Negotiations between trade unions and employers for a new collective bargaining agreement for primary education stalled on Wednesday evening, union AOb and employers' organization PO-Raad announced on Thursday. The unions regarded the employers' offer of a just under 3 percent wage increase as too low, NU.nl reports.
Primary schools are using their budgets much more. Last year the school boards had 5.9 million euros of their budgets left over at the end of the year. In 2017 it was just over 106 million euros, Trouw reports based on figures from education executive agency DUO.
The government is structurally allocating 285 million euros for better working conditions for teachers in primary education, Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education announced. But he stressed that the social partners must make agreements about how this money will be used. "I make an urgent appeal to the social partners to go back to the table and use this money for teachers", he said, NU.nl reports.
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.
Schools in the Netherlands will again start the new school year with a considerable shortage of teachers and educational support staff. Currently there are 3,500 open vacancies for teachers in primary education, according to the council for primary education PO-Raad. The expectation is that 1,400 of these will not be filled by the start of the next school year. That makes the teacher shortage 5 percent larger than last year, NOS reports.
An increasing number of foreign teachers want to teach at Dutch schools, the Volkskrant reports based on figures from executive education agency DUO. Teachers from abroad know they have a solid chance of finding a job in the Netherlands due to the increasing teacher shortage in the country.
In 2015 DUO received 742 applications from foreign teachers who wanted their qualifications recognized in the Netherlands. Two years later, that increased by some 300. This year DUO also received over a thousand such requests.
The massive primary school teacher shortage in the Netherlands seems to be mainly limited to the big cities in the west of the country, according to figures from benefits agency UWV that newspaper Trouw requested. There are enough, or even more than enough, teachers in the north, east, and south of the Netherlands, the newspaper writes.
As you get farther away from the big cities, it becomes easier and easier to fill vacancies. Outside the Randstad there are still more teachers than there are jobs available, and some teachers even struggle to find work.
Most primary schools in Limburg and Noord-Brabant are closed on Friday as teachers in these provinces strike for higher salaries and lower workloads. This is the third in a relay-strike by primary school teachers in the Netherlands, following strikes in the center of the country last month, and in the north the month before.
Kids in Dutch primary- and secondary schools are achieving poorer and poorer results. The average results on subjects like reading, mathematics, science and physical education gradually declined over the past 20 years, the Education Inspectorate concluded in its annual report, the Volkskrant reports.
"On average the Netherlands is doing well", Inspector General Monique Vogelzang said to the newspaper. "But if you look at the long term, you see that we are slowing drifting downward. I'm worried about that."
Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education finds it unacceptable that children are sometimes excluded from school activities because their parents could not pay a voluntary parental contribution. He wants to make agreements with school organizations to prevent this from happening, NOS reports.
The millions of euros the new government set aside for primary education in its government agreement, is not enough for primary school teachers. The majority of them want to plan another strike, according to a survey by general education union AOb, the biggest union in primary education in the Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.
Primary school teachers across the Netherlands will strike on Thursday, October 5th in an attempt to push the government to increase their salaries, unions CNV Education and FNV announced.
"Politicians really need to pay up, we want a fair salary and less work pressure in primary education", CNV Education chairman Loek Schueler said to news wire ANP. "The vague commitments politics made so far are insufficient for structurally better education."
Primary school teachers are demanding the same salary as their colleagues in secondary education with a grade two teaching qualification, according to a manifesto written by action group PO in Actie. They want the next government to release money specifically for increasing salaries and decreasing workload for primary school teachers, the Volkskrant reports.
The number of kids being bullied at school in the Netherlands is decreasing, though it is till a problem many children face on a daily basis, according to State Secretary Sander Dekker of Education. This year 10 percent of primary school kids were harassed by a bully at least once a month, compared to 14 percent two years ago. In high school, that figure decreased from 11 to 8 percent.
A total 588 children were removed from nine schools in the Netherlands believed to have ties to Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, according to a study by Dutch newspaper Trouw. That is about a fifth of the schools' total student count.
The Netherlands stands at the verge of an acute shortage in primary school teachers, according to the PO-Raad, the umbrella organization for primary schools. If the government doesn't push more money into education soon, there will be a primary school teacher shortage of about 7 thousand in ten years' time
Former Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert was appointed to lead the fight against truancy in the Netherlands, the Ministry of Education announced on Monday. His job will be to enforce agreements made in a Truancy Pact made with the aim of having not a single child out of school for more than 3 months by 2020.
A majority in Dutch parliament wants more money to be made available to give asylum children language lessons for two years, instead of the current one year
Primary schools urgently need more money for language lessons for child asylum seekers. The government gives money for extra language lessons if a school has more than four asylum children, but it is not nearly enough, according to a study done by education council PO-Raad among 200 schools
Young child asylum seekers need to attend preschool so that they can get used to Dutch life and start learning the Dutch language early, according to the PO-Raad and MO-Groep, the umbrella organizations for primary schools and preschools
Kids who receive asylum in the Netherlands have to find a place in a school within in three days, but Dutch primary schools are completely unprepared for the arrival of large numbers of child refugees.
The costs for benefits for unemployed teachers are running so high, that schools no longer have money for new teaching assistants and smaller classes.
Too many primary schools do not have access to a proper internet connection. This threatens to deprive 900 thousand pupils of modern education in the coming years, thousands of pupils are already affected.
The new anti-bullying law, officially called the Social Security at Schools Act, takes effect on Saturday, August 1st. From tomorrow, schools will be required to enforce an active policy against bullying.