A revised version of this article has been published on 21 June 2007.
One in every twenty pupils in secondary education (vo) and secondary vocational education (mbo) leave school without a basic qualification. At the lowest mbo level, the drop-out rate is even as high as one in three.
More than one million pupils
In the school year 2004/’05, there were 1.2 million pupils attending secondary education and secondary vocational education. One year later, approximately one in twenty had dropped out, i.e. left school prematurely without a basic qualification.
Mbo accounts for highest drop-out rate
With 10 percent, mbo has a higher drop-out rate than vo (4 percent). Within the mbo sector, the drop-out rate is generally lower, if the level is higher. Pupils attending mbo at the first level have a drop-out rate of 34 percent. At the second level, the drop-out rate was reduced to over 15 percent. The rates for the third and fourth level were 9 and 6 percent respectively.
High drop out rate among vmbo pupils
With over 6 percent, most drop-outs in vo were registered in the last two school years of lower secondary vocational education (vmbo). It mainly concerns pupils whose school career was slowed down for whatever reason.
Vo and mbo drop-outs by type of school, 2005*
First generation pupils with non-western background have highest drop-out rate
With almost 9 percent, the drop-out rate among pupils with a non-western background was higher than among native Dutch pupils (5 percent). The first generation had a higher drop-out rate than the second generation and the rate was particularly high among pupils who had lived in the Netherlands for less than five years. Broken down by country of origin, there are no striking differences with respect to drop-out rate.
Vo and mbo drop-outs by background, 2005*
Drop-out rate twice as high for children from single-parent families
Pupils from single-parent families relatively often left school prematurely. With 9 percent, their drop-out rate was nearly twice as high as for children from two-parent families. A small proportion of mainly mbo pupils lived on their own. This category also had a relatively high drop-out rate of nearly 17 percent.
Fewer school drop-outs from high-income households
Generally, the drop-out rate is lower for pupils from high-income households. There appears to be no link between school drop-out and number of household members.
Vo and mbo drop-outs by household characteristics, 2005*
Marijke Hartgers and Jantien van Zeijl