Last bell: lack of teachers forces Amsterdam school to permanently close doors

A school in Amsterdam will wave a final goodbye to 111 students after being hit hard by the national teacher shortage. The Netherlands is currently in urgent need of around 5,500 educators.

The struggle of 16e Montessorischool to put teachers at the front of the classroom has become so dire the school will shut its books – forever. Groups 6, 7, and 8 will transfer schools after Autumn Break, while the rest will remain until the end of December.

Student numbers at 16e Montessorischool have been declining for three years, but it may have been a 2018 unsatisfactory mark from the Education Department that broke the camels back.

It’s the first known school to have been struck so badly by the national teacher shortage that it could no longer operate.

Hubert de Waard, director of the Sirius Foundation which manages 16e Montessorischool and 13 others, said they tried to solve the issue of a lack of teaching staff, but it became no longer possible.

“Parents see that their children were often redistributed across other classes. The director also regularly acted as a teacher,” he told RTL Nieuws. “The urgency was too high, and we could no longer come up with solutions.”

What is the national teacher shortage?

The Netherlands has been struggling to put teachers in front of classes for years. In the second quarter of 2019 there were 2,400 jobs going for primary school teachers, and 3,100 jobs available for secondary educators.

It’s the most vacancies for teachers the Netherlands has ever experienced and has hit the Randstad the hardest.

Politicians have slammed the government for not releasing more money. Leader of PvdA, Lodewijk Asscher, told RTL Nieuws that nice words from the cabinet are not enough.

“There is a crisis in our education that threatens the future of our children. That crisis must be fought.” he said. “All children must be sure of a good teacher in class.”

Have you been struck by the teacher shortage? Do you think more school closures should be forecast? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Pixabay/Pexels

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.


  1. This is sad. Teaching should be the most valued profession in our society, and good teachers should be paid as much a politicians. No democracy can survive without good teachers and a robustly funded liberal education system.


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