Requesting Special Leave

In this article you can find out more information about applying for Special Leave.

By Marloes Petram, OIS School Counsellor

Consistent daily school attendance for children between the ages of 5 and 16 is compulsory in the Netherlands and necessary to ensure academic progress. It is assumed that parents comply with the standard school holidays. Any extension of holidays will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Special leave may be granted under article 11 of the Education Act 1969.

Three week holidays instead of two

Winter (Christmas) holidays are coming up again. Unlike Dutch schools, our students receive three weeks’ holiday instead of two. That way there is more time to celebrate the holidays with family who often live overseas. Throughout the school year, the children spend more hours a week at school to ‘earn back’ the extra week of holiday given in December.

Last year, many requests for an additional week of winter/christmas holidays were granted. This was largely due to the fact that we had two years of covid-19, where many families had not been able to visit their relatives for a long time. This year however, we are applying the rules before covid-19.

There have been many requests for extending the winter holidays, and after consultation with the Truancy Officer (leerplicht ambtenaar), the last applications have now been settled.

Any new applications for extended winter holidays for this year, will no longer be granted!.

For any other applications in the future 

Any applications, not attached to the holidays, should be made six weeks in advance.

  • Please use the form under downloads or go to attendance
  • Always ensure to enclose verifiable proof
  • A rejection will not be re-evaluated after new arguments. Processing leave requests would otherwise become so time-consuming that it would be at the expense of student care.