Sharp choices need to be made to maintain the current high standards in the Dutch education system, the schools inspectorate said on Wednesday in a new report.
The cracks which have been beginning to appear now threaten to get deeper and the future of the system is under threat, the inspectors say.
These cracks are apparent in falling results, inequality of opportunity and increasing socio-economic segregation, and this situation is being made worse, the inspectors say, by the shortage of teachers in some sectors.
This year, the education system needs a further 2,322 full time teachers and this will rise to around 4,200 vacancies in five years time.
In particular, schools with a ‘complex pupil body’ are being hard hit by the lack of teaching staff. ‘The shortages are bigger in schools with large ethnic minority populations, whether they are in cities or more rural areas,’ the inspectors say.
The inspectors also warn that more needs to be done to ensure schools produce youngsters who can easily slot into the labour market and meet the changing demands of the economy.
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