Bringing local and regional policies up to date

Formally, Dutch municipalities play a limited role in education and their role has been restricted to a limited number of tasks set by Acts of Parliament. Education policies are a concern of central government together with more or less autonomous school boards. Most schools in the Netherlands are privately run and most schools run on behalf of public authorities have been removed from direct control by municipalities. In recent years, however, both local authorities and schools have acquired wider responsibilities regarding the raising and development of children and adolescents. Decentralisation programmes pertaining to social policy – especially youth care, long-term care and income support – have also prompted more and more municipal authorities to begin looking at education as well. Based on their local mission, individual municipalities are developing education policies of their own.