Sunday 09 August 2020

Teacher shortage claims first victim: Amsterdam school to close

An Amsterdam primary school is closing its doors because of the teacher shortage, the Parool reports.

The Montessori school in the south east of the city has 111 pupils but instead of the legal requirement of five teachers, it only has two.

This means the school will close on January 1 next year. School administrator Hubert de Waard told the paper the quality of education could no longer be guaranteed despite efforts to hire temporary staff.

In July the school was criticised by school inspectors for not meeting standards but the board says the shortage of teachers is behind the closure plan.

Some 280 primary school vacancies are waiting to be filled in Amsterdam alone. ‘We are raising the alarm. We cannot guarantee that more closures won’t happen,’ said De Waard who accused the government of not allocating enough money to education in the recent budget.

Labour leader Lodewijk Asscher,  who had earlier called for more pay for teachers, said the closure of the Amsterdam school is ‘symptomic for what is happening across the country. ‘This will have grave consequences for pupils so the cabinet must act,’ Asscher said.

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