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Netherlands/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.1 Institutional overview

Cultural education (arts orientation) is a statutory learning domain in primary schools laid down in law. Arts subjects in lower and upper secondary education also have legal status, as does the subject "cultural and artistic education" (CKV) that was introduced for upper secondary education in 1999. Statutory arts education at school (formal arts education) is funded as part of the general funding of schools by the State. Non-formal, "out of school" arts education is partly privately funded (by consumers) and partly funded – to a diminishing extent – by local government. "Out of school" arts education is supplied by private arts teachers and amateur arts organisations (choirs, brass-bands, theatre-groups, etc.), by subsidised local "centres for the arts" and by organisations and projects specialising in "developing artistic talent". In addition to this, there are various temporary funding programmes for arts education in and out of school with the aim to enhance the quality of arts education or to stimulate participation and involvement in the arts.

At the local level municipalities, schools (school boards officially), professional arts organisations, "centres for the arts" and amateur arts organisations are the most important institutional actors in the arts education field. Parents and consumers and various other actors are involved too in shaping this hybrid field.

  • The National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts [or LKCA [Landelijk Kennisinstituut Cultuureducatie en Amateurkunst] collects, develops and circulates knowledge on arts and cultural education and amateur arts. This knowledge is shared through numerous forums such as websites, newsletters, publications, knowledge communities, presentations and meetings. The LKCA works jointly or for policy makers, board members and directors, researchers, professionals and volunteers in arts and cultural education and participation.
  • Due to the autonomy of schools, the role of the Dutch Inspectorate of Education for arts education in primary and secondary schools has always been limited. As of 2015 this has changed: the Inspectorate will report on cultural education in primary schools in order to review whether the programme Cultural Education with Quality has been helpful so far (see  chapter 8.3.2).
  • The Education Council [Onderwijsraad] is an independent governmental advisory body which advises the Minister, Parliament and local authorities. The Council provides advice, both solicited and unsolicited, to the Minister of Education, Sciences and Cultural Affairs and the Minister of Economy.

Chapter published: 19-03-2017

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