Inclusive education in the Netherlands

Inclusive education in the Netherlands


What does the research say?

Worldwide, we see that students with special learning needs are increasingly participating in regular education. However, the numbers of pupils in special needs education vary greatly between different countries. This is due to differences in education systems, funding and policy incentives associated with these funding arrangements, and demographic trends.
In 2014, the Netherlands introduced new policies aimed at offering inclusive education. This was done together with financial measures to reduce the gap in funding for pupils with specific learning needs between regions. This study explores the effects of these policies, the demographic trends with respect to drop-out rates and participation rates in special education. This has been investigated on the basis of nationwide registration systems.

What are the main conclusions?
  1. Reducing the total number of students does not result in fewer students in special needs education.
  2. Reduced funding results in fewer students in special needs education.
  3. Reduced funding results in a higher percentage of school leavers in regions where pupil populations are increasing.