There have been a series of meetings of the CEA and Groupe de Suivi over the last weeks. The APEEE was represented by Patrick ten Brink.
Below are some of the key points which have emerged from these ongoing discussions. Interested in hearing more? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your section representatives.
a) a new look at the statistics for the European schools confirms that there will be a need for a fifth Brussels European school for 2016/17 onwards.
b) New enrolment demands suggest that there will be significant demands for additional places already in the 2015/16 school year, but this will be met through the existing four schools and use made of Berkendael which for the moment is linked to Uccle.
c) While the extra demands on Laeken can be managed in broad terms, there will additional overcrowding in other schools.
d) Recent discussions with the Belgian authorities show promising options for a fifth European school. Different sites are being explored. One working scenario is that Berkendael will be fully available for 2016/17 and a full fifth school (which may or may not be linked to the Berkendael site) will be ready for 2019/20, works permitting.
e) Big decisions have to be made as to which language sections should go to the fifth school which will have implications across the four existing schools. There needs to be a debate and consultation in the language sections to understand concerns and interests and hence input into the decision.
f) A more radical solution being explored is whether to have a new “superlycee” that would cater only for the upper secondary from across several school. The discussions on this are at a very early stage and this is but one option of many. Given the objectives of providing quality schooling in own languages, ensuring that students in secondary have access to options of their choice, a wide range of possible solutions are being looked at.
G) The 4 European school’s APEEE have a combined voice in the decision making on this. The European Commission, Directors of the schools, the Belgian government and the SecGen also each have a voice. It will be important to have regular feedback from parents and language sections to that the APEEEs can represent the position of the schools in these meetings.