More girls than boys exceeding expected school level

© Hollandse Hoogte / Sabine Joosten
In 2017/’18, more girls than boys in the third year of secondary education were studying at a higher level than recommended by their primary school. This applied to all students who did not fall behind in their studies in the meantime. In 2014/’15 - as these students were in the final year of primary - these girls also scored higher in the final assessment test than previously indicated. This is evident from figures as published in the National Youth Monitor by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

As of the 2014/’15 academic year, the primary school teacher’s recommendation has become leading in the admission to secondary education. The final primary education test is not administered until after the teacher has made an initial recommendation. This recommendation may be revised if the final test results exceed recommendations by the school. In 2014/’15, more girls had a higher final test result than could be expected based on the school recommendation compared to boys.

Higher test result than school recommendation, 2014/'15 (%)
 BoysGirls
Initial school recommendation
HAVO/VWO27.831.7
HAVO13.115
VMBO-gt/HAVO38.341.3
VMBO-gt21.322
VMBO-k/gt46.849.1
VMBO-k34.336.5
VMBO-b/k39.343.5
VSO/PRO/VMBO-b23.824.1

Girls more often achieve higher test results than boys

In 2014/’15, girls were more likely to receive a higher level assessment based on the final primary education test than the initial recommendation by their teacher compared to boys. However, at 2.8 and 2.5 percent respectively, the share of girls that received a revised recommendation was not significantly higher than among boys. Final recommendations for both girls and boys continued to follow each other closely.

Definitive school recommendation, 2014/'15 (%)
 BoysGirls
VWO20.319.2
HAVO/VWO6.26.1
HAVO2222.2
VMBO-gt/HAVO5.25.5
VMBO-gt2222.9
VMBO-k/gt1.81.9
VMBO-k11.411.3
VMBO-b/k2.52.4
VSO/PRO/VMBO-b8.68.4

Girls in third year more often at higher level than recommended

In the academic year 2017/’18, girls in Year 3 of secondary education were more likely than boys to be enrolled at a higher level than the final recommendation by their primary school. This only applied to students who did not repeat in any ensuing year. Around 16 percent of the girls in Year 3 of secondary education were studying at a higher level than the final recommendation in primary versus 10 percent of the boys.

At all levels of education, this percentage share is higher for girls than for boys; for example, nearly 21 percent of female students in Year 3 of pre-university education (VWO) had previously been assessed at a lower level, against 14 percent of the male students.

Level in Year 3 of secondary compared to final assessment in primary, 2017/'181 (%)
 LowerEqualHigher
VWO-3
Boys8614
Girls79.420.6
HAVO-3
Boys11.777.910.3
Girls6.87617.2
VMBO-t-3
Boys22.170.77.1
Girls14.775.110.2
VMBO-g-3
Boys16.768.714.6
Girls1067.822.2
VMBO-k-3
Boys23.663.213.2
Girls15.965.218.9
VMBO-b-3
Boys22.677.4
Girls17.182.9
1This concerns students in Year 3 of secondary education in 2017/’18 and who received a final recommendation for secondary in 2014/’15, excl. students receiving VSO or practical education as recommended level.

Boys more likely to perform below the recommended level

The same applies in reverse in that boys in Year 3 of secondary were relatively often enrolled at a lower level: 14 percent of the male Year 3 students were enrolled at a lower level than their recommended level in the final year of primary (in 2014/’15). This was the case for slightly under 9 percent of the female students.