Trial education regions started to combat staff shortages
From April 1, school boards, teacher training colleges and educational staff can register for a trial by the Ministry of Education to improve regional cooperation. AOb-chairman Tamar van Gelder sees profit mainly for lateral entrants.
To reduce staff shortages the Ministry of Education Regions forms in which different school organizations from primary, secondary and secondary vocational education will work well together. In order to get enough teachers for the classroom, the intention is that they will recruit, train, supervise, match and professionalize together.
Those who are now register here will start the trial from school year 2023-2024. These 'forerunners' help to set up the educational regions. They can share their experiences and knowledge. The cooperation between the school organizations will also be monitored, so that it becomes clear what works and what does not. Other school organizations in other places will benefit from this, because the plan is that by the end of 2024 there will be a network of educational regions throughout the country. These regions therefore receive funding from the Ministry. This funding comes down to a bundling of existing schemes.
Hens on deck
AObchairman Tamar van Gelder gives the test a chance. “It is all hands on deck to tackle the teacher shortage and there is not one button we can turn. It must be several buttons at the same time.” van Gelder is critical on the previous report by Lodewijk Asscher. In there advises he set up Regions for the Labor Market of the Future of Education (RATO), so that teachers are employed by the 'region' and no longer just around the corner from their school. Van Gelder: “That advice went much too far, thanks to our input it has already been weakened enormously. We absolutely do not want teachers to be employed by a region or that an extra administrative layer is suddenly added. Those are still breaking points.”
'It is all hands on deck to tackle the teacher shortage'
Looks usable Asher's advice is to better coordinate all the arrangements that are already in place. Because there are many of them and cooperation in the region should make it all clearer. It is a step towards a system in which management is more central and in which there is less 'administrative pressure'. Also hopes AOb that it reduces competition between school boards and the number of temporary employment structures.
Van Gelder: “If you want to work in education as a lateral entrant, you will have to deal with eighty counters. It's not clear where to start. That way you scare people away before they have even started in education.”
'Side entrants have to deal with eighty counters. This is how you scare people away before they start'
The Regulations for Approaching Teacher Shortages (RAL), Regional Approach to Personnel Shortages (RAP) and Training and Professionalizing Together are examples of these regulations. There are seven in total and few teachers will know them. “A lot of time, money and attention is wasted on this fragmentation,” says de AOb-chair. “That can, and in our opinion, should become more logical with the educational regions. We have to go from seven schemes with their own directors, administrative offices per region, back to one. The test must show whether this actually works out that way. The emphasis is on recruiting, matching, training, guiding and professionalizing. Making clear agreements that can be enforced and in which the professional group has influence.”
Furthermore, according to the AObchairman especially stepped on the brakes. “We have ensured that many evaluation moments are built into this trial so that teaching staff are heard. Moreover, we are now sitting at the table, there is no talk about teaching staff, but we have influence. For example, no precursor can now start without representatives of the professional group playing a role and agreeing to this plan. Constituency consultations are essential for us to stay on board. Our members will therefore also be asked how things are going and how they experience it.”
'We have ensured that teaching staff are heard'
Forming education regions is one of the possible solutions to deal with the staff shortages. For the AOb making the profession more attractive is still the most important thing to combat the teacher leak. Van Gelder: "We therefore have higher expectations of measures such as better pay, less work pressure by tackling teaching time and reducing the teaching task and, of course, smaller classes."
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