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Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Netherlands:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

Netherlands:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

 

Entry to the profession

Pay and conditions negotiations

The conditions of service and legal status of education personnel in both the public and private sectors are determined partly at suprasectoral and sectoral level and partly at decentralised and institutional level. Employers’ organisations and trade unions in the education sector negotiate at decentralised level. The competent authority and the federations of public service and education unions representing the staff of the institutions for which that particular competent authority is responsible negotiate at institutional level.

Except in the primary sector, some aspects of pay and working conditions are now regulated per sector, as provided for by various education acts and sector-specific framework decree. The social partners (employers’ organisations and trade unions) conclude collective agreements without the mediation of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.


Conditions of service of teachers

In almost all educational sectors, primary and secondary conditions of service have been decentralised. The only exception to this is primary conditions of service in primary education. The conditions of service and legal status of education personnel (e.g. teachers, specialist teachers, head teachers, teaching assistants, technical assistants, ICT managers, caretakers, internal counsellors and therapists) in both public-authority and privately run institutions are determined at decentralised level in sectoral collective agreements. Where possible and desirable, these agreements leave room for further elaboration at school-board level. Employers’ organisations and trade unions in the education sector negotiate at sectoral level. The competent authority and the federations of public service and education unions representing the staff of the institutions for which that particular competent authority is responsible negotiate at institutional level. There are thus, for the time being, three levels of negotiation:

  • negotiations at central government level (central collective agreement for the educational sector (primary education);
  • negotiations on sectoral collective agreements between employers’ organisations and trade unions in the education and science sector;
  • negotiations between competent authorities of institutions and federations of public service and education unions.


Access

Generally speaking, teachers applying for a job in a given sector of education must possess a certificate qualifying them to teach the subject or subjects in question at that level. Primary and special school teachers are required to have a primary school teacher training qualification. Secondary school teachers must have a grade one or grade two secondary school teaching qualification. Teachers in higher professional education are required to have an HBO or university degree and a certificate of education. Teachers in adult and vocational education who have not trained as a teacher must have a certificate of education. Apart from the relevant teaching qualifications, teachers must be able to produce a certificate of good conduct.


Teachers who are not yet fully qualified may also be appointed on a temporary basis. They are usually lateral-entry teachers. Under the Education Professions Act (WBIO), which entered into force in August 2006, teachers can only be appointed after they have submitted a higher education certificate showing that they meet the standards of competence for the duties they will perform. For that reason, teacher training courses now issue certificates clearly specifying which of the standards of competence the holder meets as well as the subject or subject area he or she is qualified to teach. Holders of teaching certificates issued before August 2006 are deemed to meet the standards of competence and therefore continue to be eligible for appointment.


Nature of contract

Since 1995 all primary, secondary and special school staff (i.e. head teachers, teaching staff and non-teaching staff) and all staff in adult and vocational education have been employed in the general service of the competent authority, rather than by a particular school. This means that staff who move to another school governed by the same school board are not dismissed and reappointed but simply transferred. The letter of appointment must record a number of details, including the date on which the appointment commences, the post and relevant pay scale, whether the appointment is temporary or permanent, the number of hours to be worked, the place of work and the salary.


Induction

Evaluation of teachers

Teachers are appointed by school boards, which are themselves responsible for personnel policy and for recruiting, training and evaluating their staff. Evaluation involves:

  • job performance interviews, during which teachers discuss their performance with their heads, and look at their prospects for the future and
  • assessment interviews during which the teacher’s performance in the period preceding the interview is assessed.

The information given below is taken from the fourth survey of integrated personnel policy in primary and secondary education, held in 2005.


Job performance interviews

Most schools regularly hold job performance interviews with their teaching staff, in most cases once every two years. Information on a teacher’s performance is mainly supplied by the individual concerned. In primary schools, classroom observation is an important source of information. The same applies in secondary schools, where colleagues and pupils are also consulted regularly on teachers’ performance.

Assessment interviews

Assessment interviews are held once a year. Some schools do not hold separate assessment interviews, but assess their teachers during their job performance interviews. The criteria used in assessing staff include attitude towards colleagues, and professional development. Heads also like to have measurable indicators of the performance of individual teachers and their staff as a whole. In primary schools competence profiles are used.

