Flemish Education Minister Ben Waits (in Virginia) is examining whether nearly 1,500 education staff can be called into schools. This concerns employees seconded to organizations outside of schools, but they are still on the ministry’s payroll.
Figures requested by “Het Laatste Nieuws” show that in the 2019-2020 school year – these are the latest numbers – 1,478 employees were seconded, which is good for 1,146 full-time equivalents. This is faculty members who are temporarily working out of school “on a mission for the benefit of education,” as it is called. For example, seconded persons can be found in social and cultural organizations on the fringes of the world of education, in parents’ associations, in educational administration, and even in European institutions.
Educational expert Dirk Van Dam raises the issue of secondment in the context of the current shortage of teachers. “There are those who work in the cultural or social sector, for example in museums or the youth sector,” it seems. In total, the number of education workers in Flanders is 200,000.
Minister Ben Waits said in his response: “We are now looking at the system fully and seeing whether each secondment is equally useful, or whether there is more useful work waiting in the classroom.” “Because, please note: Many of the seconded employees are already doing very useful work for our education. But downsizing can also be an option. We have already started this exercise, for example with Educational Guidance Services.”
See also: Save more than 100 million euros in education
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