Rotterdam exam theft school to be closed down: minister

The Rotterdam secondary school at the centre of the theft of exam papers earlier this year is to lose its government funding and close down.

The Ibn Ghaldoun school is to be closed on the recommendation of schools inspectors, junior education minister Sander Dekker told parliament on Tuesday.

‘The problems cover so many areas and are so interconnected that it will be impossible to deliver a sufficient and sustainable improvement in quality within two years,’ the inspectors said in their report.

The school not only has financial problems but almost 80% of its upper school teachers are not properly qualified and many don’t have adequate levels of Dutch, Dekker said.

The school’s board has also admitted it will not be able to guarantee an improvement in standards, Dekker wrote.


The school hit the headlines in May when it emerged 27 exam papers had been stolen and distributed to pupils.

In total 42 pupils face legal action in connection with the theft and eight have had their school leaving exam results declared void, despite sitting new papers.

The inspectors say the school’s reputation has been so severely damaged by the theft it will not be able to recover.

Two years ago, Amsterdam’s only Islamic secondary school was also closed because of poor standards and financial problems. The country has some 40 Islamic primary schools.

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