In the school year 2011/’12, there were 1.4 thousand schools in primary education with an enrolment of fewer than 100 pupils. Proportionally, most small primary schools are found in the provinces of Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe and Zeeland.
Marginal growth number of small schools
In 2011/’12, there were nearly 7 thousand primary school establishments in the Netherlands. One in five had fewer than 100 pupils. The number of small primary schools has grown somewhat in recent years, after a slump in the period 1991–2001. One quarter of these small schools had fewer than 50 pupils.
Small primary schools
Relatively high number of small schools in the north and south-west of the Netherlands
In many municipalities in Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe and Zeeland, at least half of primary schools are small schools with fewer than 100 pupils. In other sparsely populated municipalities in the east of the country, in West-Friesland, on the islands in the province of South Holland, in the river area in the province of Gelderland and in central Limburg, 25 to 50 percent of all schools are small. The rapidly declining number of primary school pupils in the south of Limburg appears to have given rise to a sharp drop in the number of small schools.
Share small schools in primary education by municipality, 2011/’12*
South Holland offers widest choice
Residents of South Holland can choose from more than 40 primary schools within a distance of 5 kilometres from their homes, residents of the province of Zeeland can choose from only 9 schools.
At the municipal level, residents of the municipalities of The Hague and Rijswijk (in South Holland) have the widest choice of primary schools. Within a radius of 5 km around their homes, they can choose from approximately 80 schools. In the West-Frisian islands of Schiermonnikoog and Vlieland, children have only one school to go to within that distance.
Primary schools in the direct vicinity, 2011
Theo van Miltenburg and Aad de Wit