Wednesday 28 July 2021

Shortage of teachers is hurting efforts to spend extra education budgets

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The shortage of teachers is making it difficult to spend €8.5bn the government has set aside to help schools catch up lost teaching time during the coronavirus crisis, the Parool reported on Tuesday.

Schools are finding it impossible to fill their vacancies and the government funding must be used within two years, the paper said, quoting research by primary school council PO-Raad.

Almost four in five schools plan to use additional staff to help pupils who missed out on lessons because of coronavirus, but 42% say they have no idea where to find them.

‘There are empty teaching posts in a lot of places,’ chairman Freddy Weima told the paper. ‘The urgency is greatest in the big four cities but lots of other regions have teacher shortages too.’

Special schools are also concerned about the shortage of teaching staff, according to sector organisation Sectorraad Gespecialiseerd Onderwijs in the NRC.

In particular, school heads are worried that teachers may be attracted out of special education into the regular system because they have such a wide choice of schools to work in.

Closures

City education chiefs warned last month that schools in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague may face closure because of ongoing teacher shortages despite the coronavirus cash.

The council executives are calling for the wage gap between primary school teachers and secondary school teachers to be closed, a structural budget to make teaching a more attractive option for students, and measures to encourage teachers not to abandon the profession.

‘We are missing the link with bringing in more people into the profession. We need a permanent budget for that. This is still temporary, a stop gap,’ Amsterdam’s education chief Marjolein Moorman said at the time.

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