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A study of the impact of Passend Onderwijs on catering for pupils with special educational needs in the Netherlands

Van Roij, Anna Maria


Anna Maria Van Roij


Clive, 1953 Opie


The main task of the Dutch education policy, Passend Onderwijs (Suitable Education) is creating a covering network of support facilities to provide a suitable place in education for all children. In achieving this the expectation was that one might not only see a shift of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) between existing special educational settings but also an increase of support for such pupils within mainstream education. A further expectation was that there would be a reduction in the number of home-sitters, children without any education.
Partnerships of school boards in a region function as support offices to enable the creation of suitable places. To achieve this their coordinators focus on the efficient allocation of the scarce resources for additional support and on upgrading the basic support in mainstream education. For this purpose, the various Dutch educational councils distinguished three allocation models: the School model, Expertise model and Pupil model (Education-Councils, 2011).
These models led to my Main Research Question:
Is there a link between the choice of a model for the allocation of the fixed budget under Passend Onderwijs and the support structures employed by the partnerships in catering for pupils with SEN in mainstream education, special mainstream education or special education schools?
The resulting qualitative study was conducted in 19 partnerships in the south of the Netherlands. Data were collected utilising semi-structured interviews. The quantitative results of the study provided insight into the expectation that Passend Onderwijs would lead to an increase in the number of pupils being catered for in mainstream education.
Partnerships take their main task very seriously, and they succeed in a better organisation of the extra support for pupils with SEN. The study does not show a specific link between the applied model(s) and the support structures. Given the budget constraints, meeting all specific requests for support from teachers, pupils and their parents was not realistic (Stoker, 2019). The quantitative data show that for the partnerships there are limits. Passend Onderwijs is not inclusive. There are always children who rely on special facilities. A further aspect of the introduction of Passend Onderwijs was that it was hoped there would be a greater symbiosis between education and Youth Care, the external social structure in place to support families and help prevent escalation of problems. Unfortunately, in carrying out my research it became clear that, due to changes to Youth Care being implemented at the same time as Passend Onderwijs, this was not achieved.


Van Roij, A. M. (2020). A study of the impact of Passend Onderwijs on catering for pupils with special educational needs in the Netherlands. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 21, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Education
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Education Studies, The University of Hull
Award Date Sep 1, 2020


Thesis (2.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2020 Van Roij, Anna Maria. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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