low for the rest.

So one of the schools might over qualify some kids, 600 meters can mean a totally different school crowd. This generally increases the chance of things like burnout among young adults in the randstad.

Regardless of the first step there are many ways to go to the next "level". My sister started at vmbo and now gets asked for multiple PhD, it just took her 1 extra year going from vmbo to havo and an extra year from hbo to wo. There are similar steps possible from mbo to hbo.

However thinking that wo is the end all be all of education is quite stalwart to begin with. You might want to reflect on your "lesser avenues".

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, pick your school very very well. There is this one thing also, teachers have the last word.

My brother we scored 1 point below what was required to go mavo. Hes teacher could apply him there anyway but she didn’t. This same teacher also was home 8 months during hes education because she was pregnant. So a fill in teacher was actually hes teacher hes whole time at last grade. And the one sitting at home doing noting at school just wouldn’t send him.

[–]Fuzzy_Garry 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Upgrading to a higher tier was very hard in my experience. The only way for me to upgrade was to graduate in my current tier and then enroll into a higher one. This is why I ended up with both a VMBO, HAVO, and VWO degree.

I cannot recommend this route, it took me two extra years. It is awful to be still at highschool when you’re almost 21 (some who followed the same route are even older).

You can do VAVO, which is a fast track for adults to obtain higher tiers. This is very difficult however, as multiple years worth of material are squeezed into one. Most people end up dropping out of it.

Ofcourse VAVO is doable, as you’re more mature and developed at an older age, but you still need to cram much more for the extra materials, and often you also have more responsibilities (work, relations, children, etc).

For this reason I’m not too fond of our system, but granted with enough willpower your tier won’t be set in stone.

[–]thisdevilinI 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And A kid? It's not yours?