Basic quality standards in primary and secondary education in the Dutch Caribbean
20 mei 2011
All schools must comply with the education acts that will apply to the Dutch Caribbean islands: for primary education this will be the Primary Education Act (WPO BES), for secondary education the Secondary Education Act (WVO BES), for secondary (vocational) education the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB BES) and for the former Mandatory Social Training Act (SVP) the act for Social Opportunity Projects for the Young (SKJ). These acts state, for example, that teaching must comply with attainment targets and the amount of teaching time that must be given. The acts do not state how the school must teach; a school can decide this for itself and does so in its own way.
The government does, however, impose conditions on teaching. After all, our education is funded by tax payers’ money. For this reason, schools must comply with acts and regulations known as Statutory Regulations. Compliance with these regulations is a prerequisite for government funding. Within these acts and regulations schools may decide for themselves how they choose to teach or shape their care. They may also choose which subjects they consider important for their pupils and which methods and materials to use.
The same constitutional law also lays down that teaching needs to be inspected. The inspection of teaching has two important tasks, 1) compliance with the previously mentioned Statutory Regulations and 2) the quality of teaching. To a large extent the quality of teaching is secured by the statutory regulations, but also by the extent to which schools shape freedom of education. To evaluate this, the inspectorate has defined characteristics to which the quality of teaching must comply as a minimum, Basic Quality Standards. These Basic Quality Standards are based on the Education Inspections Act, which also applies to the Dutch Caribbean (WOT BES). They may also correspond to the statutory regulations from sectoral legislation.
There is a difference between complying with statutory regulations and complying with Basic Quality Standards.
Because education in the Dutch Caribbean must first undergo a period of adjustment to the new situation, inspections in the first years will focus on quality improvement. This is based on the school’s improvement plan, which forms the inspectorate’s guideline for monitoring progress and will be reported on in terms of satisfactory and unsatisfactory progression. The inspectorate’s basic assumption is that all schools will meet the basic quality standards as described in this document by 01 August 2016.
For the reasons mentioned above, it is indicated next to each Basic Quality Standard in this publication, whether it is also a statutory regulation. These standards are colored red. In addition, the date is indicated from which the basic quality standards will apply and therefore be included in inspections.
Finally, an overview will be given of the statutory regulations from sectoral legislation that have a higher implementation priority for schools and which therefore have the same high priority for inspection.