In this episode, we talk to Mischa Rus about the practical issues of school choice in Amsterdam, how the lottery and placement system has changed in recent years, and how the system currently stands.

Mischa Rus is a concerned parent in Amsterdam, active for freedom of choice in schools, and until recently was a volunteer for OCO which is a non-profit, independent organization providing free professional advice on education in Amsterdam. Mischa initially started volunteering for OCO after she came to them for advice herself. In 2013, she was one of the parents in Amsterdam whose child did not get a place at any of her chosen primary schools in the school lottery, which led her to become active for the freedom of choice in schools.


Topics we discuss include:

  • What is the hierarchy structure for schools in Amsterdam.
  • What factors led to the most recent crisis with the school lottery system in Amsterdam
  • What is an eenpitter school
  • What changes took place in the lottery system and how that process worked
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the new registration and lottery system
  • What is meant by freedom of choice in the school system
  • What do parent organisations calling for greater freedom of choice want from the school system
  • How international parents can get involved and stay informed

Show Notes:

OCO (Ouder Consumenten Organatie)

Vrijheid van Schoolkeuze in Amsterdam (Free Choice of Schools in Amsterdam)

Vrije Schoolkeuze Amsterdam (for secondary schools)

Ouders & Onderwijs 


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Donna Bardsley

Donna Bardsley is the travel-loving mother of three homebodies who hate to leave the house. After living in Amsterdam for six years, she has recently moved her family back to the US where she is experiencing all the joys of reverse culture shock.