More than 30 percent teacher shortage met with unauthorized persons
The large cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Almere make up for more than 30 percent of their teacher shortage by deploying unauthorized persons. The shortages are much higher than the number of vacancies suggests. This is apparent from a Centerdata report on primary education that ministers Slob and Van Engelshoven sent to the House of Representatives last week.
Uit the report shows that the teacher shortage is much higher than the official number of unfilled vacancies. Because by no means is a vacancy posted for every open space in the classroom. For example, because the school in question already suspects that no applicants will come forward after all.
The Hague officially has a teacher shortage of 2 percent. Including hidden vacancies, it is 15 percent.
These 'hidden vacancies' are filled with unauthorized persons, self-employed persons, temporary workers, lateral entrants and by dividing classes. Together they form a multiple of the number of official vacancies, according to the survey. In The Hague, for example, primary schools – reference date 1 February this year – officially have a teacher shortage of 2 percent, but also have a hidden shortage of 13 percent. As a result, the teacher shortage in this city amounts to 15 percent.
The researchers found similar trends in the other major cities. In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the official deficit is also only 2 percent, with a hidden deficit of about 10 percent. It is even worse in Almere (official deficit 3 percent, hidden deficit 12 percent). Only in the smallest large city in the Netherlands, Utrecht, is it relatively easy. This is only a 1 percent deficit, but there is also a 4 percent hidden deficit.
It has been suspected for some time that most of the teacher shortage is underwater, just like an iceberg. Centerdata's research now shows this in the major cities.
Most hidden vacancies are eliminated by allowing unauthorized persons within the school to move up to the position of group teacher, the researchers point out. In Almere, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, more than a third of the total number of shortages (ie the official shortages plus the hidden shortages) is eliminated in this way.
According to the researchers, the teacher shortage increases with the percentage of care and disadvantaged pupils. Schools with a higher school weight – a higher percentage of disadvantaged students – seem to have more difficulty finding teachers, the report says. 'Perhaps because these schools are perceived as less attractive.'
Furthermore, Centerdata found a clear relationship between group size and teacher shortage: the higher the student-teacher ratio, the higher the shortage. "As the student-teacher ratio increases 1, the deficit is expected to increase by about 0,75 percent," the researchers write. This does not necessarily mean that teacher shortages are caused by full classes. According to the researchers, it could also be the other way around: classes are fuller because there is a teacher shortage.
Finally, the researchers note a huge shortage of school leaders in primary education: this shortage would be almost 20 percent. According to the report, this is something that needs to be taken care of. 'According to the guidance group, this figure is not yet reliable and probably too high.'
'You can only solve the teacher shortage by making the profession more attractive, with less work pressure and a better salary'
“The numbers on teacher shortages don't surprise me – and yet it scares me again,” says AObchairman Tamar van Gelder. “That schools try to solve the shortages internally and no longer even post a vacancy because there are no teachers to be found after all: that is telling.”
Van Gelder: “I have said it before and I will continue to say it: you can only solve the teacher shortage by making the profession more attractive, with less work pressure and a better salary. This is a vital task for the new cabinet. Otherwise, we will soon be able to write off entire generations of children, because they do not receive the education to which they are entitled.”