Partnerships keep money on hand for risks
Partnerships keep money on hand for risks

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Partnerships see reserves growing

Partnerships for appropriate education in primary and secondary education have parked more money in the bank than they themselves consider necessary.

The 152 partnerships for appropriate education in primary and secondary education together added nearly fifty million euros to their reserves last year. Shareholders' equity grew by 31 percent to 206 million euros. In 2015, they left 82 million euros under the line.

One swv owns an investment portfolio. The partnership for secondary (special) education in Gouda has 1,2 million euros in 'surplus' funds for special needs students in government and corporate bonds (see the examples below). According to the management, this is “old money”, a legacy of former legal predecessors of the partnership.

Partnerships (swv's): operating result 2016
 Surplus 107 SWVs  together 58,2 million
Deficiency 42 SWVs  together -9,4 million
Break even 3 SWVs 0
Total 152 SWVs  together 48,8 million

Source: DUO


According to education minister Arie Slob, it is' difficult to draw sector-wide conclusions about the financial position of the partnerships. This is because the partnerships differ in size and in the way in which support for students is organized, 'he wrote last night. a policy response on the annual financial overview of the Education Inspectorate. The Inspectorate does not monitor any upper limit for reserves.

A tour of the Education Magazine shows that partnerships generally have more reserves than they themselves think they need to absorb financial setbacks. For possible risks, such as an unexpected growth of the (V) SO, partnerships keep a certain amount in reserve. Depending on the size and how the swv is organized, these amounts vary widely.


In their annual report, partnerships provide various explanations for the increased reserves. For example, in the first years after the start of appropriate education, they have been thrifty, they have budgeted conservatively or had not yet worked out a destination for these funds.

A number of partnerships have stated that they will reduce their reserves from this year onwards by investing extra in student support. At the same time, the average solvency (equity in relation to the balance sheet total) in the multi-year estimates continues to rise slightly, according to the annual financial overview of the Inspectorate.

Some deliberately keep money on hand to absorb the declining income in the coming years due to negative equalization (redistribution of the national budget). This redistribution will be implemented step by step and will be completed in 2020.

Shareholders' equity for all 152 SWVs together
early 2015 late 2015 late 2016
74 mln 157 mln 206 mln

Source: DUO

A total of 2,4 billion euros of public money will go to support pupils in primary and secondary education, the Court of Audit calculated earlier this year. Much of that money comes under the direction of regional partnerships, which have been responsible for a suitable place for each student since August 2014.

Three examples

Collaborative partnership VO Midden-Holland & Rijnstreek in Gouda
Risk buffer: 1,1 million. Shareholders' equity: 3,9 million euros (end 2016).

Investment portfolio partnership VO2802

Investment portfolio partnership VO2802

The partnership is responsible for more than 18 million euros in government grants per year. Of this, 14 million will be transferred by DUO directly to the school boards. More than 1,2 million euros of shareholders' equity is outstanding in bonds. The money is invested in corporate bonds of ING, Rabobank, Bank of Scotland, and in Dutch, French and German government bonds.

Response of director Barend Verkerk: “The investment portfolio does include public funds, but it is“ old money ”. These are not resources we have saved on appropriate education. These are reserves that have been built up during the period of the legal predecessors of the partnership. They have once, since the XNUMXs, decided to invest surplus funds in bonds because the bond market was favorable at the time. It's a very defensive portfolio. ”

The annual accounts also show that in 2016, EUR 72 was invested in Spanish government bonds. "That's right. Money has been released through the sale of bonds, and that has been converted into the purchase of new bonds. We have decided not to purchase any new bonds from this year and to freeze the portfolio. With the current financial market and such a defensive portfolio, that does not yield much either. ”

Some of the bonds will mature in the coming years, some will continue until 2024 and 2037. Why is the portfolio not being phased out more quickly? “We have not yet made a decision about that. If we need those resources, we could consider it. ”

“We will be reducing our assets in steps in the coming years. We foresee operating shortages in the near future, partly because the share of LWOO and practical education has grown. We will supplement the deficits from the reserves. We make these investments gradually. We are not just going to take three million euros out of reserves in one year, and then conclude next year that we have no more resources to cover the deficit. ”

Cooperation for secondary education Southeast Utrecht in Zeist
Risk buffer: 500.000 euros. Shareholders' equity grew by 73 percent to 1,6 million (end of 2016).
The partnership is responsible for 4 million in government grants, most of which goes directly to the school boards. The swv has to deal with negative equalization: it will lose eight percent of the old budget.

Response director Harry Emmerzaal: “It is right that attention is paid to the use of the money through partnerships. It concerns community money, intended for extra support for students who need it. And we are not supposed to hoard money, nor do we. The income of the partnership turned out higher than expected. And we have budgeted carefully. The latter also has to do with the fact that it has only been a few years now. That explains the operating result of just under seven tons. We have agreed within the partnership that we want to maintain a necessary buffer of XNUMX euros. We send the rest back to the school boards. Not all at once, but in a few steps. You will be able to see that in the next annual accounts. ”

Partnership for appropriate primary education in the Western Mining Region in Geleen
Risk buffer: 500.000 euros, in 2016 shareholders' equity grew by 40 percent to 1,3 million euros.
The partnership is responsible for 6,1 million euros in government grants. That amount is almost entirely transferred to the school boards, partly by DUO and partly by the partnership. The swv will lose one fifth of its budget due to negative adjustment.

Response director Tiny Meijers: “The operating result is a fraction of the total resources. If you read the annual accounts, it looks like we have 71 percent of the resources left. This has to do with the way in which those figures should be drawn up. It gives a distorted picture. That is why we have opted not to publish the annual accounts online, but rather a management report in which we show the figures in the correct context. Appropriate education is designed together by all schools. For a complete picture, you should look at the total lump sum of all schools combined.

The partnership is not a savings bank. It is true that at the end of 2016 we had accrued EUR 1,3 million in equity. Five tons of this is the necessary risk buffer. Above that, we will plow the reserves back to the schools in the coming years. You can see that in our multi-year estimates, starting with more than XNUMX euros this school year.

We use a risk buffer of 500.000 euros to be able to absorb any setbacks. Think of an unexpected increase in the number of students at the SO and SBO. In addition, here in this region we are dealing with shrinkage and substantial cutbacks due to national equalization. We do our best to give more students a suitable place in a regular school and to reduce the burden on SO and SBO. We can use the resources that we release in this way for basic support. ”


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