Dutch speakers who register their children in a school in the Vlaamse Rand (Flemish periphery) area around Brussels will not be given priority over non-dutch speakers, according to reports. The idea – suggested by Minister of Education Hilde Crevits (CD & V) last year – is legally unfeasible, reports Bruzz.
The Flemish government decided in September to investigate whether schools around Brussels could give priority admission to a certain percentage of pupils with at least one Dutch-speaking parent.
Crevits called this a ‘necessary measure’ to counter pressure on schools in the Vlaamse Rand. These pressures included French-speaking parents from Brussels registering their children in Dutch-speaking schools, as well as population growth in the area.
From the legal advice that Crevits received, however, it appears that the proposal will not be possible. There are three reasons for this.
To begin with, there is the principle of equality, which would not allow a distinction to be made between the admission requirements of different Flemish schools, simply because of their location.
In addition, Flanders is not bilingual, unlike Brussels, which means that priority rules can be allowed in Brussels, but not in Flanders. Finally, a priority rule within a monolingual area could be regarded as indirect discrimination.