Court of Amsterdam
Court of Amsterdam

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Svpo schools in Amsterdam, Hoorn and Utrecht 'very weak'

The Schools for Personal Education in Amsterdam, Hoorn and Utrecht were assessed as very weak by the Education Inspectorate this spring. The Utrecht Svpo school was already declared very weak in the autumn of 2019 and now again after a recovery study. The school faces a financial penalty.

This became apparent on Monday afternoon during a hearing at the court in Amsterdam about a number of new inspection reports, cocked by the Svpo leadership to prevent its publication. Within two weeks, the judge will determine whether and when the reports may be made public by the inspectorate.

With another judgment 'very weak', Svpo Utrecht now faces a financial sanction. “The minister has already announced in writing that he will shorten the school when the report is published,” said Svpo founder and board chairman Misha van Denderen during the session.

Serious problems

Exactly which findings led the inspectorate to come to a firm conclusion will only become clear when the reports are made public. But during the session, a corner of the veil was lifted.

“We see serious problems for students and teachers. It is in their interest that the reports become public. For students, this plays a role, among other things, in the area of ​​supervision and lessons, we see serious points for attention”, the inspectorate noted this afternoon. Further delays to the publication are against the interests of teachers, parents and students: "It's just before the summer holidays, this it's momentum."

“It's just before the summer holidays, this it's momentum”

The SVPO board refuses to accept the judgements, partly because positive results would not have been included. “We have objective results that are being ignored by the inspection. The uptake and throughput are above the norm.”

Disclosure of the reports will cause "irreparable reputational damage" to schools, the Svpo leadership argued. “Trust comes on foot and goes on horseback. After the publication of the 'very weak' judgment about the Utrecht school, more than thirty parents removed their child from the registration list,” says Van Denderen. According to him, the school will lose 1,3 million euros in income over the entire training period. “For a starting school, that is a huge loss.”

Financial management

Last autumn, the Inspectorate visited all eight schools for a coherent investigation into the Svpo network. This resulted in sixteen established reports this spring, two for each school: one on education, one on finances.

The Inspectorate also strongly criticizes that financial management, the hearing learned. According to an Svpo counsel, the financial investigation is not yet ripe for publication. “The Inspectorate has given an unsatisfactory mark for financial continuity, but it also says that it is not possible to gain sufficient insight into it.” It is simply a completed investigation, the inspectorate said. “It contains judgments and recovery orders.” A follow-up investigation into the property is in full swing.

“The Inspectorate has given an unsatisfactory mark for financial continuity, but it also says that it is not possible to gain sufficient insight into it”

The Amsterdam administrative court today focused on the three schools that were declared very weak. The Svpo board has also filed a civil case with the court in The Hague, involving all eight schools. With this procedure – hearing on 9 August – Svpo wants the judge to make a substantive judgment about the inspection investigations. In the meantime, those reports also remain on the shelf.

Public

That also applies to the report about the discredited last week hit Tjalling Koopmans College in Hurdegaryp, which has not been declared very weak. “It's not about that school today. Much has been written about the school over the past week. Another reason to make the reports public, so that everyone can take note of them," according to the inspectorate. Incidentally, the inspectorate will visit the school again this week, in response to recent developments.

The inspectorate wanted to make one comment: “There is one school that shows good results, that is the longest existing school (in Kapelle, ed.). The other schools where learning outcomes can be calculated do not paint the same picture. That the learning results would be excellent across the board is really too rosy.”

These are the eight Schools for Personal Education

2010 Chapel

2013 Hurdegaryp

2016 Geldermalsen

2017 Utrecht (very weak 2019, 2021), Amsterdam (very weak 2021)

2019 Hoorn (very weak 2021), Deventer, Hengelo

Read also A 'donation fund' for personal education (2019) in The price of the small class (2020). Look here for all Education magazine articles about Svpo on this website.

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