The Eindhoven municipality is coming up with a 16-year plan to ensure there will be room for pupils in both primary and secondary education in the future, but the plan will not be in place until next year.
The fact that some of the pupils cannot attend their preferred school was reason for 50Plus to ask council questions. The announcement of the housing plan is in response to these questions. The council says it first needs to investigate how fast the region grows in the coming years and what that means for the number of pupils joining. “We expect all forms of education to grow in the coming years”, it said.
A number of secondary schools are already drawing lots among students applying for a place, as there is not enough room for all applications. Yet there is no reason to start building new schools immediately. According to DUO data, the roughly 14,000 pupils who are currently in vmbo, havo or vwo courses can all go to school”, says a spokesperson for the municipality.
According to Meine Stoker, chairman of the board of SILFO, which includes the International School, Stedelijk College and Strabrecht, a clear plan is nevertheless a must. The arrival of more and more international pupils is the reason. “Since last March, we have seen a growth from 250 to above 500. That is a substantial growth.” We are talking about children of knowledge workers, migrant workers and refugees. This group is growing rapidly and this needs to be taken into serious account, Stoker believes: “Now is the time to prepare for the situation in four or five years’ time.”
The international transition class where children learn Dutch in two years before going to a regular secondary school now consists of two locations. There will be a new location this year that can accommodate around 300 pupils. Currently, there are still about 75 pupils on a waiting list. With the arrival of the third location, there is enough room to grow.
Integral housing plan
The method adopted by the municipality for regular education does not anticipate the growth of schools. The Eindhoven municipality says: “We have always maintained that we should not build for vacancy”. This position has the intention of dealing efficiently with financial resources.” Nevertheless, it is now looking at whether this still suits the rapidly growing city. “When we draw up the new 16-year integral housing plan, we will consider whether this position is still appropriate or whether there is reason to change it based on new insight.”