By law, every school in the Netherlands has a medezeggenschrapsraad (MR). This is a participation council, where elected representatives of teachers, students and their parents are consulted by the administration over matters concerning the management of the school. As prescribed by law, there are separate MR’s for the Secondary and Primary sections of the school. The MR meets about once per six weeks and the agenda and minutes are published here.
The MR holds, according to legislation, three types of rights. Depending on the issue, the MR has the right to be informed of a decision taken by the administration, to be consulted and provide its advice prior to the decision being taken or to approve or withhold approval of a decision proposed by the administration.
For more information see the article below.
The MR (Medezeggenschapsraad)
The Medezeggenschapsraad (MR) is a council of representatives from three constituent groups: parents, students (for the Secondary MR) and teachers. It is the responsibility of the principal to maintain an effective MR. It is a legal requirement for all Dutch schools.
The role of the MR
For important decisions the administration is required to seek the opinion of parents, students (for the Secondary MR) and teachers. This happens via the MR.
Depending on the issue, the MR has the right:
- To be informed of a decision taken by the administration,
- To be consulted and provide its advice prior to the decision being taken or
- To approve or withhold approval of a decision proposed by the administration.
The school provides information and reports on all aspects of school life. The MR members then use that information to inform their opinion and give suggestions for improvement.
In cases where the role of the MR is to give advice to the administration in regards to a decision, the administration can choose whether to follow the advice or not. Should it decide not to do so, it needs to provide reasons.
The MR has most authority in situations where the administration requires the MR’s approval before a decision can be taken. This is in situations such as establishing the school plan and changing the types of exams that the school gives.
Does the MR make decisions about education?
The MR does not decide how a school is run on a daily basis. It does not decide on individual cases, such as the development of individual students or complaints put forward by a parent or guardian. However, it has important approval and advisory rights regarding policy decisions and evaluating proposals from the school.
MR approval is necessary on the following matters (non exhaustive list):
MR advice is sought on the following matters (non exhaustive list):
Certain other matters are referred only to the parent or staff section of the MR for its approval. For more information on this issue, please see this Dutch document.
The influence of the MR
Frequently, the different parties within a school have different views on the best course of action to tackle an ongoing issue or new challenge. Medezeggenschap means participation. The MR is therefore a unique forum to bring all parties together, exchange views, different perspectives and expertise and allow for fruitful discussions. Its work is guided by the principles of transparency of information, open communication, mutual respect and the understanding that all parties are working towards a common goal, the best possible education for the students.
Current members are:
- Warren George- Parent Representative and Chair
- Tatjana Dawson - Parent Representative
- Daniele Palmieri - Parent Representative
- Dianna Bradley - Staff Representative
- Bastiaan Schippers - Staff Representative and Secretary
- Tara Davis - Staff Representative
If you would like to contact the MR please use the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current members are:
- Joseph Bayot - Teacher
- Richard Brooke - Parent
- Boaz van der Schaaf
- Saskia Buijs - Student
- Joy Davis - Support
- Jon Halligan - Parent
- Floris Kersemakers - Student
- Wendy Lahy Neary - Teacher
- Sabrina Madsen - Parent
- Sam van der Niet - Support
- Alec Nightingale - Teacher
For access to the agendas and minutes please log in to your portal and you will find a link to the protected MR pages on the side bar on your homepage.