The Sacred Heart Church in Deventer.
The Sacred Heart Church in Deventer.

Image: Editors Education Magazine

Justice seizes millions of euros from foundations SvPO founders

The Public Prosecution Service is conducting a criminal investigation into two foundations that are run by the founders of the Schools for Personal Education. In addition, the judiciary seized four school buildings for an amount of more than 19 million euros, according to documents in the hands of the Education magazine.

This concerns the renovated buildings in Deventer and Hoorn, and the new construction of the SvPO schools in Hurdegaryp and Geldermalsen. These real estate projects were paid for with tuition fees and parental contributions, the Education Inspectorate concluded last year. According to between 2018 and 2020, the Inspectorate illegally invested almost 16 million euros in government funding.

These publicly financed school buildings are not registered in the name of the school board, but are housed with the Foundation for Personal Education. This is a private foundation set up and chaired for years by SvPO founder Misha van Denderen to facilitate 'personal education'. Until last year, the foundation had a status as a public benefit institution (ANBI). Since August 2022, this foundation is managed by his wife; together stood they are at the cradle of schools with small classes.

The real estate seizure serves 'as security of recovery for the claim (..) which is provisionally estimated at 19.193.364 euros', according to the official report of the bailiff at the end of February.

Justice also has a second foundation in mind, Frederikssoon. In the past, Van Denderen provided mortgage loans to the couple's two sons through this foundation. The Public Prosecution Service has seized the leasehold rights for both homes. Furthermore, bank accounts of the foundations have been seized.

The investigation is being carried out by the Functional Public Prosecutor's Office, a specialist part of the Public Prosecution Service. According to the Education Inspectorate, both foundations were financially favored at the expense of the schools. The Inspectorate concluded at the beginning of last year that there was a financial problem maladministration and did declaration at the OM.

No contact

A spokesperson for the Functional Public Prosecutor's Office confirms this Education magazine that the judiciary is conducting a criminal investigation. No announcements will be made about the investigation and the seizure.

Lawyer Wouter Pors, who has been assisting Van Denderen and the Foundation for Personal Education for years, gave a short response on Tuesday. According to him, the Public Prosecution Service has not yet announced which suspicion the judiciary is investigating. “We don't know anything more than that it has been seized. My client has not been notified of any suspicion. The OM has not been contacted. I think that is a special state of affairs, especially when you consider that the declaration by the Education Inspectorate was already filed a year ago. We haven't heard anything in all that time."

Criminal lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops, who has also been called in, did not want to respond on Tuesday afternoon.


Van Denderen has contested the findings and conclusions of the Education Inspectorate from the outset. According to him, investments in buildings had to be made because municipalities did not want to provide suitable housing. When asked why you would want to place school buildings in a separate foundation, he responded earlier: “To prevent the building from relapsing to the municipality or minister if a school were to close.”

After great political pressure, he left last year as director of the eight schools. The helm has since been in the hands of an interim board, suggested by education minister Dennis Wiersma.

End of last year laid that interim board also confiscated the four school buildings. The seizure has no consequences for education at the schools.

Also read the reconstruction that the Education Magazine made last year: How SvPO brought public real estate into private hands, Or other articles about this topic on this site. 

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