National Education Programme: Consent is crucial

The consent of participation councils and the involvement of the school or education team are crucial in the one-off spending of the billions of euros to eliminate the corona backlog among pupils and students. The AOb developed a guideline for every education sector to help mrs and ors on their way. Download them on this page.

For example, the AOb in the guides for it primary education en secondary education to prevent the money from leaking into commercial -often expensive- tutoring agencies. Schools can better focus on the own expertise of the staff so that it is about sustainable development and the expertise is kept in the school.

In manual for secondary vocational education, the hbo and the science education&research the union refers to the education team. The teaching staff must know in advance how much money is available and in what period. The works council or employee participation council must provide this clarity. In these sectors, part of the money is structural because of the increased numbers of students.

In addition, the . emphasizes AOb in general that it concerns incidental money and major problems such as the high workload and the teacher shortage cannot be solved with this. Structural investments are necessary for this, the union believes.

One time money

Last February, outgoing education minister Arie Slob known that a one-off 8,5 billion euros will be made available for the entire education system to eliminate backlogs. MBO institutions, colleges and universities can look forward to 2,7 billion euros and a structural investment of 645 million euros to be able to appoint additional teachers due to increased student numbers.

5,8 billion euros has been set aside for basic education. This means that primary schools, secondary schools and schools for special education will receive extra money for the next 2,5 years.

School teams make an analysis ('the school scan') to see where the bottlenecks are for students and then a plan, the school program, which clearly describes what is needed and which interventions they choose. A choice must be made from proven interventions that the Ministry of Education has listed ('the menu'). In addition to eliminating learning disadvantages, attention can be paid to the broad development of pupils and their well-being.


De AOb wants to support mr'en and or'en with the guidelines (see downloads below) and point out that they have the right of consent. The school team should be actively involved in spending the money and drawing up the plan. Slob also called the team's involvement 'crucial' in his letter to Parliament. Education teams who notice that they are not involved enough in the spending of the money can contact them with the help desk of the ministry. In addition, the union advocates careful spending of the money, whereby clear national objectives are set in advance.


The ministry first wanted schools to complete the school program in April and then choose which measures they wanted to take in May. Acting chairman Tamar van Gelder mentioned this rather 'an impossible timeline'. According to the union, schools and institutions must be given sufficient time to conduct the conversation. Quality trumps speed, says the AOb. The ministry has now announced that they will be more flexible with the deadline, as long as schools have described the broad outlines of the school program before the summer holidays.

Looking back

Would you like to know more about effective interventions that a school can take to eliminate learning disadvantages, the role of the mr and the rules of the OCW in the distribution of the money from the National Education Program? Watch the webinar from the AOb. 

Frequently asked Questions

  • What is a school scan and do we have to share the results with the ministry?

    The minister asks schools to perform a school scan. With this bring schools in map where exactly are the delays for their students due to the corona pandemic. Schools can look at cognitive, social-emotional and well-being of their students.

    So the school scan is a process where you can use information from the student tracking system. School teams think so hard about the impact of corona on their students and what interventions they can take. The Ministry prepared for the execution of the school scan a step-by-step plan that you can use.

    Then they choose from the 'menu' of the Ministry of Education for appropriate interventions. For example, smaller classes, extra support from teachers, the use of digital resources or more one-on-one education. The menu is mainly based on effectiveness studies from the United Kingdom. 

    Schools need the results of the school scan cannot be delivered in its entirety at the ministry. Schools will, however, receive a monitoring questionnaire in September. This questionnaire is still under development, but questions will be asked, for example, about choices made and consent.

  • What is in the school program and do you have to be accountable for it?

    The school program is one plan for the coming school years 2021/2022 and 2022/2023, in which it is stated how the backlogs will be eliminated and which interventions schools will use for this. The chosen interventions make schools concrete in activities and tasks, commitment and formation, financing and how you as a team evaluate progress in the interim and adjust it if necessary.

