New rules for schools on teacher contracts to boost permanent staffing


Schools minister Dennis Wiersma is to introduce tougher rules for temporary contracts in schools in an effort to reduce the number of freelance teachers.

Wiersma says teachers and other employees must be given a permanent contract after one year as a temporary staffer and no more than 5% of the budget should be spent on agency or freelance staff. 

The aim, Wiersma says, is to make education a more attractive sector to work in and so reduce staff shortages. In particular, he hopes that new teachers will remain in the job and that pupils are not dealing constantly with new faces. 

‘I hear a lot of stories about teachers who move from one temporary contract to another or work a few hours a week at several schools to try to put together a full-time job,’ he said. 

The new plans have now been put out to consultation and if approved could come into effect next year. 

Meanwhile, the Telegraaf reports that a growing number of parents are concerned about large class sizes, lesson cancellations and the lack of focus on Dutch and arithmetic at schools. 

The figures come from an annual survey of 1,000 parents by Ouders en Onderwijs, which advises parents on schooling. 

At a primary school level, 71% of parents say they are happy or very happy about their children’s education, but that drops to 54% by secondary school. 

Six in 10 parents said their children had been sent home from school because of a lack of teachers and, the survey found, an average of 2.8 hours of lessons a week are cancelled. 

At the time, 56% say their children are under pressure to perform well, a rise of ten percentage points on a year ago. 

Nevertheless, support for teachers and the way they are doing their job is growing. Some 80% of parents with primary school children and 64% of secondary school parents said they had a good relationship with their offspring’s class teacher. 

‘The relationship between teacher and parents is good and parents are increasingly appreciative of them, which is very good news,’ Ouders en Onderwijs said. 

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