The average distance for Dutch residents to the nearest secondary school is 2.4 km. Nine in ten residents have at least one school within a 5 km radius.
Havo/vwo schools on average further away than vmbo schools
In the school year 2006/2007, the distance to the nearest secondary school was 2.4 km, but there is a difference between the various levels within secondary education. The average distance to schools at havo/vwo level was 3.2 km; the nearest vmbo school was on average 2.6 km away.
Largest average distance in Zeeland
Average distances vary widely per province. In 2006/2007, pupils in the province of Zeeland had to cover the longest distance: on average they lived 6.6 km away from the nearest havo/vwo school and 5.2 km from the nearest vmbo school. The corresponding figures for pupils in the province of South Holland were 2.3 and 1.9 km.
Average distance to secondary schools, school year 2006/2007
Distances also vary considerably at neighbourhood level. In the small Junius quarter in the municipality of Delft, the average distance to the nearest school was only 85 metres, whereas pupils in Westnieuwland in Goedereede had to travel nearly 250 times as far ((21 km).
In some neighbourhoods, average distances vary according to the type of education. Residents of Verspreide huizen Oosterend-Zuid on the West Frisian Island of Terschelling lived 43.1 km away from the nearest havo/vwo school on the mainland and 7.0 km from the vmbo school, which is on the island.
Major cities offer widest range of options
Nine in ten people in the Netherlands have at least one school for secondary education within a 5 km radius around their homes. Residents of the Willemspark area in Amsterdam could choose from as many as 36 schools within that distance.
In one in five municipal districts, there is no school for secondary education within a distance of 5 km; 10 percent of the Dutch population live in these areas.
Number of schools for secondary education within a distance of 5 km, school year 2006/2007
Only a small number of schools in Zeeland and the north of the country
Residents of nearly all neighbourhoods in the highly urbanised Randstad region have 10 or more schools for secondary education within a radius of 10 km around their homes. In 267 areas, predominantly in the province of Zeeland, there is no school within that distance. In the north of the country, beyond the urbanised areas of the provincial capitals of Leeuwarden and Groningen, secondary school pupils can often choose from no more than two schools within a distance of 10 km.
Number of secondary schools within a 10 km radius, school year 2006/2007
Ingeborg Deerenberg, Marijn Zuurmond and Chantal Melser