The conflict between Wiersma and the Education Inspectorate escalated last year

The conflict between Wiersma and the Education Inspectorate escalated last year

This is evident from the six thousand pages of internal documents submitted to the The NRC has been released After invoking the Open Government Act (Woo).

Wiersma (VVD) has demanded that the Education Inspectorate annually rate at least 10 percent of schools as “unsatisfactory”. Wiersma also insisted that the inspectorate conduct half of its school visits without warning.

Inspector General Alida Obers wrote to Wiersma that these instructions from the Minister were “an unacceptable interference with the Inspectorate’s powers”. After all, the Inspectorate has legal norms on which schools are tested and cannot deviate from it.

Brainstorming sessions were held last summer in which Education Minister Wiersma urged more far-reaching measures that would put pressure on schools.

Officials warned that additional measures could “override schools’ additional requirements or inspections.” This can put pressure on the schools focus or the implementation of the inspectorate.

Complaints kept coming

Officials continued to complain about the behavior of Education Minister Dennis Wiersma, who resigned at the end of June, even after he internally expressed regret and promised improvement last fall. In April, Minister V.M The telegraph He changed his behaviour.

This image emerges from emails and chat messages from civil servants published by the Ministry of Education at the request of several media outlets.

A few months after the minister took office in early 2022, a civil servant complained about Dennis’ “bad and erratic behavior”, which can be read in the documents. More than a year later, Wiersma admitted to the media that he had been “sharp and sometimes very violent” towards his officials. “Thankfully, things have been different for a while and a lot better,” he wrote on Instagram. “At least, that’s what I hear from the people around me.”

Indeed, in December, his officials noticed that the minister was working on his behavior. Wiersma wrote a letter to his staff about the pressure on his ministry due to education problems. “I feel this pressure myself, and I notice that sometimes some of this pressure translates to you,” the minister said. He also added that he wanted to learn from this and called on his employees to think carefully.

It’s a ball with Denise again.

“He’s really adjusting his style,” one official wrote to a colleague later that month. The recipient agreed, adding, “But he really needs to learn not to lash out at people when he’s down.”

The improvement in Wiersma’s behavior did not seem to last long. “He found working with Dr. very difficult and challenging and indicated that he has his limitations,” an official added in February.

“It’s a ball again with Dennis and the spokespeople,” a staff member wrote a month later. He added a little later: “This way we don’t detain anyone.” “He’s angry as ever,” said shortly afterwards in the same conversation. in a post Norwegian Refugee Council We can read that the minister’s outbursts were regularly focused on his spokesmen.

Officials also complained about the heavy workload under Wiersma. “I’m really pissed about it,” one employee wrote in April when he was assigned to work weekends by the minister. “I’m busy with Denise all Friday evening, now over and over again tomorrow at a quarter past nine.” Wiersma resigned in June after reports of misconduct resurfaced in the media.

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