One in five schools currently does not have all pupils in the picture, according to a poll by the General Association of School Leaders (AVS) on Thursday among 968 primary and secondary school leaders. Pupils have been forced to do their school work at home since March 16, because the schools are closed due to the corona virus.

According to the AVS, 22 percent of schools deal with untraceable pupils. On average, this concerns four children who have been removed from the radar. The school leaders say that in many cases they are members of one family. In some cases it concerns refugees. According to the headmasters, these are often families, which sometimes disappear in regular times.

In total, this concerns about 5,200 students with whom teachers currently have no contact. According to the AVS, the schools often try to reach the children themselves in various ways.

If pupils do not yet make themselves heard, the help of a school attendance officer is called in. "Not so much to be fined, but to try to make or restore contact for the sake of the children," said AVS chairman Petra van Haren.

App for schools to report domestic violence against children

During the corona crisis, schools are also involved in monitoring so-called vulnerable students. These are children, who normally also have a hard time at home. This concerns an average of fourteen students per school.

In the last two weeks, school leaders reported on average once to Veilig Thuis, the hotline for domestic violence and child abuse. This is no more than usual for three-quarters of schools, but more than usual for 14 percent of headmasters.

According to Van Haren, school leaders "certainly play an important role in identifying and tackling problems in children during these times". To make this a little easier, a new app has been developed especially for education, which offers schools the opportunity to report (suspected) child abuse digitally.

The Child Abuse Reporting Code app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the Apple Play Store.

See also: Children at home in corona time: 'Find the bright spots, don't go to school'

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