Once children leave primary school (bassisschool), they enter secondary education which generally continues until the age of 16 - 18, depending on the type of education chosen. All secondary schools start with a basic curriculum. Every student takes a wide variety of classes that are more or less the same regardless of which school is attended.
In the Netherlands, there are different levels of secondary education:
Lower secondary professional education (Voorbereidend Middelbaar Beroepsonderwijs - VMBO)
Children are prepared for a practical internship followed by employment or vocational education. A VMBO course generally takes four years.
General senior secondary education (Hoger Algemeen Voortgezet Onderwijs - HAVO)
This course takes five years and prepares children for Higher Vocational Education/College/University of Applied Sciences (HBO).
Pre-university education (Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs - VWO)
This course takes six years and is the admission level for universities.
The Ministry of Education, culture and Science has a dedicated website listing all primary and secondary schools.
The Expat Centre and the Municipality of Leiden organize seminars about Dutch education in general, covering which schools offer English language from
group 1, international schools and how to find a school in Leiden, Leiderdorp, Oegstgeest, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude.