The British School of Amsterdam was founded in 1978. We became the first school in the Netherlands to be recognised by the UK government as a British School Overseas and an accredited Member of the Council of British International Schools.


A quality education for the international community

The British School of Amsterdam was founded in 1978 by three families who were on two-year contracts in Amsterdam and did not want their children to fall behind the British system when they returned to the UK. Initially the "school" as it was then was situated in one of the family's living room.

In 1980 the school obtained the use of a building in Jekerstraat 86 in the then borough of Amsterdam Nieuw-Zuid which it shared with another school. At the time The British School only taught kindergarten and primary school pupils. Initially the school functioned without a headmaster (with a brief exception in 1981) when there was a Principal Teacher called Linda Duffy (née Whitten).

In 1982 the School moved to the top floor of the Nicolaas Maas School in Heinzestraat 9 in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid. The two schools shared a playground and gymnasium. The children in the school were aged from 3 to 11. In 1983 the School decided to appoint a headmaster and Michael W.G. Roberts was appointed. He had previously been deputy head of a school in Newcastle, England. When Mr Roberts was appointed the School had approximately 45 pupils. Mr Roberts was initially Headmaster and class teacher of the oldest children, a mixed group from 8 to 11.

In January 1985 the Amsterdam Gemeente (city council) allowed the school to take over the Jan van Eijckstraat site which had been used as a temporary residence for schools undergoing major renovation etc. At this time there were five members of staff and 40 pupils in the school. Until this time the 3 to 5 year old children had all been in one class but when the school moved the group was divided and the first Nursery class was created.

As the number of children increased the decision was made to create classrooms and a staff common room in the roof of the Jan van Eijckstraat building which meant the school could take in more children gradually creating year group classes rather than one that were vertically grouped.

In 1999 the numbers grew so rapidly that the school needed to rent another building for a year while the Board of Governors and Headmaster looked for a long term solution to the growing need for suitable space as pupil numbers grew. The oldest children in the school were relocated in the West of Amsterdam, to a school in Orteliusstraat. School buses were arranged to take the children every morning and afternoon from Jan van Eijckstraat to and from the other site and the Gemeente gave the School its very own British School of Amsterdam bus stop.

In 2002 the School bought the site at Anthonie van Dijckstraat and leased the building across the road, next to the Montessori School, which was named the Jubilee Building. The school offices and one of the three nursery classes were in the Jubilee Building and the two other nursery classes, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 were in Anthonie van Dijckstraat. The rest of the school was still located at Jan van Eijckstraat.

During these years the pupil numbers were always greatest in the Nursery and Reception and gradually decreased as the children grew older as many families made the decision to return to their home countries for their children to continue a more familiar system of education. However, as pupil numbers and demand increased the School gradually added year groups, building up to the point where there were enough older children to create a Senior School and offer British examinations. In 2004 the Senior School moved to the site at Frederick Roeskestraat.

In 2010, The British School of Amsterdam was changed into a Stichting (a foundation). The main office is located at Anthonie van Dijckstraat. The current school roll is just over 910.

In 2014 we became the first school in the Netherlands to be recognised by the UK government as a British School Overseas. The School is also an Accredited Member of the Council of British International Schools.

School principals

1983 – 2010Mr Mike Roberts OBE (former deputy headmaster in Newcastle, England)
2010 – 2013Mr John Light (former Rector at Edinburgh Academy, Scotland)
2013 – 2016Mrs Jonnie Goyer (former Head at Farlington School, England)
2016 –Mr Paul Morgan (former Deputy Headmaster at St Paul’s, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Our new location opening for pupils on 21 April 2021

For more information about our new school location please click here