One in 10 primary school children sent home due to staff shortages


One in 10 primary school children was sent home last year because no substitute teacher could be found, while three quarters were taught by substitute staff at some point, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.

The figures are based on a survey among over 1,000 parents carried out by the Vervangingsfonds, a replacement fund into which schools pay a premium to finance substitute staff.

The survey also showed that two thirds of parents think children should never be sent home when there is no teacher present. However, a shortage of primary school teachers and changes to the employment law, is making it difficult for schools to find replacement staff, the paper writes.


Parents say they are worried about disruption to their children’s education when replacement teachers are called in because they have different ways of teaching and are not always familiar with the methods used.

Some 75% of pupils were taught by substitute teachers last year while one in 10 were sent home for one or more days.  The Vervangingsfonds  finds the figures ‘alarming’ while parents organisation Ouders & Onderwijs thinks sending children home is ‘undesirable’.

‘What are parents to do with their child when it is sent home? Schools don’t think about a plan B,’ advisor Dorine Wiersma told the paper.