Parents dissatisfied with Zaanstad school's 4-day week

Primary school classroom (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Douglas P Perkins). (Primary school classroom (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Douglas P Perkins))

Parents of pupils attending CBS Tamarinde in Zaandam want the primary school to return to a five-day school week. The school has been using a four-day school week these past months due to a shortage of teachers. On the fifth day children stay at home with homework. The parents are fed up with this and filed a request with the municipal school attendance officer to reverse the measure, NOS reports. 

Jeroen de Glas, one of the initiators, has two children in the school. One is home on Mondays, the other on Tuesdays. "Fortunately, my wife and I both have a rather flexible work schedule, so we can each be at home for a day to help our daughters. But many parents can not", he said to NOS.

The school understands the parents' protest, director Janneke Oosterman said to the broadcaster. She refers to the teacher shortage. "We have been structurally short on teachers since September, and we are unable to solve that. So we had no choice but to implement a four-day-school week."

The primary school informed the Education Inspectorate of this measure. It will run until the spring break. The school has to inform the Inspectorate if the problems can not be resolved before then.

A structural four-day school week is not allowed or tolerated in the Netherlands. However, the law offers schools the possibility to have a four-day school week seven times per year.