Catchment areas for primary schools in Amsterdam
Click here for information (website in Dutch) on primary schools in Amsterdam, excluding some international and special education schools. On the website, choose the basisscholen tab, fill in your postcode, house number and your child's date of birth and click bekijk scholen. You will now see a list of schools in your neighbourhood; the first eight schools on the list are the schools closest to your house. At these priority schools (voorrangsscholen), your child will have priority in the enrolment process. Amsterdam's rules for enrolment for primary education apply to children born from 1 July 2011 onwards; the policy is called the City Admissions Policy (stedelijk toelatingsbeleid).
Other primary schools
Some schools do not participate in the City Admissions Policy and won't be listed as a priority school. Click here for a list of these schools. If you would like to enrol your child at one of them, you must do so directly at the school rather than using the central application system. You can find more information about the schools’ specific application rules on their websites.
There are different types of primary schools; public schools and independently-run state schools, all funded by the government. Schools can also have different educational approaches, so it's a good idea to read up on the schools and arrange a visit. Most schools organise information days (voorlichtingsdagen); details can be found on the schools' websites. Many also accept private appointments. This list has a few handy tips on what to look out for when visiting a prospective school.
All parents of three-year-olds automatically receive an official enrolment form in the post (the enrolment deadline for your child is listed on the letter accompanying form; or click here for an overview, listed under aanmeldperiodes. Personal details are printed on the form; check if they are correct and make any changes necessary (if the printed address is not correct, always enclose proof of address with the enrolment form). Fill in the form completely, putting your chosen schools in order of preference. It is recommended to list at least five schools (in order of your preference). The form then needs to be signed and handed in personally at the first school of your preference, where your details will be entered into a central system. You will receive a confirmation of your enrolment within a week. Check all the details on the confirmation thoroughly; if anything is incorrect, contact the school as soon as possible.
If the school has enough places for the number of enrolments, your child will automatically be granted a place. This happens at more than 75% of schools in Amsterdam. If there are more enrolments than there are places available, then children with priority receive a place first. Remaining places are assigned to children without priority.
Once the places have been allocated, parents receive a letter from the school at which their child has been placed. This letter contains a registration deadline. Make sure you formally register your child at the school in time. Once you have confirmed this place at the school, your child is formally registered.
Siblings have priority at the school of your first choice. If you have an older child in school already, you still have to hand in the application form but you only need to list the name of the school your older child already attends. Children with a VVE indication (a recommendation to visit preschool) that have attended preschool for at least eight months, or children attending an Integraal Kind Centrum (IKC) to which the school belongs, get priority for the primary school that is connected with this preschool – if you live in the school’s catchment area. At some schools, a specific religious background counts instead of distance to the child's home.
Newcomer’s classes for primary school children
Children that are between six and 12 years old, new to the Netherlands and don’t speak Dutch join so-called newcomer’s classes. These classes focus on learning Dutch and acquaint the children with Dutch culture, with the aim of them continuing in regular Dutch or bilingual education after one year.
If you have any questions, contact the Helpdesk Stedelijk toelatingsbeleid at [email protected] or 020 251 8006.