Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 14:33
Evangelical schools close after damaging report
Six primary schools under leadership from the Evangelical Schools foundation (SVES) have announced their upcoming permanent closure in the summer holiday after a damning report from education inspection. The inspection spoke negatively about the actions of the school government board. State secretary for Education, Sander Dekker (VVD) wrote to Parliament today that he took over if the SVES didn't voluntarily shut down its activities. The foundation made the news last year when Dekker made it public knowledge that he would close the SVES-run Rotterdam school Timon. After signs from agitated parents, the inspection went to visit the school. They found a "chaotic and unsafe situation." Teachers were very bad at maintaining order, so much so that no teaching could be done. The inspection decided to investigate all SVES-run schools, at which about 250 pupils are receiving education. The results of this investigation were published on Thursday. Within the governing board, there is a lack of "a clear vision of the actual quality of education at the various schools," the inspection writes. The school leaders don't have experience. They are teachers who also dabble in school governance. The SVES does have its finances in order. "The financial flow isn't very transparent" the inspection claims. Because several schools that are ran by the foundation don't have enough pupils, they have to be shut down soon. This will be expensive. Teachers have to be laid off, and need severance pay. There are actually "no signs" that the governing board doesn't spend money rightfully. Staff administration is "disorderly and incomplete" the inspection claims. Of almost one third of the staff, there is no Declaration on behavior available. It is unclear of more than half of the 37 teachers if they are actually competent enough to lead a classroom. All in all, in the current conditions, the inspection has "insufficient confidence" that the governing board will be able to bring order to activities before the 1st of August. An improvement plan has been requested from the governing board, and several discussions have been done at the ministry of education. Dekker let it be known that he would take action if the SVES doesn't come with a plan soon. On Wednesday, the governing board let him know that it wouldn't work. Per 1 August, De Toermalijn in Tilburg, Tabitha in Apeldoorn, Talisha in Hoofddorp, Talitha in Utrech and Tamar and Tanisha in Amsterdam will officially shut down.