Children qualify for places at ISH if they are from countries outside of the Netherlands who are part of the mobile international community or if they are children from Dutch families who have been internationally mobile (OC&W regulations define this as those who have spent ‘at least’ two years in a school abroad) immediately prior to the placement year for all applications apart from Pre-reception and Reception, and in need of being educated in an international school to ensure continuity of education. We do not admit children directly from Dutch national schools as we would not then be providing continuity of education.

In each case, applications will be placed in order of receipt. Children will be admitted when the places are allocated, and when there are no children on the list ahead of them.

In the case of children transferring from another international school in the Netherlands admission of children will only be done during a school year, (rather than at the start of a school year) if there are exceptional circumstances.

In the case that the school has limited places available, priority will be given to the following groups:

Priority level 1
Siblings of children already enrolled in either section of the school and children of new teaching staff. For children from ISH Primary transferring to ISH Secondary, this priority is only in place until April 1st of the year before the transfer would take place

Priority level 2
Children coming directly from outside The Netherlands

Priority level 3
Children transferring from another international school in the Netherlands

Priority level 4
Other qualifying children (who meet the Admissions Policy but do not fall into sections 1-3)

All applications for ISH are processed via the Open Apply admissions system. See appendix 1 for details of the procedure. Please note that applications can only be made a maximum of 2 years before the year that the child will start at the school.

We charge a fee of 325 euros for making an application. This fee covers the costs of the administration required to process the application. Please be aware that in the event that an application to join the school is not successful, the application fee will not be reimbursed.

Confidential Information
It is the school's practice to show photographs of school activities and events on its website and other school publications and may also include them in press releases and advertising. Consent is requested in the application form.

Parents accept that it is the school's legal duty to provide requested information to Government Ministries. This is usually age and nationality information only.

Allocation of school places
Allocation of a school place will be dependent upon meeting the requirements set out above as well as those detailed in the Primary and Secondary sections of the policy below.

The allocation of available school places for the next school year in Years 1 – 13 for priority levels 1 to 3 will be made after 15 April annually, and for priority level 4 after 31 May annually.

For applications made during the school year, children will be admitted when places are available and as soon as possible to ensure that they avoid missing school as much as possible.

Re-registration happens automatically when parents submit the Registration Form for the following academic year which needs to be signed to agree with the Standard Terms and Conditions (STC).

Please note that for children moving from our Year 6 Primary to Year 7 Secondary an Application Form and a Language Choice Form must be completed. The link for these two forms will be sent internally via our Communications Team.

In addition, in ISH Secondary, there are academic and behavioural requirements that need to be met before children move to the next academic year. In the event that a child will not meet the requirements, they will be informed by the pastoral team as early as possible in the school year who will also inform the admissions team.

Unless, there is significant evidence to suggest a child’s needs will be best met in a different year group, all children will be placed into the academic year that corresponds with their date of birth. For 2018-2019 these dates are as follows:

Year Group Born after Born before
Pre-Reception 1 October 2014 30 September 2015
Reception 1 October 2013 30 September 2014
1 1 October 2012 30 September 2013
2 1 October 2011 30 September 2012
3 1 October 2010 30 September 2011
4 1 October 2009 30 September 2010
5 1 October 2008 30 September 2009
6 1 October 2007 30 September 2008
7 1 October 2006 30 September 2007
8 1 October 2005 30 September 2006
9 1 October 2004 30 September 2005
10 1 October 2003 30 September 2004
11 1 October 2002 30 September 2003
12 1 October 2001 30 September 2002
13 1 October 2000 30 September 2001


In the event that a family applies to join the school academic year and their personal circumstances change, there is the possibility to defer for one year. For example, if an application is made for a child to start in August 2019 and at a later date, the family does not move to The Netherlands, they can defer the start date to August 2020. If the occasion arises that the child does not start at the school in August 2020, the family must reapply for a school place via the usual application process. Please be aware that the usual application cost will apply in this case.


Admission to the International School of The Hague is contingent upon our school programme being suitable to meet the child's needs. Knowledge of English as an academic language is not a requirement for admission. Primary School policy is to place children in age grouped classes, when possible.

