Education professionals and government collaborate on Register of Teachers

New proposed legislation will make it mandatory for all teachers to be enrolled in the Register of Teachers, starting in 2017. This is the aim of the Register of Teachers Bill, approved by the Cabinet in response to a proposal submitted by Sander Dekker, the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science. By being registered, teachers will demonstrate that they have the right qualifications, keep their knowledge and skills up to date and keep abreast of the latest developments in their field. The statutory obligation for teachers to be enrolled in a professional register also regulates their right to professional development training.

The Register of Teachers is an initiative by the Teachers Forum (Onderwijscoöperatie), which represents the various cooperative bodies for the teaching profession. It has been possible for teachers to join the Register on a voluntary basis since 2012. The Cabinet endorses this initiative, which will be enshrined in law when the Bill is passed. Members of other professions, such as doctors, nurses and lawyers, are already required by law to be registered in order to practise. In that sense, making the Register of Teachers mandatory is a logical step. It means pupils and parents can rely on the fact that all teaching is done by properly qualified professionals.

For teachers, by teachers

The Bill underlines the importance of the teaching profession and gives teachers a say in what and how they teach. Beyond this, the profession is responsible for setting its own standards. The plan is to boost the quality of teachers and thus of the education system as a whole.

Good teachers make a difference

Teachers who want to attend extra training or continuing professional education can apply for government funding, for instance in the form of a teacher development grant. The goal is to have competent and motivated professionals in the nation's classrooms, because good teachers can really make a difference. They develop their pupils' potential more effectively and collaborate with the school management on further improving education quality. To this end, the teacher must have a sufficient level of knowledge and skills and must keep them up to date.

The Cabinet has agreed to submit the Bill to the Council of State for an advisory opinion. The text of the Bill and the Council of State's advisory opinion will be published when they are presented to the House of Representatives.