Concerns raised about advice for at-risk primary school students
The council for primary schools PO-Raad is worried about what effect the lockdown and school closures will have on young students and the guidance they receive as they move towards becoming secondary school students. The concern was particularly present for children in vulnerable positions who may not have the same support and access to distance learning tools as their more privileged peers, NOS reports.
PO-Raad therefore called on teachers to rather give children the benefit of the doubt. For example, if the teacher is hesitating about recommending VMBO-T or HAVO for a pupil, rather give the higher recommendation. Secondary schools should also be extra attentive to whether children are at the right level and postpone selection times by using broad bridging classes, the council suggested.
Other education institutions support this call, including teachers' union AOb, the association for school leaders AVS, and the council for secondary schools VO-Raad.
School advice, in which teacher's give their opinion on which level pupils in their final year of primary education should continue their secondary education, is often given in February. Pupils then write their final tests in April. Based on that results, the final school advice can be adjusted. Last year, the final tests were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so pupils' school advice was based solely on what their teachers had to say.
This year, the PO-Raad expects that final test results will differ more from teachers' advice, because children did not have a good opportunity to prepare for their final tests. "Not every child will be able to show their full potential on the final test this year, and that is emphatically the case for those who cannot get the right support at home," the council said. These kids' hopes are therefore pinned on more understanding and leniency from their teachers, the council said.