Some 500 kids still not in contact with their primary schools

Kids with school bags
Kids with school bagsPhoto: Tirachard/DepositPhotos

Even though primary schools and special education schools have been open again for two weeks, about 500 pupils are still not in school and have not had contact with their teachers, according to a poll by the general association of school leaders AVS among a thousand schools, NOS reports. 

About 3 percent of schools in primary and special education are missing one or more pupils. At the start of April, when schools had been closed for three weeks and kids were learning from home, AVS reported that over 5 thousand pupils had no contact with their schools. 

Over the past few weeks, schools and truancy officers have been working on tracking down these "missing" kids. Many were found, but 500 are still off the radar. At many schools this involves several children from one family, AVS vice president Ingrid Doornbos said to NOS. 

"The vast majority of the parents had no ill intentions," Mohamed Mahmoud, a truancy officer in Utrecht, said to newspaper Trouw. "Often there was mainly a miscommunication. We met a father who just didn't know that his son had to do schoolwork when the schools were  closed. If a parent also had a different number, there was sometimes some difficulties. Every now and then we were faced with a closed door because the family had moved. But through neighbors we still managed to get in touch with the family."

Parents who decide to keep their kids at home will not be fined for the time being. The government decided not to penalize parents for this during the coronavirus crisis.