Friday 21 February 2020

Despite pledges, more children are still without a suitable school place

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Some 4,500 children in the Netherlands who should be going to school are waiting at home because of a lack of suitable places, the Telegraaf said on Thursday.

This is despite a pledge in 2016 to make sure all children, including those with special educational needs, in the Netherlands had suitable schooling, the paper said.

In that pact, signed by ministers, local authorities, parents organisations and school groups, it was agreed that no child should be home without a school place for more than three months.

‘Staying at home for a long period has a serious impact on a child’s development,’ children’s ombudsman Margrite Klaverboer told the paper. ‘The efforts of the past few years have had too little effect. Something really must now happen.’

Annemieke Kooper of the parents’ association umbrella group PO-raad said the problem often lies in poor communication between schools and social workers. ‘Children are being sent from pillar to post because of the lack of communication,’ she said.

Nevertheless, many initiative are underway, she said. ‘It is going to take time to really get to grips with the problem,’ she told the paper.

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