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How rich is my school board (in 2019)?

The Education Inspectorate has released a list showing for all 1330 school boards and 152 partnerships whether and how much they had in possibly excessive reserves at the end of 2019. The Inspectorate decided to publish it after an appeal to the Government Information (Public Access) Act by the Education Magazine.

The end of January published the Education Inspectorate the latest Financial State of Education. It calculates that in 2019 school boards and partnerships will have an aggregate EUR 1,4 billion in public equity in excess of the signaling value for 'possibly excessive reserves'. Since last year, each organization has its own standard, which the inspectorate calculates on the basis of two formulas: one for all school boards and one for partnerships.

The Education Magazine asked the underlying list of calculations per institution. This has now been made public, so that everyone can check the figures for their own institution. Two important caveats to this. The figures reflect the state of affairs on December 31, 2019. We are now a full financial year further, in which of course there may be changes. The new annual figures for 2020 will be determined at many institutions in the coming months and must be submitted to the Education Executive Agency (DUO) by 1 July at the latest.

Also important to note: primary and secondary education each gained 2019 million at the last minute at the end of 150. Money that the school boards could not have budgeted, let alone spend that year. To demonstrate the impact of this on reserves, the Education Inspectorate has made an alternative calculation for all school boards in primary education. Logically without those 300 million reserves would be lower. We have of course also requested and added them.

How rich is my school board 2019:

Number above standard

Possible Excessive Public Equity


Primary school
590 (561)
906 million (810 million)
Secondary education
145 (135)
288 million (244 million)
Secondary MBO education
64 mln
Higher vocational education
8,8 mln
Scientific education
2,5 mln

* In brackets () the alternative calculation without the 150 million per sector. Source: Education Inspectorate.

For the sake of clarity, we have limited the overviews to three columns: public equity, the individual signaling value and the difference between the two. The complete inspection tables, with all columns, can be found via a link at the bottom of this message and on Rijksoverheid.


The reserves of all 152 partnerships were already public. The Education Magazine published in October last year, the buffer per organization based on public annual figures.

How rich is my partnership 2019:

Number above standard

Possible Excessive Public Equity


184 mln


There is something wrong with the calculation that the inspectorate has now provided. The partnership that is highest above the standard is incorrectly below the standard in the inspection list. This is due to an error in the data: in the digital delivery to DUO, the partnership mistakenly labeled 8,5 million euros as private, so that it does not count as excessive capital. The organization discovered the mistake last year when inquired by the Education Magazine. The inspectorate is based on data that boards themselves provide to DUO.

Due to an error in the data, the inspectorate calculated the excessive buffers of partnerships more than 8 million too low

The inspectorate has now confirmed the inaccuracy through a spokesperson. The accumulated amount of potentially excessive reserves of the joint ventures together amounts to 184 million euros. This is still somewhat higher than the 175 million that the Inspectorate and Minister of Education Arie Slob has always released so far. This has been corrected in the list above, but not in the original file (at the bottom of this message).

Partnerships need to accelerate their piggy banks over the next two years tapering off. School boards that exceed the norm have received a letter from the inspectorate.


For partnerships, only the income counts when calculating the individual standard. This is different for school boards. Although one standard has been chosen for recognisability for all educational institutions, from primary school to university, there are major differences between the sectors. For example, many school boards in MBO, HBO and WO own buildings. Therefore, those sectors felt that real estate should be taken into account when determining an indicator of excess wealth. In addition to the annual income and the purchase value of buildings, the other assets are also included in the calculation.

For some institutions, the upper limit is so high that it is practically impossible to exceed it

Larger organizations, with valuable buildings and other assets on the balance sheet, have a standard that they do not easily exceed thanks to the formula. Take Avans University of Applied Sciences, for example: with public equity capital of 195 million - by far the highest in higher professional education - the university of applied sciences remains 50 million below the norm. For some institutions, the signaling value is so high that they are practically unable to surpass it. For example, in 2019 the VU University has an upper limit of 800 million euros, Utrecht University even 1 billion.

Incidentally, the power standard is not a hard upper limit, but according to the inspectorate and Minister Slob 'a starting point for a discussion': 'We expect that the management, supervision and participation of all universities and universities of applied sciences will discuss the financial choices necessary for a financially healthy future.'

Download the original inspection lists:

File 1 (all sectors)

File 2 en file 3 (alternative calculation for primary and secondary education)

Seen or reacting inaccuracy? Send a e-mail.

Also read 'School boards park millions on the bank ' about educational institutions that have recorded large financial surpluses for years.

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