Taalvriendelijke School

[Lees dit artikel in het Nederlands]

Congratulations to the newest member of the Language Friendly School Network, the SALTO-school Floralaan in Eindhoven! The school principal, Arabella Ganzeman, said she already noticed how happy and enthusiastic the children were, just by seeing the language friendly decorations that were put up by the team. The SALTO-school Floralaan is the fourth certified Language Friendly School, an initiative of the Rutu Foundation. They will be joined this month by three other SALTO-schools in Eindhoven and by the Optimist International School in Hoofddorp.

Meanwhile, one of our first Language Friendly Schools, the St. Janschool in Amsterdam, was recently featured in Didactief, a popular journal for teachers in the Netherlands.

A Language Friendly Sauce

“Multilingualism is a strength” is the main credo of the St. Janschool, a public primary school with 446 pupils in Amsterdam-West who received their Language Friendly School certificate in 2019. Didactief interviewed the vice-principal Dieneke Blikslager and had a look inside the school. An excerpt of the interview is provided in English. Continue Reading

Taalvriendelijke School
Read this article in English here

We verwelkomen het nieuwste lid van het netwerk van Taalvriendelijke Scholen, SALTO-school Floralaan in Eindhoven! De schooldirecteur, Arabella Ganzeman, vertelde hoe blij en enthousiast de kinderen waren, alleen al bij het zien van de taalvriendelijke versiering die het team had opgehangen. SALTO-school Floralaan is de vierde gecertificeerde Taalvriendelijke School, een initiatief van de Rutu Foundation. Later deze maand wordt dit uitgebreid met drie andere SALTO-scholen in Eindhoven en de Optimist International School in Hoofddorp.

Een van de eerste Taalvriendelijke Scholen, de St. Janschool in Amsterdam, werd uitgelicht in  het tijdschrift voor leerkrachten, Didactief. Adjunct-directeur Dieneke Blikslager vertelt in een interview wat het betekent om Taalvriendelijke School te zijn. Lees hier het complete artikel over de St. Janschool in Didactief.

Geïnteresseerd in het netwerk van Taalvriendelijke Scholen?

Het netwerk van Taalvriendelijke Scholen staat open voor alle scholen, van openbare tot privéscholen en voor basis- of voortgezet onderwijs. Heb je interesse om ook een Taalvriendelijke School te worden? Doe dan mee aan ons volgende informatiewebinar op donderdag 22 oktober om 20.00 uur. Lees meer en geef je hier op.

Since the murder of George Floyd in the United States, there have been worldwide protests against discrimination and racism, including in the Netherlands. While there is a lot of attention for this topic, there is very little discussion about the impact of racism and discrimination on children. This is why, on 22 September 2020, the Kinderrechtencollectief (Children’s Rights Collective), the Rutu Foundation and the city district council of Amsterdam Zuid-Oost organised an expert meeting about racism and children’s rights in the Netherlands.

Sharing Experiences

 The Kinderrechtencollectief and the Rutu Foundation drafted a discussion paper to gather what we know and what we don’t know about racism against children in the Netherlands, focusing on the domains Education, Children’s Services, and Juvenile justice. This was compared with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Children also shared their experiences with us. Based on this discussion paper, experts came together to share missing information and to check if the image portrayed by the discussion paper corresponded with reality. 

Chairperson of the city district council, Tanja Jadnanansing,  is committed to the participation of children on this topic. The Children’s Committee of the city district Amsterdam Zuid-Oost specifies that they want to address racism and discrimination. Tanja highlights that children should not be underestimated. They know more than adults realise and should be involved in the topics that concern them, such as racism and discrimination. Former chairperson of the Children’s Committee, Nikki (10 years old), proved that by leading the afternoon, together with Erben Oosting (19), board member of the Nationale Jeugdraad (National Youth Council). 

Insufficient information

That afternoon, the experts addressed racism and discrimination in the domains of education and children’s services. Both groups said that significant information is lacking about the experiences of children, especially in the Caribbean parts of the Dutch Kingdom. 


In the group focusing on education, it was stated that racism is present at multiple levels, but that it is often subtle in nature and therefore difficult to address. Institutional racism needs to be recognized and explicitly defined. The curriculum and teacher training programs lack knowledge about racism, discrimination, and the concurrent obligations that arise from human rights treaties. This needs to become a mandatory part of the curriculum and also in teacher training (PABO). Additionally, the complaint mechanisms must become more accessible. Victims often do not know that they can file a complaint and experience this as something “that’s just part of the deal” if you belong to a minority. Finally, sharing good practices like the Language Friendly School is the last recommendation.

A need for information

Experts in children’s services and youth care confirm that complaints of children about racism are often put under the umbrella of other domains because the racism experienced by children is often accompanied by other problems. Therefore, it is unclear how often children report racism and discrimination. Maartje Schulte, judicial advisor juvenile law at Defence for Children, argued that an important first step could be to educate teachers and children’s services about racism and discrimination that children can experience in youth care and in foster homes. 

The Kinderrechtencollectief and the Rutu Foundation will complement the paper with new insights and information, before making recommendations to the Dutch government.