Schools start reading, writing and arithmetic | news item

news item | 10/21-2022 | 16:30

There is great enthusiasm among schools to ensure that every student learns to read, write and count well. A leading group of schools will start operating this academic year, with €222 million available. 645 schools are now receiving additional funds to improve basic skills. As of next week, relief teams will start working with 144 primary, secondary and special education (secondary) schools. These core teams assist with what the school needs to strengthen core skills of language, numeracy/mathematics, citizenship and digital literacy.

Dennis Wiersma (Primary and Secondary Education): Every student must leave school with a solid foundation. That’s why we’ll better support schools for this: Tailored support teams will work with what the school needs. For example, organizing additional assistance to relieve teachers or helping to introduce new teaching methods. This is different from what we’ve done in the past, so we’re sure to see things that improve the approach even more. But I am glad we can provide this assistance as soon as possible. This allows teacher teams to focus more on their students and core skills, so that students progress.”


The Basic Skills Master Plan was launched in May to raise students’ basic skills to a higher level. For a quick start, an additional €222 million is available for this academic year for a total of 645 schools. They will work with an approach backed by knowledge about what works from science and practice. What is required varies from school to school, but one might consider encouraging reading or more teacher training. Schools are assisted in this, among others: Overview With effective ways to improve basic skills.

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basic difference

In addition, additional support is provided to 144 schools from the core teams. Schools say they want different kinds of help, from mentoring volunteers and organizing school activities to comfort teachers, to choosing new teaching methods. Starting next week, core teams will conduct an admissions interview with each school to find out what kind of assistance is required for each individual school. They then assist the school with the necessary plan and assistance, so that a core team tailored to each school is created.

To this end, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science seeks cooperation with all kinds of organizations that can provide relevant expertise and assistance, such as Kennisnet, Taalunie and ProDemos. The teams do not provide the teachers themselves, but provide support and assistance with the organizational and educational challenges facing the school. The school is in control. Most schools are expected to start early next year, with schools facing the biggest challenges in filling a core team prioritized.

Lots of enthusiasm

There was an enormous amount of interest in this assistance. There were a total of 5,247 requests for additional funds, of which 762 schools also requested support from relief teams. There is still room for a limited number of schools this year, which is why the selection was made. 91 schools were immediately withdrawn to obtain support and support teams. In addition, there are 53 schools selected by lottery contacted by assistance teams, which were assessed by the Inspectorate as “extremely weak” or “unsuitable”. These schools are already receiving support through existing improvement processes, and support teams can help with implementation. In total, core teams will work with 144 schools this academic year. The approach is being expanded with support teams step-by-step, so that more schools can be reached next year. This additional public assistance should eventually be available to all schools.

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