Saturday 10 December 2022

Teacher shortage forces four-day week at two schools in The Hague


Two primary schools in The Hague will run a four-day week at the beginning of the school year because of a shortage of teachers, umbrella organisation De Haagse Scholen has confirmed to local broadcaster Omroep West.

The measure will not affect all groups at the schools, a spokesman for the organisation told the broadcaster.

The schools in question have not been identified but are thought to be in the poorer districts of Escamp and Laak.

The two other main school organisations in The Hague said they will start the new year with a full complement of teachers but that this had not been easy.

The Hague is currently the city with the biggest teacher shortage in the country, with 15% of vacancies unfilled.

Parents have been told of the move and the school will help find a solution for people who have to work on days when there are no classes, the spokesman said.

De Haagse Scholen board member René Peters said the city council should play a leading role in solving the staffing crisis, which is ongoing despite a bonus for teachers working in socially disadvantaged areas. He also wants more language lessons for parents to improve communication with and teachers.

Amsterdam and Rotterdam are also facing acute staff shortages. Council executives have called for the wage gap between primary and secondary school teachers to be closed, financial incentives to make teaching a more attractive option for students, and measures to encourage teachers not to abandon the profession.

The return to school in the Netherlands is staggered, with cities in the middle of the country, including The Hague, starting on August 21 followed by the northern and southern regions on August 28 and September 4 respectively.

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