How a school decides whether or not the child will transfer to the next school year is up to the secondary schools themselves. Some schools exceptionally let all children pass this year. Others have chosen to use the pre-lockdown figures as a guide. But there are also schools that transfer power to the parents.
It is not clear how many schools apply this policy. The LAKS announces that they have heard from dozens of students that their parents are allowed to make the decision. A survey by Editie NL shows that there are at least schools in Amsterdam, Naaldwijk, Leeuwarden and Deurne.
One of those schools is the ISW in Naaldwijk. “We chose this because the children are working at home and we are therefore unable to test properly,” location director Han Versloot tells Editie NL. Normally, the school decides on the basis of the figures whether a student is allowed to transfer, but this year no new figures have been received since March. “On the other hand, we know how their efforts were during the online classes.”
At the end of June, the school will issue advice for each student. “Usually this is a positive advice, but there will also be negative advice. We expect that the parents will follow that advice. If the parents deviate from this, we will have a conversation at school. Then we can consult with each other.”
The Willibrord Gymnasium in Deurne is also one of the schools that leaves the decision to the parents. “We chose this way because numbers do not say much at the moment,” explains Vice-President Hans Matthijsen. “Parents can see whether the students are at the right level.”
Here, too, the parents are advised by school in advance, but the parents are decisive. “The chances are very high that the parents follow the advice of the teachers and the mentor. But it is also possible that the parent has good reasons to let the child go against the advice.”
The VO Council, the association of schools in secondary education, does not think it is a good idea to let the parents make the final decision. “We think it is good that the opinion of parents weighs heavily. Because of home education, parents sit closer to the child and see how it is going. But we think that ultimately the school should decide whether a child will pass or not.”
In case of doubt, schools can in this case call in the help of the parents. “They can ask the parents about their vision. This may provide new insights. For example, parents can sometimes explain why a student has performed less in a hectic situation. If your grandmother died during the corona period, this could have an effect on the student. ”
However, according to the VO council, the final decision can be made better by the school. “Parents tend to rate performance higher than schools.”
The Ministry of Education believes that the decision could lead to inequality of opportunity. “Empowered and highly educated parents will make use of this. That is not desirable,” a spokesperson told Editie NL.
“Teachers are the professionals. They can best assess the right step for a student. Of course they can discuss this with parents, but teachers give the final verdict,” said the ministry.
The Landelijk Aktie Komitee Scholieren (LAKS) joins the Ministry of Education. “There are parents who push to let their child pass. For the chances of the child, we do not think it desirable to have the parents determined,” said a spokesperson.
On social media, people react mixed to the decision of the secondary schools. Marianne writes: “We get advice from school and decide whether we want to go along with it or not. Go against it, your child may not return mid-year, if it turns out to be too heavy. Fortunately, we had for all corona states already had a conversation with school that our son goes from 3 vwo to 4 havo. And that’s fine. ”
Many people, on the other hand, are critical. Annelies says, “It seems to me to just leave it to the teacher in consultation with the parents.”
Sylvia does not seem to be a good plan either. “Parents decide for themselves ??? The same parents who keep their children at home because they can sleep late and find it all easy to keep their kids at home during the crisis …”