We also offer a Pre-Reception class for children reaching the age of four (4) after 1 October of any school year, once they have had their birthday. Children in this class will then move into Reception in the following school year. Please note that the fee level for this class is higher than for other years in the school due to a difference in the government subsidy and financial costings.

Children entering Reception must have reached their fourth (4th) birthday before 1 October of that school year. Class level assignment will be determined through past school records and personal interviews. Some programmes are available for children with learning disabilities.

Please note that whilst we do our best to accommodate all children regardless of their level of need, there are some limitations to the service that we are able to provide. For children with particular physical or learning needs, we review each application individually to assess whether we are able to provide a placement in our school.

All children who are currently educated in ISH Primary have priority in applying for a place in ISH Secondary. See the ‘General’ section above for further details. However, please note that transition from ISH Primary to ISH Secondary is not automatic. Whilst we do everything possible to offer a place within ISH Secondary, we do have certain limitations that are determined by our academic programmes and our context. See the details for ISH Secondary below for further information. The ISH Secondary transition team works closely with the relevant staff in ISH Primary to identify any children that may not meet the minimum requirements for transition into year 7. In this case, the parents will be informed as early as possible so that we can work together to make arrangements that are in the best interests of the child inline with what we are able to offer at ISH.


Please note that regardless of the level of priority, all children applying for ISH Secondary must meet the academic and Special Educational Needs requirements as outlined below.

If a child has already completed the academic year that corresponds to their date of birth, and a high level of academic achievement during this year can be proven by school reports, the school will consider placing them no more than 1 school year ahead of the usual year group.

If a child’s placement tests or school reports or special educational needs indicate that a child is not yet ready to be entered into the academic year that corresponds to their date of birth, the school will consider placing them 1 year below the usual year group.

Placement tests are designed to be suitable for particular year groups. If a child’s placement tests indicate that they would be better placed in a lower year, the child must complete further placement tests that are designed for that year group.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) Years 7 - 11
Year groups 7 - 11 are open to children of a wide range of ability, who can indicate that they are able to follow the IB MYP curriculum, as determined by their placement tests, school reports and details of any Special Educational Needs. Children will complete tests in English, their chosen Modern Foreign Language(s) and Mathematics. The child’s English level will determine whether they are accepted into the school as detailed below. The Modern Foreign Languages and Mathematics placement tests determine the level of the courses that the child will enter if accepted into the school. In addition, children who have previously studied Dutch, will complete a placement test to determine their level within this compulsory subject.

Years 8-10
In years 8, 9 and 10 the results of the English placement test must indicate that the child, as a minimum, is able to study at the required level of the Phase 2 English Language Acquisition course. Please note that there is a minimum points score requirement for progressing from one year to the next. It may be difficult for children joining any of these year groups from April onwards to achieve the required point score. As such there is an increased likelihood that a child will need to repeat the year.

Year 11
Year 11 is the final year of the MYP programme. To enter year 11 children, as a minimum, must be able to study at the required level of the Phase 3 English Language Acquisition course. If a child joins the school and enters the Phase 3 English Language Acquisition class and intends to remain at the school for the DP programme, they must demonstrate evidence that they have also continued studying another language (not necessarily at their current school), close to/ the same level as a native speaker. Children cannot progress into the DP programme without a Language A (Language studied to the same level as a native speaker). This language must also be available at DP level either taught in the school or available as a Self-Taught or Tutored Language. Please note that after April, students are not able to join year 11.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) Years 12 -13
Year 12
In contrast to the MYP, the DP is selective. The DP is only for children with a proven academic ability and the potential to proceed to Higher Education. Acceptance depends upon successful completion of the IB MYP or any other comparable curriculum. Children must also be able to demonstrate academic performance that allows them to choose a complete DP subject package.

Due to the nature of the programme, the entry requirements for the CP are more flexible than for the DP. Each application will be reviewed by the CP Coordinator who, in collaboration with other members of the CP team, will decide whether or not the programme is appropriate for the child.

