Number of home educated children in the Netherlands remains exceedingly small

Home education is a careful and conscientious choice

The decision to home educate is not taken lightly: in all cases, it is the result of a careful process in which parents thoroughly explore the option of home education and conscientiously weigh its pros and cons. The choice to home educate involves a substantial investment of both time and finances, and not every parent is willing or able to make this commitment. That is the reason why the number of home educators remains very small, both in the Netherlands and abroad.
nulkommanuleenprocentgrafiek

Home education concerns a very small group

In his letter, the Secretary of State expresses his concern regarding the increase in the number of home educated children in the last thirteen years to some 400 school-age children. We would like to point out that there are more than 2.5 million school-age children in the Netherlands. By comparison, the group of approximately 400 home educated children remains extremely small, both in absolute and in relative terms. Only 0.01% of Dutch school-age children are home educated, and this number has remained extremely small for the past thirteen years. In view of this fact, any ‘concern regarding an increase’ seems to be rather exaggerated.

Fear of ‘honey pot effect’ is unfounded

The Netherlands Association of Home Education (NVvTO) sincerely hopes that the proposal to abolish home education on the basis of life philosophical objections is not motivated by fear of a ‘honey pot effect’. In the same letter, State Secretary Dekker also proposes to make it easier for schools to change denomination at the parents’ request. We hope that the State Secretary is not worried that home education will become an attractive option for dissatisfied parents. Such a fear seems to us to be entirely unfounded. Change of denomination has already been available for secondary education since 2008 and this has not led to a sudden increase of home educated children within this age group.

In other European countries, where home education is a fully valid and freely available option, the number of home educators remains extremely small. In most of these countries, home education does not exceed 0.1% of school-age children.

Sources:

– School not necessarily the best choice for a child – James Kennedy http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4328/Opinie/article/detail/1872741/2011/04/09/School-niet-per-se-beste-voor-kind.dhtml
– Kohnstamm studies (first study and follow-up):
http://www.kohnstamminstituut.uva.nl/rapporten/pdf/sco802.pdf
http://www.kohnstamminstituut.uva.nl/rapporten/pdf/ki840.pdf

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