What if my child is about to enter high school?


What if my child is about to enter high school?

After elementary school, your child will enter middle school, or secondary school. This is an important step. Does your child need help (even) in high school? Then see if the school can arrange this.

Your child will receive a school recommendation from the elementary school. This lists which type of education suits your child. For example, havo, vmbo-kader or vwo. You will also receive from the school a list of high schools that match this school recommendation.

Most children attend high school after grade 8. Children are usually about 12 years old by then. Your child may remain enrolled in elementary school through the school year in which your child turns 14.

How do I find a school that suits my child?

To find out which school is right for your child, look at the school recommendation. To what your child needs. And to what your child himself thinks is important. Your child’s elementary school can also help you decide which school is right for your child.

On the
website Scholenwijzer
you will find information about secondary schools in Haaglanden. What schools are there? What suits your child? What can you look out for? How does signing up work? The School Guide answers these questions.

You can go to open days. This can be done as early as when your child is in grade 7. Schools organize open days, information evenings- and parent evenings-in January. You can find the dates of these open days on Scholenwijzer.

Other tips include:

  • Check around at various schools, before you your child
  • Ask for a tour of the school
  • Ask you wonder: how do you the atmosphere at school? Does feel it good? And does it suit you and your child?
  • Ask To a introduction with the coordinator appropriate education
  • Ask what help the school often How do they think about doing something extra for a student?
  • Ask other parents if they are satisfied with the school

Does your child need extra help? Especially then, it is important to find an appropriate school in time. Look carefully at what a school can do for your child. All students may take advantage of basic support. The interpretation of this may vary from school to school.

Also, see what the school can do for your child if extra support is needed. This is stated in the school support profile (SOP). You can find the SOP in the school guide or on the school’s website. Or request it from the school.

How do I enroll my child in a school?

From the elementary school you will receive the school recommendation and the regional application form. This form also includes a preference list. On this you can enter your favorite schools. Put your favorite school at #1, your second choice at #2, and so on.

Please note that the more schools you fill out, the more likely your child will have a spot. So try to fill in at least 6 schools.

Submit the application form and completed preference list to the high school of your first choice. This can be done by mail, email (scan) or in the school mailbox. Sometimes this is done digitally. Then you hear that from the elementary school.

Then the high schools get to work. They will see if your child’s school recommendation fits. And whether the school can provide the right help. Most students thus get a place at the school of their first choice

Some schools get more applications than they have spots. Then priority rules are applied first. For example, for children who live closer to the school. The other spots will be raffled off among the other students.

If your child is drawn at the school of first choice, he or she will enter the central draw. This will place your child at one of the other schools on your preferred list. So always list multiple schools.


The school may ask you for permission to share or request information about your child. You don’t have to give permission for everything. There are rules for that. This is how you need to know in advance:

  • What information it
  • What information is needed for
  • Where it becomes
  • Those who can

Registration is done in February each year. The exact end date varies from year to year. Are you late? Then there will be a second round in April. And after the May vacations, there is another chance to enroll your child in a school where there is still space.

Can I enroll my child in a school for vso myself?

Sometimes it is clear that your child will need extra support (even) in high school. If a regular school in the area cannot provide that help, you can register your child directly with a school for secondary special education (vso).

Is your child already in a regular high school? Then, too, you can enroll your child in a school for vso. First, talk to the school your child is currently attending. First, ask if they can provide any additional help or support themselves.

Is additional support needed beyond basic support? Then the school draws up a developmental perspective plan (OPP). This is also necessary if the school feels your child would be better off in special education.

The school has a duty of care for your child. This takes effect when you have registered your child with the school. They need to explore whether they can provide the right support for your child. If not, they will help you find another school.

What happens when I enroll my child in a school?

After application, the school will see if they will enroll your child. The elementary school provides information about your child to the high school. To do this, they will make an educational report on your child.


If you already know that your child needs extra help, it is important to indicate this when you register. The school then has 6 weeks to investigate what help your child needs. And whether the school can offer this well.

