The operating costs of special schools amounted to 1.6 billion euro in 2010, i.e. 9 percent of total expenses of institutions in primary and secondary education. Revenues minus expenses amounted to 7 million euro, versus 50 million euro in 2006. Despite the declining surplus, special schools are, on the whole, financially sound.
Personnel costs annually grow by 8 percent
Personnel costs are the largest expense category of the 324 special schools in the Netherlands. The pupil-teacher ratio is lower in special schools. As a result, personnel costs will make up a higher percentage of total costs compared to regular primary and secondary schools. Personnel costs annually increased by an average of 8 percent between 2006 and 2010. The number of full-time jobs grew by 4 percent and collectively negotiated wages were raised by 3 percent. During this period, the number of full-time jobs increased more rapidly than the number of pupils, which grew by 3 percent. The increase in personnel costs became especially manifest between 2006 and 2009; in 2010, the growth was 2 percent.
Personnel costs special schools
More special school governing bodies face deficit
Between 2006 and 2010, a growing number of special school governing bodies faced severe financial deficits (low cost-effectiveness). Problems may arise, if a school’s own assets are relatively small (low solvency). In 4 percent of cases, low cost-effectiveness and low solvency went hand in hand in 2010, but one in five special school governing bodies combined a high level of cost-effectiveness with a high solvency level, versus one in three in 2006.
Four in five special school coffers bulging
On average, special schools have enough cash in the coffers and enough capital resources. Schools are defined as financially sound, if their liquidity ranges between the so-called signal values 0.5 and 1.5. Although the liquidity position of schools has recently deteriorated, four in every five special school governing bodies still had a liquidity level above 1.5 in 2010. A solvency between 0.2 and 0.4 will suffice for most of these institutions; a signal value above 0.6 is defined as high. More than half have a high solvency rate. Altogether, the solvency of special schools is just under 0.6.
Financial situation special school governing bodies