Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids!

Compulsory education generally does not have to get in the way of a family trip around the world. Yet parents often have many questions about compulsory education. Can I go on a world trip if my kids are under compulsory education? When can I get out of compulsory education for a world trip? Is it possible to get out of compulsory education? All questions that we ourselves could not find very clear information about online. In this travel blog, we are going to try to tell you all about compulsory education if you want to go on a world trip with your kids.

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compulsory education world trip

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

What is compulsory education in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, compulsory education applies to all kids from five to 16 years old. Students without starting qualifications are required to attend school until their 18th birthday. Parents are responsible for fulfilling compulsory education requirements.

In the Netherlands, the rules are strict in terms of compulsory education. In fact, in many other European countries there are many more opportunities for parents to go on extended trips without getting into trouble with the school attendance officer.

Herewith a roadmap for when you are on
world trip
and you are dealing with your kids’ compulsory education!

compulsory education world trip
compulsory education world trip

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Step 1: Engage with your kids’ school

This is perhaps the most important step. Check with the school’s principal and your kids’ teachers about how they view an extended trip with your family.

Do they have any experiences at school with kids who have been absent for school for a while. Can they collaborate on a lesson plan for your kids for the time you are traveling.

Of the majority of parents we have talked to, the schools are generally not the problem and generally respond enthusiastically to your plans.

If the school agrees with your plans and wants to help you with a lesson plan, then you just have a very good chance that you can go with your family. If the school does not agree, you can arrange your lesson plan for the period you are away with the world school.

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Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Step 2: Have a conversation with the school attendance officer or don’t!

Now comes a bit of a tricky decision, because are you going to contact your municipality’s compulsory education officer. There are a lot of varying stories about this, but the majority of parents who interview with the school attendance officer will be told no.

This does vary by region. In the Tilburg region, for example, the school attendance officer actually never gives permission, despite the fact that parents with whom we spoke had drawn up a comprehensive lesson plan together with the school for the kids and both work in education themselves as teachers.

A better proposal this official will not get, yet he returned no (the family eventually went anyway, but more on that later). So you have to ask yourself whether you want to put time and effort into this. There are plenty of families who skip the school attendance officer and deregister from the municipality right away.

If you do contact the compulsory education officer in your area, you should prepare well for the interview. You need to prepare your story in advance and make sure you have prepared an excellent lesson plan with the school that you can discuss with this compulsory education officer.

Also, look in advance for different options that you can submit so that you are flexible. You can also add that you are orienting to emigrate, for example, but then you can only travel to one or two countries.

The school attendance officer will consider your proposal and will want additional information from the school about your plans. In doing so, the school will have to convince the compulsory education officer that the kids are capable of distance education and that the school is confident that the kids’ learning outcomes will be fine.

After this, it remains to be seen if you will get permission. If you get permission, then you can go, and if you don’t get this as in most cases, then you move on to step 3.

compulsory education world trip
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Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Step 3: deregister from the municipality.

If you skipped Step 2 or received a no from the compulsory education officer at Step 2, Step 3 is an option. To deregister from your family’s municipality.

Deregistering with the municipality is mandatory anyway if you and your family travel for longer than 8 months and are therefore no longer living in the Netherlands.

You usually do this starting five days before your departure. You can do this in writing or digitally. There is also an option for families traveling for less than 6 months to deregister your family from the basic register.

If you deregister your family from the basic register, the compulsory education comes to an end and the compulsory education officer no longer has control over your kids’ compulsory education.

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Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Consequences write out to the municipality.

However, deregistering from the basic register does have seven consequences for your family, and these are as follows:

  • You will receive 2% less AOW when you are 67 years old at one year of deregistration from the Netherlands. If you go for less than a year then you generally retain your full state pension.
  • If you do not have a permanent address, it is difficult to get insurance and subscriptions. So make sure you close it before you deregister from the municipality.
  • Certain benefits such as child support will lapse during this period. If you notify the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) that you will return to the Netherlands within a year, you will generally keep your benefits. You can prove this, for example, by agreeing with your employer to return to work in the Netherlands after a certain period of time and submitting this contract to the Social Insurance Bank. The Social Security Administration in turn is linked to the IRS and health insurance, so it is important that you inform them of your return plans. Contact the Social Security Administration and have them make a note of your information so they know you will be returning and indicate that you will not be working abroad. Also check with them about the General Survivors Act (ANW) whether you are still insured for this.
  • For the tax authorities it is especially important that you do not go to work abroad, and for the rest few problems occur here.
  • You have to temporarily change insurance for some policies. Call your insurances to find out properly, which insurances may be cancelled. With insurance companies like OOM insurance, if you are going abroad for less than 2 years, you can get temporary insurance for everything. Once you are back in the Netherlands, you can opt again for the insurances you had already taken out before you traveled. Also, be sure to check your travel insurance if it expires when you are deregistered!
  • You are, however, required to maintain health insurance during the time you are away with your family. Just contact the health insurance company and indicate that you remain a resident of the Netherlands and that you will return to the Netherlands within a year. Ask your insurance company to send confirmation of this, that you have notified them.
  • There are no consequences for your mortgage, as long as you continue to pay your mortgage. The house also simply remains in your name. However, your mortgage interest deduction may be temporarily forfeited, but you will still get this back when you return. Just keep in mind that this means you will have extra costs for a while, during your trip. Whether you may sublet your home during the time you are away, you will need to consult with the mortgage lender. Find this out well in advance!

You can apply for a letter address for the time you are away, so that an acquaintance of your family receives your mail during the time you are away.

Tip: However, it is important that you deregister your entire family otherwise the compulsory education officer can take the parent who has not deregistered to court and the judge can convict you.

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Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Conclusion

All in all, it takes some phone calls to various insurance companies to find out exactly how things work, but is not too bad to deregister from the municipality. As a family, you can also choose not to opt out, but go ahead and take for granted the fine you may receive. In our view, you do take a risk then if you are traveling much longer than a few weeks and it can have hefty consequences.

As you can see, the things you have to take care of if you want to travel with your kids for an extended period of time are not too bad. Of course, things can change, though, after this travel blog is online, so keep looking critically yourself to see exactly what the rules are. Many parents have gone before you, and if they can do it, so can you! So follow your heart and make great memories with your family!

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Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

Guide to compulsory education world trip with kids

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