Sometimes they need more information or do additional research. That could take another 4 weeks. The school will let you know what information they need and why.

The school has a duty of care for your child. This takes effect when you have registered your child with the school. They need to explore whether they can provide the right support for your child. If not, they will help you find another school.

Have you found a new school? Then register your child there. From then on, the new school has the duty of care for your child.

When does the school enroll my child?

An application is different from a registration. After you register your child, the school will see if they enroll him or her. The school will always let you know in a letter or email whether or not your child will be enrolled.

A school’s duty of care does begin at registration. This means that the school ensures that your child receives an appropriate education. Even if the school does not enroll your child. The school will then work with you to find another place.

This may be another secondary school, or a school for secondary special education (vso) or practical education (pro). Placement at a special education school first requires an admission statement (TLV).

What if I know my child needs extra help?

Sometimes you know even before your child enters middle school that he or she needs extra help. It is a good idea to tell this when registering with the school. It is important to discover what the school can do for your child.


The school must get enough information from you to investigate what support your child needs. They ask you to share information about your child with them. Also discuss this with your child and explain what it is needed for.


You do not have to give the entire report of an investigation to the school. For example, because it also contains information about others. You can also give part of the report to the school. Or just a summary.

The school may also request contact with a practitioner for your child. You can ask questions about this. Ask the school what information they need and why. Who will soon be able to read all of this? And can’t you provide that information yourself?

The school always asks your permission first. Without that permission, the school may not consult with others outside the school about your child. And don’t read research papers.

With all the information, the school investigates whether they can provide the appropriate support within 6 weeks. Sometimes there is an exception. For example, when registering for a new school year. The school discusses this with you as a parent.

Sometimes the school lets you know that more time is needed for the examination. That may take an additional 4 weeks. Once it is clear what your child needs in terms of education and extra help, the school will see if they can provide it. And so whether they can enroll your child. The school will make a report of the examination. You can ask for a copy of this report.

A new school has duty of care from the moment you registered your child. This remains true even if the school cannot enroll your child. Is your child changing schools? Then the old school has duty of care until you register your child at the new school.

What if the school refuses my child?

The school may refuse to enroll your child. This can have several reasons, for example:

  • The school is
  • There are arrangements for dividing children among
  • You do not support the school’s religion or philosophy of life.
  • The school does not match the elementary school recommendation.

The school may not refuse your child because he or she needs extra support. But sometimes the school can’t provide what your child needs. Then the school should help you find another suitable school.

If the school rejects your child, you will receive a letter about it, explaining why your child is rejected. You can object if you disagree:

  1. Send a letter or email that you object
  2. Do this within 6 weeks after the school informs you in a letter or email that there is no place for your child.
  3. The school must then respond to your objection within 4 weeks If they fail to do so, they must temporarily enroll your child.

In case of a serious disagreement, you can go to the
Disputes Committee

Appropriate Education (gpo).
The committee will investigate your report. Then they make a statement. The school board is under no obligation to follow their advice.

What is a Parent and Youth Support Center?

Do you have questions about appropriate education? Want advice or to talk to someone who thinks with you? Then, of course, you can contact your child’s school. But sometimes you can’t figure it out. Or would you like to ask someone else your questions.

Then you can contact the Parent and Youth Support Center of the municipalities of The Hague, Rijswijk and Leidschendam-Voorburg. For all parents of children in elementary or middle school, or college. And for children and youth who have questions of their own.

You can call us on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., phone number: 070 – 31 56 356. Or email
We’ll be happy to help.

On this website you will find the answers to many questions surrounding appropriate education. We offer you the right information. We also know how everything is regulated in the region and what your rights and obligations are.

In addition, parents and youth can call us with questions. We can help you with practical matters. You can spar with us. Discuss your questions and doubts – without affecting, for example, decisions made by the school.

Every partnership in the Netherlands has a parent and youth support center since school year 2022-2023. So does SPPOH (for elementary school) and the SWVZHW (for secondary school) in Haaglanden. We are here to help you.

You can also contact the Parent and Youth Support Center