Consequences may be attached to assessments. For temporary staff, the results may determine whether their contracts are extended, terminated or made permanent. Teachers may also be asked to undergo coaching, or accept a transfer to another job. With the introduction of the personnel budget, schools have more scope to give their teachers a performance-related allowance or bonus. They may decide to do so on the basis of an assessment. It is up to the school to decide under what conditions bonuses or allowances will be granted, and how much money they are prepared to spend on them.

Professional status

Teaching staff in public-authority schools and institutions are formally public sector personnel; they are public servants within the meaning of the Central and Local Government Personnel Act. Their appointment is a unilateral legal act by the government. Staff at private schools, on the other hand, are employees, not public servants. They are appointed under a contract of employment signed by them and their employer. Within a given educational sector, the same agreements on terms and conditions of employment apply to teaching staff regardless of whether they are public servants or employees. For private schools, these agreements constitute a collective labour agreement. For public-authority schools, they are adopted by the employer as legal status regulations.

Replacement measures

If a teacher is unable to work, primary schools may claim money to pay for a supply teacher from the Staff Replacement Fund (VF). As of 1 January 2006, it is no longer compulsory for secondary schools to contribute to this fund. Instead, they pay the costs themselves.

The Fund operates on the basis of a differentiated contribution system. Every school year, the contributions paid by each competent authority are examined in the light of the amounts claimed for supply teachers to cover for teachers on sick leave. If more money is claimed than is paid in contributions, the regulations specify that the competent authority has to make an extra contribution. Money can be claimed in the event of absence through sickness. The schools themselves have to pay the costs of other forms of leave. This system places the responsibility for taking action to prevent sick leave firmly in the court of the competent authority. The fewer teachers going off sick, the less that needs to be claimed for supply teachers.


Supply teachers may be hired externally, or found within the school by paying teachers to work extra hours. It is not compulsory for teachers to cover for a sick colleague. Some schools make use of a pool. Teachers can also be seconded from other schools. In some cases trainees or lateral-entry teachers do supply work.

In principle, schools employ qualified supply teachers. However, they may request dispensation from the Inspectorate so that, for example, a teaching or classroom assistant can cover. In this case too, the costs can be claimed from the Staff Replacement Fund. Supply teachers are funded for a maximum of 30 months.

Supporting measures

School boards are themselves responsible for their personnel policies and for supervising new teachers. The necessary funds come from the personnel budget, which school boards in primary and secondary education receive to spend at their own discretion. They may spend the money on supervising trainee teachers and other new staff members. Schools also receive money to fund the professional development of their staff, which they can use for, for example, courses or coaching.

Lateral-entry teachers in primary schools are supervised for approximately 3 hours a week and in secondary schools for two hours a week. In primary education, it is mainly fellow teachers, specialist teachers or school heads who are responsible for supervision. In secondary education it is usually a fellow teacher, but in this sector lateral-entry teachers are often given general supervision. The training and supervision of lateral-entry teachers, for which grants are available, takes no more than two years.

A practical guide has been published to improve the supervision of new teachers in both primary and secondary schools, and a website has been opened for new members of staff and those responsible for supervising them (coaches and head teachers etc.).

Salaries

Every post in education has a corresponding salary scale, determined in accordance with the job evaluation system specified in the relevant sectoral collective agreement. The salary scale is determined by the content and difficulty of the work in question. Before a member of staff can reach the maximum salary amount he or she must move up through a number of salary amounts in keeping with a given career pattern. The categories of teaching and management posts in primary and special schools are: teacher, deputy head and head.

Working time and leave arrangements

Working time

On 1 August 1998 the standard number of hours to be worked per year (standard working year) was fixed at 1,659 for all sectors of education. Staff are appointed to a standard full-time teaching post or a part-time post, expressed as a ‘working hours factor’. Ten percent of a teacher’s actual working hours are available for professional development.


When the standard number of hours was reduced, teachers could acquire an additional leave entitlement by working more hours than the number for which they were appointed. This additional leave may be taken during the course of the year (additional annual leave) or saved up (accumulated leave). Primary and special school teachers may be required to spend an average of no more than 930 hours a year teaching. For secondary school teachers this figure is 750 hours (a maximum of 26 50-minute lessons a week). In the adult and vocational education sector, arrangements regarding working hours are made by the employer in consultation with the staff representatives on the participation council. Teachers may be assigned no more than 823 hours of executive duties per year. This includes teaching, taking examinations, supervising students on placements, taking practical lessons and running courses provided on a contract basis. Other arrangements may be negotiated at institutional (IGO) level.


