The school board holds responsibility for the school's policy. However, students, staff and parents may also exert influence. They can do this through the participation council, which each school is required to have. Since August 1st,2014, a minimum statutory provision applies in terms of participation at the schools (primary and secondary education) of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. In this participation law in the Caribbean Netherlands differs slightly from the Dutch Schools Participation Act (Wet medezeggenschap scholen, WMS) or the Dutch Works Councils Act (Wet op de ondernemingsraden, WOR).
The school leaders are obligated to have consultations with the participation council. The participation council is the school leaders' interlocutor, amongst others when it comes to the school's policy plans. The participation council exerts influence and the school leaders reach a decision after consultation with the participation council. The school leaders agree with the participation council on on what subjects they will consult the participation council and on the frequency of meetings per year with the participation council.
A participation council in primary education comprises parents and staff members. In secondary education, the participation council comprises parents, staff members and students. The ratio is 50% staff and 50% parents/students. Elections determine who may contribute input and co-decide. If you want to become a member of your school's participation council, you should stand for election. The school's participation rules should include how you can stand for election. You may obtain these rules from the principal.
Right of access to information
Information is required to ensure transparency within the school. The participation council should have information at its disposal in order to be able to discuss the school’s policy and quality. Therefore the right of access to information is an important right of the participation council. It is the school board’s duty to inform the participation council in a timely fashion so that the participation council can function properly. The school leaders may adopt the participation council's recommendations but is not obliged to do so. In the event that a recommendation is not adopted, this usually means the beginning of a new round of discussions aimed at reaching agreement.
Participation at your school
For more information about participation at your school or your child(ren)'s school, you may contact the principal.