PYP Head of School wins top honor in The Netherlands


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In March, the Head of Startpunt International, Ms Marleen de Kleijn received the 'Most Innovative School Leader of the Year 2022' award by the General Association of School Leaders (Algemene Vereniging Schoolleiders, AVS), the Netherlands.

An expert jury nominated three heads of schools as finalists and conference attendees selected Marleen as this year’s award winner. Marleen received a set of robots for her students and attended a meeting with the Minister of Education for the Netherlands, Dennis Wiersma.

"Startpunt International is a public primary school in the heart of The Hague's Schilderswijk, a vulnerable underprivileged neighbourhood where social-economic circumstances are far from ideal. Five years ago, the school was at a junction. We knew we had to improve our education to bridge the gap of equal opportunities for this community, and that was the moment we were introduced to the IB, and we fell in love. Although I received the prize, it should be dedicated to my team; I could not have done this without my fantastic team, always willing to put in extra effort for our students," said Ms Marleen de Kleijn, Head of School, Startpunt International.

The public primary school Startpunt International is the first Dutch-speaking IB World School to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP).

After implementing the IB in her school, Marleen introduced innovative educational concepts to her school, to provide the best education for her students. Students’ thirst for knowledge, combined with an amazing team of teachers who are always willing to put in extra effort for their students, has really made a difference.

Recently, the Dutch inspectorate visited the school, awarding Startpunt International with the predicate “Good”. The school was recognized for its ‘culture’ and ‘international citizenship’ along with the involvement and agency of the students.