Marc Dullaert speaking to a group of kids in Zeeland about fighting poverty (Photo: @ankovanhoepen/Twitter) - Credit: Marc Dullaert speaking to a group of kids in Zeeland about fighting poverty (Photo: @ankovanhoepen/Twitter)
Monday, October 3, 2016 - 07:28
Truancy unnecessarily high: fmr. child advocate
Thousands of children unnecessarily don't attend school because some schools and municipalities put too little effort into finding a suitable place of education for them, according to former Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert in the Volkskrant. Dullaert was appointed to find out why about 10 thousand kids in the Netherlands don't attend school. In his own words, Dullaert found a "schizophrenic situation". In some regions the number of truants decreased by half, while in others there's hardly a difference. "That bothers me, because it is possible", he said to the newspaper. According to him, a major problem is the lack of cooperation between municipalities, schools and youth welfare in the regions. Another problem is that schools fear that if they help a child with extra needs, other such children will also be drawn to the school. "Schools are very good at bypassing their duty of care. They just say they're full." Dullaert is also concerned about the increase in the number of exemptions given to children physically or mentally unable to go to school. That increased to about 5 thousand last year. These children aren't included in the 10 thousand truant. According to Dullaert, there are some education officials that are very willing to hand out such an exemption.