Time for a comprehensive future plan for primary education (29 May 2019)

The new Flemish government must take decisive steps to further strengthen primary education. The preparatory work for a future plan for primary education is ready. The recent plan of the social partners with principles and ambitions for a ‘strong, sustainable and resilient’ primary education is widely supported by all actors in the Vlor.

Parliamentary resolution

The resolution of the Flemish Parliament for the new Flemish government contains a number of measures for a primary education plan. The Vlor believes that this is a step in the right direction, but expects a more comprehensive and concrete plan. There must be a more coherent set of measures based on a long-term vision, with investments spread over two legislatures. The proposals from the Vlor must ensure that primary education is really strengthened at the level of the classroom. They revolve around three tracks that need to be deployed simultaneously: (1) basic financing, (2) the teacher and the team and (3) policy and school organization.

Basic financing

The Vlor is very pleased that, at the end of the current legislature, work was done on the equalization of the operating resources of nursery education up to the level of primary education.

In addition, the council insists on increasing the resources for the entire primary education, after years of under-financing.

The teacher and the team

There is a political consensus on the need for additional childcare workers and care teachers. However, it is not yet clear how much will be invested in this. The Vlor proposes to evolve into an additional care teacher per 83 students. There is also a need for a childcare worker for every 18.5 infants under the age of 4, where the school itself determines how it organizes itself.

Teachers need more time to consult and professionalize. The Vlor also wants to continue the debate about masters in primary education on the basis of recent research. The Vlor is waiting for the release of the investigation report.

Policy and school organization

The Vlor supports the measure for better administrative and pedagogical policy support. Finally, the Vlor argues that, just as in secondary education, a director no longer has a teaching assignment as soon as the school has 83 pupils.