In the beginning of the summer holidays, we learned the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture & Science wishes to move the school to another location outside of Bergen. The Ministry stated they would no longer consider renovating the European School Bergen, and they are looking at other locations in the region. As you have probably seen, a translated statement from the Ministry was posted on the school website.
Rumors were spread in local newspapers during the summer holiday. And we were contacted by many ESB parents with their concerns and confusion.
Since the Ministry’s statement was published, we have been in communication with the school management as well as JRC and EMA staff to determine how we can ensure the parents’ concerns and questions will be addressed.
We have also researched the European School system to learn more about the process and the best way to represent the ESB parents in this matter. We have now communicated some of the parents’ questions and concerns to Interparents (the Parents’ Associations of the European Schools) asking for their guidance and support. A summary of these points are below :
- We ask for support in insisting that ESB parents are heard before any decision is taken at the Board of Governors (BoG). We are concerned and surprised about the intention to relocate the school and have concerns about the criteria the Ministry has chosen, without consulting the parents of the school.
- We ask for support in requesting the underlying documentation used in choosing not to renovate ESB in Bergen.
- Has any Type 1 school been moved before – and if yes, what was the process?
- Can a Type 1 school be changed into a Type 2 school? Has that happened before?
- Would it be possible to receive confirmation from the European Commission that the current status of ESB will remain (Type 1), even if the school moves?
- Is our understanding correct, that the Dutch Ministry alone cannot decide whether the school will move – and where to?
- Does the BoG have to unanimously approve the proposed move, and the new location?
- Will the site agreement of the JRC prevent the school to be moved far away from the current location?
Once we learn more about how and when we can be heard in this matter, we plan to reach out to parents to facilitate additional questions and concerns. If you would like to be contacted, please join the PA and subscribe to our email list to ensure we have your contact information. You may also contact us with your concerns and questions.
Would you like to also be a part of the PA Committee? Learn more about available opportunities here. You can also learn more about how to get involved at our upcoming Annual General Meeting.