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Absence and truancy

In the Netherlands, school attendance is compulsory for children aged 5-16. If a student plays truant for more than three consecutive days, the school is required to notify the school attendance officer (leerplichtambtenaar) who is employed by the municipality. He or she will investigate the reason for absence and may take action.

Parents are responsible for students younger than 12 years, and if they consciously allow their children to miss school, they can be prosecuted. Students over the age of twelve can also be given community service or be fined. In the case of extra holidays during school time without school’s permission (luxeverzuim), it is likely that an unofficial report is made.

Under some special circumstances, a child may obtain leave-of-absence from their compulsory education (e.g., disease, religious holiday, marriage, funeral, etc.). In these cases or in case of extra holidays during the school time, applications must be submitted to the school’s board.

If your child has a reason to be absent, you must always notify the school.