As well as providing reports/transcripts from previous schools, students will also complete placement tests in English, Mathematics, Science and their chosen Language Acquisition subject. The school may request that children complete additional placement tests in other subjects, depending on evidence available from previous schooling. Please refer to the DP/CP booklet for full details of the requirements for entry into the DP/CP and choosing a DP/CP subject package.

All children joining Year 12 (DP/CP Year 1) will have to meet certain requirements in order to pass from Year 12 to Year 13 (DP/CP Year 2). The acceptance letter sent to parents of any child joining Year 12 after the October break, will indicate the demands of proceeding from year 12 to 13 in a reduced timeframe and the possible need to repeat Year 12 if the requirements are not met.

The acceptance letter sent to parents of any child who joins Year 12 from January onwards, who has not previously studied the DP/CP, will indicate that they will most likely need to repeat Year 12 in order to meet the course requirements.

Those children who have already completed part of the DP/CP course will be required to provide evidence of all work completed so far. We must also be able to provide a subject package for the child which corresponds with the DP/CP subject package that they have already been studying, or a closely matched suitable alternative.

Please note that children who join the DP/CP later in the academic year must be prepared to take personal responsibility for catching up with their academic work as well as in meeting the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)/Service Learning requirements. This requires the child to carefully follow the teachers’ guidance and to work independently.

Year 13
Year 13 is the second and final year of the DP/CP. Therefore, only children who have already successfully completed year 1 of the DP/CP will be admitted. We must also be able to provide a subject package for the child which corresponds with the DP/CP subject package that they have studied in year 1 of the DP/CP in their previous school. To ascertain whether these criteria have/ can be met, the DP/CP Coordinator from the previous school will be required to complete our document ‘Checklist for Transfer Children into Year 13’, and to send this directly to the DP/CP Coordinator at ISH. Please note that it is not possible to join Year 13 any later than the first week of the academic year.

Any child who joins the DP/CP later in the programme (e.g. at the start of year 13), must be prepared to take personal responsibility for catching up with any necessary academic work as well as in meeting the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)/ Service Learning and Extended Essay (EE)/ Reflective Project requirements. This requires the child to carefully follow the teachers’ guidance and to work independently.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)
It is vital that any student that joins ISH Secondary arrives with the potential of being successful in the academic programmes. Whilst we are an inclusive school, we are not able to offer an alternative curriculum other than the IB MYP, DP or CP. In order to extend the opportunity to be successful in these programmes to as wide a range of students as possible, the Student Wellbeing department and Learning Support Department at ISH Secondary provide support for students with a range of Special Educational Needs (SEN). However, there are limitations to the support we are able to provide. The list below provides some indication of the profiles of students, for whom we may be unable to provide adequate educational opportunities for:

  • With certain diagnosed memory problems
  • With certain diagnosed learning development disorders Students who endanger their safety or others
  • Students who exhibit extreme behaviours that have not responded to prior interventions
  • Students who refuse to go to school
  • Students who are not able to physically take care of themselves
  • Students who need complex medical care

We recognise that each student is unique and so each individual case will be considered carefully by representatives of the Student Wellbeing Department, Learning Support Department and pastoral teams who will determine whether or not we are able to cater for the student’s needs and therefore able to offer a place in ISH Secondary.

For students with any type of educational or behavioural difficulty, parents will need to provide complete documentation of their child’s academic history, psychological/educational evaluations, and details of extra academic/specialist support they have had or are currently receiving. Parents will also grant permission for ISH Secondary to contact previous schools or professionals involved with the child in order to provide details relevant to the child’s education and well-being. Once the application information is complete, the Admissions Team will evaluate the application and decide if the school can accommodate the student.

If a student joins the school and, after a period of no more than six weeks in school, we feel we cannot meet the academic, social/emotional or physical needs of your child, we reserve the right to recommend a transfer to an establishment that we (the school) believe can better accommodate these needs. Please note that failure to disclose information to this school relating to a child’s existing learning or behavioural difficulties may jeopardize your child’s school place. 

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