On average, more pupils with a non-western foreign background than native Dutch pupils stay down a year in the first years of secondary education. However for pupils who start out in the two practical vocational tracks of preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo), native Dutch pupils stay down more often than pupils with a foreign background.
Most pupils choose level of education that connects with first year
The school progress of the cohort of pupils who were in the first year of secondary education in school year 2003/’04 has been charted. After three years, most of the pupils in this cohort were still in a level of education which connected up with their first year level. Ninety percent of first year pupils in general secondary education (avo) which includes the theoretical and combined tracks of vmbo, senior general secondary education (havo) and university preparatory education (vwo) were still in general secondary education two year later. Three quarters of first-year pupils in the practical vocational tracks of vmbo (advanced vocational track and basic vocational track) were also in these tracks two years later.
One in ten first-year pupils in the two practical vocational tracks of vmbo had moved up to general secondary education, 7 percent of first-year pupils from general secondary education has moved down to the practical tracks of vmbo.
First-year pupils 2003/’04 two years after first year
More girls than boys move upwards
Native Dutch pupils are more likely to move upwards and less likely to move downwards than pupils with a non-western foreign background. Within the latter group, girls do better than boys: 10 percent of girls move downwards from general secondary education to the practical vocational tracks of vmbo (compared with 13 percent of the boys in this group), 8 percent of the girls move up from the practical vocational tracks of vmbo to general secondary education (5 percent of boys).
First year pupils 2003/’04 two years after first year
Pupils with a foreign background more likely to repeat a year in general secondary education
In the three years the cohort was monitored, more pupils with a non-western foreign background stayed down than native Dutch pupils. This was not the case for all levels of education, however. Pupils with a non-western foreign background are more likely to stay down a year if they start in general secondary education, but native Dutch pupils are more likely to stay down a year if they start in the practical vocational tracks of vmbo.
Percentage of pupils staying down a year in first three years, first-year pupils 2003/’04
Wilmie Weltens and Marina Pool