    This program is created at the school level as a supplement to the school plan. At group or student level this can be worked out in a group plan or a development perspective (opp). The school program can be adjusted based on new insights.

  • What is the role of the (g) mr in the development of the school program?

    Mr's must early become involved in the process concerned, especially given the tight time frame. It is up to the school team to draw up the school program, but the advice can already be done in between make proposals. Once the school program is in place, the school director or the director makes a proposal to the mr. The council has right of consent when determining the school program, as it is an addition to the school plan. The Ministry of Education also sets mr approval as a condition. This means that the mr must receive sufficient information and, where possible, can also make use of the legal information right. The mr must also know whether the school team has been sufficiently involved in the entire plan. If that is not the case, then that is a good reason not to agree for the time being.

    In principle, the Joint Participation Council (GMR) does not play a role at board level. Nevertheless, especially for the staff part of the GMR can not be excluded when those choices affect it board formation plan or for the terms of employment, such as for the appointment of permanent and temporary staff. Ultimately, the board is responsible for spending the money. The GMR has the right to advise on the distribution of resources among the schools and the budget of the board, but the school is in charge. This means that the school board does not make a central school program itself. However, the school board can facilitate specific interventions in consultation with the GMR.

    Download our guide for mrs in primary education via this link. Do you work in secondary education? Then download this guide.

  • How should the team be involved in the school program?

    Involvement of the school team is very important and one condition, says the Ministry of Education. It is important for support and for implementation. Which interventions schools choose to make up for the backlog, moreover, falls under the professional space of the teachers according to the Teaching Profession Act.

    What does the involvement look like?

    1. The conversation is first about possible interventions to clear up backlogs. Schools choose from 'the menu' of proven interventions from the Ministry of Education. That map will be published at the end of April.
    2. The school management processes the choices in a draft school program and also discusses this with the team. Involve the mr in this from the start.
    3. After the school program has been discussed in the team, the school management formally submits the program to the mr. The mr has the right of approval. Download our handy guide for school teams and mrs in primary education via . You will find the guide for secondary education here.
  • Is the school program a condition for the school to receive the money?

    The school program is no condition to receive the money. In any case, all schools receive the budget reserved for them. Accountability takes place at board level in the annual report at the end of the year. The ministry pays the money into the account of the school boards.

    The official regulation will be announced at the beginning of June. This states how much money will be made available per student and how much extra money will go to schools that have many students who are at risk of arrears.

    The school team's first step is to develop a school program that has been approved by the participation council. It is the intention is not for boards to skim money in advance for reserves or activities at board level. The AOb advises mr'en to be alert. However, it may be that a joint decision is made to organize interventions at the upper school level, which will then be approved by the GMR.

  • What do parents have to say about the school program?

    Parents, and in secondary education also the pupils, belong to the 'constituency' of the MR, just like the staff. In case of important decisions, the MR can gauge the opinion of the constituency before the council agrees. The position of parents in the school program differs from that of the staff. Education staff are professionally involved in planning. Teachers assess what students need from their professional expertise and are independently responsible (laid down in the education laws) for assessing educational performance. Parent discussions do have added value, especially because the school program also focuses on the social emotional development of the pupil.

  • Can schools use this incidental sum of money to attract staff?

    Yes, that is allowed if the commitment of the staff is intended to reduce delays by corona. Additional staff will be required for a number of interventions from the ministry's 'menu'. The AOb advises to invest in it own staff. This can be done, for example, by converting temporary contracts into permanent contracts, expand part-time appointments, postpone (early) retirement and the hiring (extra) support staff.
    In addition, schools can investigate whether the commitment of students for specific activities can contribute.

    The leakage of money to commercial parties is not in the interest of the students and does not ensure sustainable development in education and teaching staff. The AOb wants it so as little money as possible flows to commercial parties. Sometimes specialized knowledge and outside help is needed. Always check the quality. Ask for experience, training, evaluations and references. And ask around in your own network. Go never just respond to 'offers' from external parties that come in via e-mail.