The Palace of Justice in The Hague
The Palace of Justice in The Hague

Image: Court of The Hague

Svpo again loses lawsuit over inspection reports

The Education Inspectorate does not have to withdraw a series of recent reports about the Schools for Personal Education (Svpo). The court in The Hague sees no reason whatsoever to declare the reports illegal, as the Svpo leadership demanded in summary proceedings earlier this month.

This is evident from the pronunciation published this morning. The inspection did last school year research to all eight Svpo schools and looked at both the quality of education and the financial management. Three schools in Amsterdam, Hoorn and Utrecht were declared very weak; for the Utrecht Svpo this was the second time in a row since 2019. The Inspectorate also identifies various shortcomings in schools with sufficient educational quality. Furthermore, all schools have been placed under stricter financial supervision due to a lack of insight into the financial situation and shortcomings in accountability.

Founder and chairman of the board Misha van Denderen disputes the findings and went to court again. During the hearing on 9 August, he argued, among other things, that positive learning outcomes had not been taken into account, that the Inspectorate focuses too much on procedures and that the critical financial findings would be premature.

Publication

But the judge - after a so-called marginal review - sees no reason to take the reports off the table. For example, she rejects the school board's claim that the reports are not based on facts. According to the reports, these were based on a large amount of information, which was obtained from an extensive analysis of documents provided to the Inspectorate by the schools and from contacts between the Inspectorate and those involved at the schools, including board members, mentors, teachers, parents and students. The mere fact that there is a difference of opinion between the parties about the interpretation of those facts does not make that any different.' The verdict is a boost for the inspectorate, which is heard by the judge on all points in the verdict. 'The conclusion is that neither the method of preparation nor the content of the reports are considered illegal for the time being.'

'The conclusion is that neither the method of preparation nor the content of the reports are considered unlawful for the time being'

It was the third lawsuit that the Svpo leadership lost in a short time. The quality reports on the three very weak schools were formally excluded from these preliminary relief proceedings; a different procedure applies for this. Van Denderen tried to prevent the publication of these reports earlier this summer appearance with a trip to the Amsterdam court. That judge emphasized the importance of disclosure of inspection judgments, even if a school board does not agree. Furthermore, at the end of June, the SVPO board also lost summary proceedings about the unlawful suspension by geography teacher Bert Mul, who was assisted by the AOb.

You will find more news items and background articles about the Schools for Personal Education (Svpo) on this site here.

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