Leave arrangements

There are various leave arrangements for education personnel:

  • Holiday leave: teaching staff enjoy paid leave during school holidays and on national and religious holidays.
  • Sick leave: in principle, all staff on sick leave continue to receive their full pay for up to 18 months. After 12 months, they receive 70% of their pay for the hours not worked due to disability. When a member of staff has been unfit for work for 12 consecutive months, a medical examination is carried out to ascertain whether they are entitled to benefit payments under the Invalidity Insurance Act (WAO).
  • Maternity leave: Female staff are entitled to sixteen consecutive weeks of maternity leave. The period of leave must begin at least four weeks before the due date.
  • Parental leave: parents of children under the age of 8 can opt to take parental leave. Parents may choose either not to work at all for a consecutive period of time or to work fewer hours a week for up to 12 months. No salary is paid for the hours not worked. As of 1 August 2001, parents may take paid parental leave for a quarter of their working hours.
  • Additional annual leave, accumulated leave, age-related leave: teaching staff in primary, secondary, special, adult and vocational education may choose between taking the additional leave due to them in lieu of a shorter working week on an annual basis (additional annual leave) or saving it up (accumulated leave). Primary and special school teachers may use their accumulated leave to take a consecutive period of leave (sabbatical) or, from the age of 52, to work fewer hours a week over several years (age-related leave), possibly in combination with the scheme to promote employment among older people (BAPO). Similar arrangements apply in secondary education and adult and vocational education.
  • Other leave entitlement: the competent authority must grant teachers paid leave in certain cases, for example when they get married or upon the death of a close relative. The competent authority may also grant unpaid leave.

Promotion, advancement

The job structure devised by the parties to the collective agreements for the primary and secondary education and adult and vocational education sectors comprises model teaching and support jobs at various levels, thus providing for career and promotion opportunities for both teachers and support staff. In primary education, the current range of standard and model jobs also provides opportunities for job differentiation within both teaching and support posts. Under the terms of the Teachers Matter voluntary agreement, schools will be given extra funding from 2010 to employ teachers in higher salary scales, enabling a greater mix of posts.


As part of their integrated personnel policies, schools and institutions can assess whether members of staff have developed their competencies, and if so, whether they can be promoted to a job at a higher level. Promotion prospects also depend on the educational and organisational choices the school or institution makes, and on its financial position.

Dismissal

There are various statutory provisions relating to dismissal, with the details set out for each sector in the relevant collective agreement (CAO). Various legal remedies are open to public-authority and private schools. Redundancy regulations, dating from 31 July 1996, apply in primary and secondary education. However, they no longer apply to individual schools but to all schools falling under the same school board.


If a primary school is planning to dismiss a member of staff, it must inform the Collective Redundancy Payments Fund. Members of staff may be dismissed if a temporary contract is not renewed or there is too little work for them, for compelling reasons, where there is a clash of personalities, or on denominational grounds. First the school is obliged to attempt to find another job for the person in question either internally or externally, and these efforts are included in the Fund’s assessment. Schools may also dismiss a member of staff after 24 or 30 months’ absence due to sickness or disability on the basis of a claim assessment under the Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act.


Retirement and pensions

As a rule, everyone in the Netherlands retires at the age of 65 and is then entitled to an old age pension under the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW). Education personnel in both the public and private sectors also receive a supplementary pension from the pension fund for public servants and education personnel, the ABP Pension Fund. From 1 January 2004, pensions have been calculated on the basis of average salary. Pension entitlements (i.e. old age and surviving dependants’ pension, and invalidity pension) built up before that date are calculated on the basis of final salary. Teachers and other staff start to build up their pension on entering service.


Tax laws were changed on 1 January 2006. Employees born after 1 January 1950 are no longer eligible for tax relief on contributions to early retirement schemes. As a result, the flexible pension and retirement scheme has been discontinued.


The supplementary old age pension provisions have been strengthened due to the discontinuation of the flexible pension and retirement scheme and now include a flexible pension age, part-time pensions, and greater opportunities to exchange old age and surviving dependants’ pension entitlements.


Since September 2008, the ABP Pension Fund, like many other pension funds, has been hit hard by the credit crisis. Its funding level fell from 140% at the close of 2007 to 90% at the close of 2008, making it necessary to draw up a recovery plan in March 2009. The plan is designed to ensure that the Fund has a funding level of at least 105% after five years and at least 125% within fifteen years. The funding level at year-end 2010 was around 105%.