Schools break the rules with extra tuition fees for smart kids, parents say


The parents of children who have been classified as ‘extremely intelligent’ are spending hundreds of euros on extra school lessons for their offspring even though school is supposed to be free, the AD reported on Monday.

Schools are only allowed by law to ask parents for a voluntary contribution, but the parents of bright kids are having to pay a small fortune for extra ‘plus classes’, the paper quotes parents lobby group Ouders & Onderwijs as saying.

School inspectors have also urged parents to sound the alarm if they are being asked to pay for extra tuition in school time, which can be as much as €50 a week, the AD said.

Three years ago, the government introduced new rules for primary schools requiring everyone to receive education appropriate to their abilities. This has so far mainly focused on integrating children with learning or behavioural difficulties into normal schools.

Schools say they don’t have enough money to organise special classes for highly intelligent children. ‘Ideally we schools would offer the most appropriate education to every child,’ Annemieke Kooper, spokeswoman for the Dutch schools platform PO-Raad told the paper.

‘But in practice, the available budgets are inadequate and schools have been organising classes for highly intelligent children on their own initiative.’

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