RELEVANT DOCUMENTATION (PLEASE READ): CDE Comments Regarding Management Proposal of Préau Reorganisation (sent to management on Wednesday 23 March 2022)

(Brussels, Belgium) School management has taken the decision to reorganise the préaux distribution between students as a measure to help cope with overpopulation – which worsens year on year at the European School of Brussels II, something that all stakeholders of the school have been echoing in recent years. In addition, this issue is still not being taken into account properly on a higher level than just EEBII: we, as always, urge the Régie des Bâtiments to live up to its promises and requirement to provide the European School system with adequate facilities for student numbers.

A new electronic locker system (non-movable, and some lockers S6/S7 will have a charging possibility) will be installed in August. The school says that with the introduction of such lockers, they are also looking to reorganise the préaux in order to find the best possible compromise to deal with the overcrowding situation at EEB2 on the long-term. The CdE believes that this is in fact a short-term solution that will provide little benefit in approximately 5 years’ time given the growth of student populations in the primary cycles in Evere and Woluwe.

The préaux and playground changes would see the S1-S2-S3 year groups being moved to the S5-S6-S7 préau. Meanwhile, the S6-S7 year groups would move to the current S3-S4 préau and finally the current S4 and S5 year groups would move to the S1-S2 préau.

CURRENTFUTURE (as from next school year)
S1-S2 préauS4-S5
S3-S4 préauS6-S7

Management – and the students have stressed – that this change will be hardest on the current S3 and S4 year groups who, by the end of the Bac cycle, will have been in the préau for nearly 4 years. It is therefore apparent that should this change go ahead, it needs to be backed up by clear evidence and improvements. We do not support, and management agrees, that these changes are made without infrastructure developments.

Among students it is clear that the current S3-S4 préau, or future S6-S7 préau, is not favoured. Crippling infrastructure from the toilets to the study rooms mean that it is very difficult for students between S3 and S6 to support such an idea.

Management has expressed the following reasons for these changes:

  • The lower year groups (S1-S2) will see a significant increase in student numbers over the next few years; students from primary in Evere and also from the primary woluwe site will enter our single secondary building.
  • S4-S5 will benefit, according to the plan, from the reservation of all the primary football pitches (between the pre-fabs and the main secondary building). When primary has their break, however, only one of the football pitches will be reserved for Secondary.
  • Higher years (to be defined) will also benefit from the CdE’s new Relax Zone on which you can find more information here.
  • Based on the exit card system, the S6-S7 year groups have the possibility to leave the school.
  • Playground (basketball field) next to the canteen will also be reserved for S6-S7
  • Every préaux will have renovated study rooms

The CdE is unable to reject the idea. Instead, we are able to provide feedback and suggestions with regards to the current proposal. Some of the information we have provided to management includes:

  • We are more inclined to support such a proposal should infrastructure improvements (as mentioned in the planning) on ALL préaux be guaranteed: study room reformation in the current S3-S4 préau, painting and repairs in all the others.
  • We have also asked that the S3-S4 préau be improved significantly with an entirely new “terrace” outside the préau, for students to relax. Developments on this are to follow as discussions remain preliminary, and S6-S7 students are to be involved.

We understand that this proposal is not ideal. We also admit that this short-term solution will not provide, of course, long-term benefits. Nevertheless, we will use the representative power that we have and will push for the correct reformations to infrastructure and adjust proposal planning where necessary to ensure the largest benefits is to the students.

If you have any questions about overpopulation in the European Schools (not just Brussels II) your point of contact is Dillon Shah, current Vice-President & Lead Representative at the Steering Committee Brussels (meeting discussing overpopulation & future structure of schools).

If you have any questions on the proposal itself, please email the President, Amelie J. Schobesberger who will either be able to respond or will forward your concerns to school management.

The educational advisers will organise a class rep meeting with their year group to discuss this.

We understand that this is not a satisfactory proposal. We ask that all communication remains respectful as we are trying our hardest. We are trying to represent in the best and most powerful manner possible and we truly believe that the stress, work and commitment that we have placed into representing at all such meetings including ones concerning the proposal, is welcomed and appreciated.