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The Netherlands: Educational organizations and ministers are joining forces to tackle teacher shortages

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The Netherlands: Educational organizations and ministers are joining forces to tackle teacher shortages

28 March 2023
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The increasing teachers shortage requires national steering and the willingness of all parties involved to work together. This is the starting point of the national teachers strategy. This strategy consists of a mix of structural and temporary (emergency) measures and experiments on four themes: regional cooperation, teaching time, competences and training of teachers. 

Regional cooperation  

Teachers, school boards from primary and secondary education, MBO institutions, teacher training colleges and municipalities will make regionally binding agreements so that they do not compete with each other for new teachers, but rather work together. In a strengthened regional structure, they will train and supervise new teachers more intensively together, also to prevent starting teachers from dropping out. 

All parties agree that a binding form of cooperation at regional level is needed to tackle the teacher shortage. Parties in the region that are still working on this issue in various contexts, such as the Regional Approach to Personnel Shortages (RAP), Training and Professionalizing Together (SO&P) and the regional alliances are committing themselves to one education region with a Regional Approach to the Future of the Education Labor Market (RATO). 

National strategy  

The regional approach is part of a national strategy to tackle the shortages. The ministers intend to set up a 'realization unit'. This is a decisive national organisation, with which the existing structures of the current regional partnerships are bundled and managed nationally. This national unit supports, encourages, shares knowledge and monitors results. The unit facilitates the regions and at the same time manages the total impact by ensuring interaction between regions and between regional and national developments.  

Strategic personnel policy  

The parties involved endorse the importance of continuing to work on further strengthening the strategic personnel policy in primary, secondary and senior secondary vocational education in the coming years. As of 1 August 2024, the ministers want to have legal requirements for strategic personnel policy that will be supervised by the Education Inspectorate. They want to encourage school boards to use their strategic personnel policy to support educational support staff, teachers and school leaders in sustainable employability, professional development and career development.  

Further elaboration  

The national teacher shortage strategy is a further elaboration of one of the points from the work agenda of the Education Agreement that was concluded on 22 April of 2022. In the coming period, the organizations of and for teachers, school boards and teacher training institutes will discuss the national teacher shortage strategy with their supporters. With input from the field, the teacher strategy will be worked out in further detail. This will be finalized in the spring of 2023. 

 

Source: Eurydice Unit Netherlands 

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