Nearly 4,000 children still have no place in Flemish schools in Brussels
Share article:
Share article:

Nearly 4,000 children still have no place in Flemish schools in Brussels

© PxHere

Almost 4,000 families hoping for a place for their child in one of the Dutch-language schools in Brussels will go into the summer without being certain of where their child will find a place when September comes.

According to the local consultation platform for education in Brussels, 6,888 applications were made for a place in one of the Flemish community’s schools in the capital. Of those, 2,936 received a positive response for a place in one of their nominated schools (though not necessarily their first choice).

The remaining 3,952 families will have to wait until places can be allotted in schools which are not yet fully subscribed.

The compares to 3,450 children who were left waiting at the same time last year, from a slightly lower number of 6,600 applications.

Flemish schools in Brussels are in big demand, not only from Flemish people bit also other groups, in particular those of immigrant origin, who see the acquisition of the Dutch language as an investment in a child’s future in Belgium.

The system does reserve a proportion of the available places for children from households where Dutch is the spoken language, as well as for siblings of older pupils, for the children of staff and for certain other disadvantaged groups.

But demand always exceeds supply, especially when it comes to the choice of school. Parents who are left on a waiting list may find themselves come September having to ferry their child to a school distant from the one they preferred.

Advocates of a change to the system argue that the problem is directly responsible for an exodus of younger Flemish families from the capital to the periphery or further afield. In the municipalities that ring Brussels, and where families could once be sure of a place for their child, the same kind of pressure on places is beginning to appear.

Back in Brussels, the latest situation exists despite an additional 755 places having been created since September 2019. During the first part of 2019, meanwhile, 2,600 new places were created in primary schools, and 3,500 in total.

But demand continues to exceed supply. The Flemish education system in Brussels is, as the Dutch expression says, ‘mopping up while the tap is still open’.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Aggression against railway staff more than doubled since 2020
In the first three quarters of 2021, the number of reports of aggression against national railway company SNCB's staff has more than doubled compared ...
Intervention hotline 1722 activated following bad weather warnings
Following bad weather warnings from Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI), the Federal Public Service (FPS) Home Affairs has ...
Thousands march in Brussels to raise awareness of violence against women
More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon for a national march to raise awareness of violence against women in ...
Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...