Dutch Schools Reluctant to Accept Minority Pupils

26 April 2013

Dutch primary schools are refusing to accept children with an ethnic background, reports newspaper Trouw. The refusal is based on fears that children of an ethnic background will drive down test scores, and that those who do not speak Dutch as a first language will have a negative impact on the school’s performance scores. In addition, the schools are worried that they may become classified as “too black” and therefore unpopular with white parents. Trouw bases its report on information from the Nijmegen based KBA bureau following a research project.

Some 12% of Dutch primary schools have more than 50% ethnic-minority pupils. Parents of children with a minority background who try to register their children at white schools hit a variety of obstacles, Trouw said. These range from simply feeling unwelcome to long waiting lists. In some cases they are referred to a more mixed school ‘where there is more experience with language disadvantage’.