Date: November 16, 2023

Voice of the Parent Themes – Why a Parents Association (PA)?

The Parents’ Association Committee (PAC) represents all parents of ESB (regardless of whether you are a member or not of the association) in meetings with the school management. This is what we call the Voice of Parents – we do this in meetings 20 times per year with the school management and Brussels (SAC meetings, ADMIN Board meetings SEC and PEC meetings with PAC members and your parents section reps). We also represent you in other committee meetings adding up to another 20 meetings (canteen, safety, Interparents etc) per year.

You as parents all have the chance to put forward your concerns and ideas via your class reps who represent you in the Primary and Secondary educational council meetings (PEC and SEC) which happen twice per year. Please make sure you continue to do this – as it is very useful for us. 

Happy kids should mean happy parents and by the looks of things we have many happy kids. Equally you will have seen the very encouraging news regarding the educational level (measured in the PISA report and BAC results) of secondary students of ESB. Despite overall positive views - we do realize however that parents are concerned about several key themes – which have been voiced to us via class reps or emails to chats to members of the PAC.

Over the last few years parents are voicing several recurring themes and concerns during class rep meetings – we would like to let you know what the PA are doing regarding these themes – so that we can help the school work through new concerns and potential innovations going forward.

Below are the current and recurrent themes we impress upon the school management, Dutch ministry of education, Interparent association and Brussels.

Current big themes:

  • Retaining attractiveness of the school, enrolling more pupils e.g. language sections.
  • Balancing the wellness of pupils and their academic focus i.e., appropriate rest time within timetables.
  • Ensuring opportunity for all pupils and for all of them to feel included e.g., Amsterdam kids.

Recurring themes: 

  • Ongoing maintenance within the school before moving to the new school e.g., safety, ventilation etc
  • Influencing the design of the new school in Alkmaar i.e., pushing for parents’ input.
  • Discussing the school diploma results in committee meetings i.e., PISA and BAC
  • Collaborating with school via the canteen committee e.g., less sugar.
  • Voicing concerns and potential solutions regarding school trips e.g costs & destination.
  • Requesting timely and clear communication regarding key topics e.g traffic.
  • Being aware of the limitations of parent volunteers and the impact this has on school.
  • Raising concerns to school about transport or safety around the school e.g cycle paths

Future themes:

  • Working with the school management on improvements for career advice and Uni choices.

We do also understand that there are parents who do not feel comfortable voicing their concerns in front of teachers or school management. So far, we have not had a full picture of what most of the parent population thinks via aggregate and so we are exploring how to collect such  data through a survey.

The best place to give your feedback and suggestions is during our PA events (which you are very much welcome too) or via our website through  the “contact us” link.

Become a PA member today and join the community.

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Glossary of terms:

School Advisory Council (SAC) This committee meets 2-4 times a year and consists of representatives from the Parents (PA), teachers, students, ESB administration, JRC, EMA and ESB management, who is chairing the meeting. The purpose of this committee is to discuss and give advice about the short and long term plans for the school and to prepare for the Admin Board.

Administrative Board (Admin Board) The School Board meets twice a year (normally September and January) and consists of representatives from the Parents (PA), teachers, students, ESB administration, ESB management, JRC and EMA, Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) represented by Nederlands Onderwijs in the Buitenland (NOB), European Commission, The Secretary-General the European Schools, who is chairing the meeting. The purpose of the School Board is to make decisions about the plans and finances of the school.

Interparents (IP) This committee meets regularly and consists of representatives from all of the Parents’ Associations of the 13 European Schools. The purpose of this committee is to represent the Parents in the Board of Governors (BoG), Joint Teachers Committee (JTC), Budgetary Committee (BC) and other committees, by discussing proposals and by electing representatives for the various working groups and committee meetings held by Central Office (OSGES), the Board of Governors and Inspectors. Topics discussed deal with a wide range of topics, such as, curriculum reforms, teacher supply, budget and general policies and rules.

Secondary Education Council (SEC) This educational council meets 4 times a year and consists of a representative from each language section from the Parents (PA), teachers and students. The council is chaired by the Deputy Director for Secondary. The purpose of this council  is to discuss matters arising in the secondary school and to find solutions. 

Primary Education Council (PEC) The educational council meets 4 times a year and consists of a representative from each language section from the Parents (PA) and teachers. The council is chaired by the Deputy Director for Primary / Nursery. The purpose of this council is to discuss matters arising in the primary school and to find solutions.

Organisatie Oudervereniging van de Europese School te Bergen
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