Six in 10 Dutch secondary schools are in financial difficulty

Six out of 10 Dutch secondary schools are in financial difficulty, with debts running into millions of euros, according to a report by current affairs show Nieuwsuur.

Schools do not get enough money from the state and some 700 schools are now in trouble, according to the secondary school council VO-Raad. The organisation expects this to rise to 75% of all schools as government spending cuts continue.

Schools need a combined financial buffer of €400m to secure their futures but this is now just €23m, the council says.


Teachers’ salaries and maintenance costs account for the bulk of school spending. Over the past few years, spending on teachers has been slashed and young teachers on flexible contracts have lost their jobs.

‘All the slack in the system to absorb setbacks is gone,’ VO-Raad chairman Hein van Asseldonk told the programme. Extra subjects have been scrapped and in some schools teachers are providing the odd lesson free of charge, he said.

Junior education minister Sander Dekker declined to comment on the report. However, the national audit office is currently investigating school budgets, Nieuwsuur said.

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