The VO-raad represents 334 school governing boards and over 600 schools in secondary education. As a sector organisation VO-raad aims at quality, development and innovation of the secondary education sector (1 million students, age 12-18). As an employer association VO-raad conducts the consultation with trade unions concerning the labour agreements of over 120,000 staff members.
VO-raad provides a network within the sector, between the schools and society by creating conditions for good education and making education results visible. Thereby VO-raad works on the key points from the policy agenda and sector agenda agreed on by the members.
VO-raad maintains close contacts with school leaders and governors with the aim of coordinating policy and activities on current issues in the schools. Governors and school leaders influence the policy and the points of view of VO-raad by participating in knowledge groups, advisory board, regional meetings, the member panel and the school leader platform.
VO-raad advocates the interests of the schools towards the Ministry of Education, House of Commons, education inspectorate, other education sectors and civil society organisations. In the advocacy towards political parties and the ministry, VO-raad focuses on themes on the policy agenda and sector agenda agreed on by the members.
Important focal point is giving schools the opportunity to make their own choices. That is necessary for good quality education. This conflicts with tight rules and legislation. To facilitate members in these choices VO-raad implements projects in the field of accountability, career guidance and innovation.
VO-raad discusses with the members the implementation of quality standards and other binding agreements, reports on relevant national and international research, stimulates the professionalism of governors/school leaders, makes developments visible, communicates good examples and makes education facts visible.
Good advocacy also requires investing in relations. VO-raad discusses important topics regularly with governing board organisations, trade unions, education councils and trade union federations for teachers, parent associations and student organisations. VO-raad cooperates in the international community in ICP (International Confederation of Principles), ESHA (European School Heads Association), and EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and national platforms such as beta technique, Covenant obesity, Covenant on teachers professionalisation and network of ICT at school.
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The report prepared in 2007 for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in the context of the OECD Activity 'Improving School Leadership', following common guidelines the OECD provided to all countries participating in the activity, can be downloaded here. Specific information on secondary education starts at page 61.