Good education for everyone: that is the goal which the Education Council of the Netherlands is committed to helping achieve. For more than a hundred years the Council has been advising successive governments and parliaments on education policy and legislation. The Council’s work culminates in evidence-based studies and advisory reports focused on offering solutions for the long term. They deal with all aspects of the education system, from pre-school provision right through to post-university education and lifelong learning and development.

The Council is an autonomous body, which is grounded in Dutch society and education. Its reports are fed by the knowledge and experience of those working in the field, and also draw on education policy and legislation, as well as being based on scientific knowledge and insights. The Youth Education Council (JongerenOnderwijsraad), made up of pupils and students across a range of ages and school types, supports the Council with experiences and ideas about Dutch education and a range of linked topics.

The Council currently consists of 10 members. They serve in a personal capacity and are appointed by royal decree. The members are independent and do not represent specific interest groups. Expertise is the primary prerequisite for appointment. This expertise may be based on experience gained in educational practice and/or on academic merits. An additional requirement is that the Council is pluriform, meaning that the members form a cross-section of the various religious and social movements in Dutch society.

The Secretariat supports the work of the Education Council. There are currently about 20 staff employed in the Secretariat.

Annual Work Programme
The Council performs its tasks on the basis of an annual work programme determined by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. Together with the national budget this programme is presented to the upper and lower chambers of parliament on the third Tuesday in September. If it so desires, the lower chamber can add its own recommendation requests to the work programme.