In the Netherlands it's different, they do have some similarities, but it's based on general intelligence/wisdom of the student.
You start with 'Basic School' (basisschool) where you get the basics, from about 6 untill 12 year old). In the last class of this school (sixth grade) you'll get some kind of national tests, and based on those tests your future 'school career' you'll get an advice what to do next.
vmbo/mavo havo vwo
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I won't bore you with the official (long) names of these type of schools.
VMBO basicly is labour-oriented education and lower general education (like simple office-jobs), takes 4 years
HAVO is higher general education, takes 5 years
VWO is the highest general education (dead languages as latin & greek are only available at this form). The 'W' in it refers to 'wetenschappen' (sciences), but it's not aimed that much on sciences, takes 6 years
MBO (prerequisites: VMBO/or (at least) 3rd grade in HAVO) are labour-oriented education, where the VMBO was the basics, here you learn the techniques used for your (labour) profession (jobs of this level: carpenters, mechanics, welders, secretaries, etc.)
HBO (prerequisites: HAVO or VWO), this is what the Dutch call 'highschool', young adults are being trained in advanced jobs like management, etc. (the international titles of "bachelor" and "master" can be done here)
University: needs no introduction, I guess...
My school-carreer: left basic school with VWO-advice, but after the combined years of HAVO/VWO (almost the same), I went to HAVO, because of my laziness and hatred of homework (which I barely did, if I did 15% of all homework in my entire 'school career' that's probably much). Due to the same reasons I faced at the end of the year thereafter the choise: do 3rd grade of HAVO again, or do the final year of MAVO. My parents ordered me to do the MAVO. Basicly I did nothing that year but hating it, learned nothing for the final exam, passed it with a B on everything and went back to HAVO. Finished that as well (also B's while doing nothing). And tried an HBO-course on "interaction design". It took me a year to find out it didn't bother me at all (too much management-crap, I hate management), so dropped out. Tried to get on some arts academies (also HBO-level), but didn't get past the selections (damn!), so I started working. Then I tried to do another 'creative information technology' HBO-course in Amsterdam, to find out it was almost exactly the same garbage as attempt one in the Hague (their thoughts on 'creative' was: thinking of IT-solutions for businesses, not exactly my view on creativity). so that was quit after 6 months.
Now I'm having an unschooled job, frustrated with how overrated education is and why I can't get a job with my hobbies (which means: over a decade of experience), only because I don't have any papers/diploma's/bulls.