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Unions file strike notice for French-speaking schools

07:09 30/08/2023

The liberal and socialist education unions of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation have filed a strike notice to coincide with the start of the new school year for French-speaking education in Belgium.

The unions said they were unhappy with a new plan for evaluating teachers' skills, which was part of a change that the federation's parliament approved over the summer and is due to take effect in January 2024, though the evaluation aspect itself will not come into effect until mid-2026.

The plan aims to develop the professional skills of teachers, especially younger ones. If a teacher fails or is clearly unwilling when it comes to that professional development, an individual support plan is initiated.

If no progress is made, the teacher may be dismissed. Appeals for that dismissal could be filed.

Unions have described the decree as “deplorable” and consider it a “disastrous change of direction for the Pact for Excellence in Education”.

They are calling for a reduction in class sizes, the promotion of qualifying education and the alignment of the school schedules in further education with that of primary and secondary education.

The strike announcement will cover “any action between now and the end of the legislature”, the unions added.

Written by Helen Lyons