The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the position of the monarch is laid down in the Constitution. The monarch and the ministers together constitute the government.
The Netherlands has a population of almost 16.8 million, living in an area of approximately 41,528 km2. Its inhabitants speak Dutch, a Germanic language.
One of the key features of the Dutch education system is freedom of education. Schools and institutions also have a great degree of educational and administrative autonomy. In the Netherlands, it is compulsory for all young people aged 5 to 18 to attend school full-time or until they have obtained a basic qualification. There is a key deciding moment at the end of primary education when pupils decide which of the various types of secondary education they wish to follow.