Greater scope for specialist secondary school teachers to teach at primary schools

Teachers with a secondary school teaching qualification will also be able to teach their specialist subject at primary school. This will mean that talented children will be introduced to subjects like physics at a younger age and that pupils will be better prepared for the transition to secondary school. The new measures approved by the Cabinet come in response to the proposal submitted by Sander Dekker, the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science. The measures are due to be introduced on 1 August 2016.

At present, primary schools may bring in secondary school teachers to independently teach foreign languages and a small number of creative subjects such as music and handicrafts. As there is no clear reason for this restriction the range is being expanded to include subjects like geography, history, social studies, maths and physics. This is in line with the wishes of schools, teachers, parents and pupils to have more subjects taught by specialist teachers.

Challenging education

Research shows that many children are bored in class and do not feel sufficiently challenged. Specialist teachers are particularly well-equipped to provide more advanced teaching for primary school pupils, thus motivating them to develop their talents. The idea was part of the Top Talent Action Plan drawn up by the State Secretary to make education more challenging. The amendment to the law will make this possible.

Smoother transition

Another advantage of bringing secondary school teachers into primary schools is that it will smooth the transition from primary to secondary education. The two types of schools currently know too little about one another. Many primary school teachers do not realise what is expected of pupils at secondary schools, while secondary school teachers have too little insight into teaching practices at primary schools. This measure should enable an exchange of information which will reduce the gap between primary and secondary school.