A reading on school choice

More

For those following the debate on school choice, a useful reading from an FT correspondent who went to school in both Britain and the Netherlands. The Dutch system combines publicly financed school choice and academic streaming.

Dutch parents can indeed choose their children's school. The schools are good, even though the country spends less on education than the OECD average. And, crucially, Dutch schools are selective - something that Britain supposedly lost when it abolished most grammar schools in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas British kids used to be selected for life aged 11, in Dutch schools selection never stops. At any age pupils can rise or fall a track. In theory, you can enter the VMBO [schools in the lower academic tier] aged 12 and end up a professor. This flexibility is crucial, because schools are society's best means of redressing the inequality with which children start life. "The Netherlands combines both school choice and academic selection in what many see as an ideal education system," concludes Reform, the British free-market think-tank.

The Dutch system has its problems, as the article explains, but seems more successful than most.

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Did I Study Physics?

In this hand-drawn animation, a college graduate explains why she chose her major—and what it taught her about herself.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In