Sharp growth in people leaving current jobs to become primary school teachers

Primary school classroom
Primary school classroom Photo: racorn/DepositPhotos

The number of people who want to be retrained as a teacher in primary education more than doubled this year. In 2018 around 450 people signed up to be retrained as a primary school teacher, this year there were nearly 1,100, the national organization for teacher education in primary education LOBO said to NOS on Monday. 

The figures were inventoried by LOBO itself, because no official figures are kept specifically on people leaving another profession to become a primary school teacher. Many of these newcomers are making use of a shortened program at the teacher training college available for those who already have a higher professional- or university degree. 

LOBO chairman Barbara de Kort told NOS that it is good news that "people can still be found with an interest in the profession". But this increase in teachers-in-training is not enough to solve the teacher shortage in primary education. According to De Kort, the demand for primary school teachers in the Randstad has grown "explosively", and more teachers are also needed in other regions.

At the end of the 2018/2019 school year, primary education had 3,500 open vacancies for teachers, primary education council PO-Raad reported in July. The council expected that the new school year will start with a shortage of some 1,400 primary school teachers. The Education Inspectorate will check whether schools have enough teachers at the start of the new school year, according to If they don't, their pupils will have to be taken in by other schools.

The new school year started on Monday for pupils in the Zuid region of the Netherlands. Students in the north of the country return to school after summer break next week, and schools in the rest of the Netherlands will open the week after that.