The Northern Educational Alliance
a strong basis for education together
The foundational education in the Northern Netherlands is at a crossroads. Primary schools, secondary schools, special education, and vocational education: all have to do with questions surrounding the motivation of students, teacher shortages, and excellent support of students needing care, which creates a specific challenge for us. Will all students be able to go to good schools in the neighbourhood in the future? The Noordelijke Educatieve Alliantie (Northern Educational Alliance, NEA) which is part of the Bestuursakkoord Flexibilisering Lerarenopleidingen (Government Agreement for more Flexible Teacher Training Programmes) is looking for solutions.
Tackling unequal opportunities
The contraction in the region is putting the quality of education under serious pressure in some places, which could further increase the already existing inequality of opportunity among students. Inequality between the city and the countryside, between different neighbourhoods in the city; the location of your home or your school has a direct impact on your future.
“A unique opportunity: to look beyond our own interests alone and join force with others.”
What do we do to tackle these issues? Solutions cannot be found in existing structures, in which schools are forced to compete for smaller numbers of pupils, students, and teachers. At the same time this situation offers a unique opportunity: to look beyond our own interests alone and join force with others.
The Northern teacher training programmes are going ahead and taking the first step. They are uniting as the Northern Educational Alliance (NEA), a collaborative effort that joins forces in the fields of training, professionalization and research. Together with schools, the NEA is looking for new ways of boosting education. The NEA is not just a project, it is also an invitation to anyone who wishes to help support education in the Northern Netherlands.
The NEA focuses on six themes:
- One place with all information about the three teacher training programmes: Schoolplein Noord.
- A flexible programme for anyone willing and able to teach.
- A separate training school to improve the supervision of and expertise on academically trained teachers.
- Hands-on supervision of new teachers to help prevent absenteeism
- A good network for language coordinators focused on language competence which is a great way of combating inequality of opportunity.
- One educational research agenda for the region.