Dutch schools in Amstelveen popular amongst expat children
Amstelveen is especially popular amongst expats relocating to the Amsterdam metropolitan area. According to Het Parool, in 2008, 500 new arrivals came to the Amsterdam metropolitan area. This number has now increased to 13.000 per year, and some also have children.
The meaning of expat has changed
Bringing your children along with you means you have to find a school for them, whether this be a Dutch school or an international school. In the past, Amstelveen was popular amongst expats who had been sent to work in the Netherlands by their companies.
These expats tended to have a good salary, and the enterprise posting them would also contribute towards international school fees for their children. However, today’s expats are different. Often called highly skilled migrants, with a local contract, they do not necessarily earn enough to send their children to an international school.
According to the Education Survey 2017 by the International Community Advisory Panel (ICAP), 63 percent of expats in the Netherlands receive no help from their employer in paying school fees. This percentage is higher for expats in Amsterdam.
Of the respondents to the ICAP survey, more than half had sent their children to a Dutch school and seven out of ten were happy to very happy with the quality of the education offered. Some Dutch schools have come up with creative solutions to help expat children integrate, such as providing them with an introductory year to help them learn Dutch school skills.
Dutch municipal money
The municipality has made extra money available for these introductory year classes, where children of refugees and migrants receive a year of intensive language lessons. However, this is not enough to meet the demand.
The municipal council of Amstelveen now meets with schools every two months to discuss how pupils can be helped. There are also plans for a governmentally funded school for international education in 2019.
In two years time, the Amsterdam metropolitan area expects to have 3.000 expat children at schools, half of which at regular Dutch schools. Currently, Dutch government policy concentrates on creating more international school places in Amsterdam and The Hague through investment. Additionally, steps are being taken to internationalise Dutch schools.