Representations   Netherlands


Landelijk Aktie Komitee Scholieren - LAKS
National action committee for school students

Type of Members

Student councils

Amount of members


General Assembly



The total budget is about € 200,000

Funds have been allocated by a non-expiring directive by the Ministry of Education. Additional funding is project based.

Organisation's Staff

LAKS has 5 members of staff.

2 employees work in the office. LAKS also has a project based employee. A separate foundation manages the financial affairs. This foundation employs a Secretary General and a financial assistant.

Year of Foundation


Basic Structure

Basic structure

The highest decision-making body is the general assembly. The GA convenes at least twice a year. The daily affairs are managed by a board. This board consists of a president, a treasurer, a secretary and an optional zero to four additional board members.

LAKS has a presidium, which oversees the organisation of and the order during the GA. There is also a recruitment and monitoring committee which advises on candidates for positions in the board and monitors the current board members. Both organs are elected by the GA.

Other Student Unions

Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO) - national interest organisation for students in polytechnics and universties

Landelijke Studenten Vakbond (LSVb) - national interest organisation for students in polytechnics and universties

Jongeren Organisatie Beroepsonderwijs (JOB) - national interest organisation for students in upper vocational schools

Student Representations

According to Dutch law, the students in every secondary school in the country have the right to form a student council. Furthermore, 25% of every co-administrative council is reserved for students. This council also consists of 25% parents and 50% teachers and has to approve certain areas of school policy. It also has the right to advice on all topics concerning a school. The members are elected democratically by their respective groups.

Students at School Level

On a school level students are heard through student councils, alternative forms of participation and the formalised co-administrative council.

Students in Municipal or Governmental Bodies

School students are not regularly involved on a municipal level. Youth councils are sometimes present. In the Netherlands, municipalities have very little influence on education. On a national level LAKS speaks regularly with civil servants and politicians to discuss student issues. The organisation meets with the responsible (under-)Secretary for education at least five times a year at the Ministry of Education.


LAKS has a very powerful and respected position during the final exams. By organising a final exam complaint line students inform the organisation about errors in the exams. Also, they report organisational problems at schools. LAKS then forwards this to the responsible institutions.

In November 2007 LAKS organised a major demonstration with more than 22 000 students gathering in Amsterdam to protest against what was called ‘the 1040 measure’. The measure was a new law that forced schools to provide 1040 hours of compulsory education every year. Schools did not have the financial capabilities to hire professional teachers and therefore they invented mass home work classes and other cheap alternatives to teaching. Thanks to the demonstrations and protests, the measure was altered.


In the Netherlands, students sit on the very formal co-administrative council. This allows them to participate. However, student councils are also a part of school student participation. The promotion of student councils (perhaps through legislation) is one of the challenges for the future.


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School Systems