On 25 November 2021, the Inspectorate of Education carried out a quality study at the Sacred Heart school. The report has been published a few weeks ago.
The Inspectorate concluded that the quality of education at Sacred Heart School is insufficient.
In its report, the Inspectorate states that the Sacred Heart School must better manage the quality of education, and, which amongst other interventions, must improve the pedagogical-didactic approach. In addition, the results achieved by the pupils have become less, the safety policy does not receive the attention it deserves, and the pupils who need it, do not receive the right care and support in time. The school does not meet the legal requirements on several standards. Therefore the Inspectorate considers the quality of education as insufficient.
Observations from parents
Two years ago, in a letter to the Editor of Saba News, parents with children at the Sacred Heart School asked attention to the following problems in the school:
- Physical abuse: all forms of physical violence;
- Emotional or psychological abuse: an adult regularly berates the child, acts in a dismissive and hostile manner towards the child, or intentionally scares the child;
- Physical neglect: the child does not receive the care and nurturing that it needs;
- Emotional or psychological neglect: continuous lack of positive attention for the child;
- Ignoring the child’s need for love, warmth, and security.
Initiatives of the School
One year ago, Saba’s Sacred Heart School hosted an anti-bullying week for all classes, facilitated by the Mentorship Program participants. The school observed that bullying is on the rise. In some instances, it can result in some dire consequences, which makes it a concerning matter for the parents and educational institutions.
The impact on parents with children who are enlisted in the Sacred Heart School is significant. Some parents have already left Saba to secure a healthy education environment for their children. Others are planning to do this. In some cases, this affects the Saban community as a whole. Some parents report their children sick to give them a time-out of the problems. Also, some parents provide additional home-schooling programs for their children to compensate for, which the parents feel is, a lacking curriculum.
The Inspectorate indicated that they intensify their supervision and give repair orders to the Board. They will visit the school again this March 2022 for a progress meeting. They intend to discuss, among other things, the developments of the school in general and the quality of education in particular. In November 2022, they will visit the school again for a recovery study.
Response from the Board of the Sacred Heart School
The Dutch inspection came to visit in November to investigate the quality of our education. They looked at the pedagogical and didactical approach, investigated if we have identified our care students and looked at safety at Sacred Heart. Despite the hard work of every staff member, the inspection deemed our performance on each of the above points as insufficient. We did not achieve the basic quality standards required and we will be under scrutiny from the inspection the coming months. This report will be published shortly (available in Dutch and English).
It is undeniable that the past years’ turbulent waters have left their mark. We are using the report to plot our course. Changes have been made already, for example, a clearer job description for our care coordinator and remedial teaching, the possibility for a safety coordinator on the grounds, and data has been collected to form a clearer picture of which students have a backlog.
It will be a hands-on-deck situation for the coming months, but we are aiming for calmer waters.
We ask parents to stay positive, be patient and have faith. The staff, management and board of Sacred Heart School are working hard to adjust to the changes and to satisfy the inspection. We are in this boat together. Let’s sail it to safer waters.
The Board of the Sacred Heart School