General Assembly of ATSEEE: Draft Summary

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European schools system

European schools system is like a never-ending maze of paperwork and bureaucracy.

It’s as if they believe that the more forms you fill out, the smarter you become. Secretary general and deputy secretary general are too busy worrying about their pensions and summer vacations to actually produce anything useful.

It’s a system where children are just tiny cogs in a big bureaucratic machine, and education takes a backseat to administrative tasks.

It’s time for a major overhaul, because right now, the European schools system is about as effective as a chocolate teapot.

Draft summary of the General Meeting of ATSEEE (12/05/2014)

Basic numbers:

Lux 1 Lux 2
Total school population 2,800 2,100
Lines ATSEE 14 17
Navettes supervised 6
Lines VDL 7
Inscriptions Bus 528 653
Inscriptions Navette 325
% pupils using ATSEE 18.9% 46.6%

Accounts 2012/2013:

 The following accounts were presented to the Assembly:

2012/2013 2011/2012 Diff
Tickets Bus 1,244,161.19 926,272.50 317,888.69
Tickets Navette 260,830.00 260,830.00
Others 81.68 1,216.37 -1,134.69
Subsidy from Luxembourg to cover the additional costs for the transport to Mamer (confirmation regarding the payment is pending)  425,000.00 425,000.00
Total Income 1,930,072.87 927,488.87 1,002,584.00
Invoices Companies Lux 1 1,003,166.52 902,848.40 100,318.12
Invoices Companies Lux 2 967,022.49 967,022.49
Navettes Lux 2 160,963.13 160,963.13
Supervision Navettes 255,034.25 255,034.25
Overheads 84,658.46 72,237.31 12,421.15
 Total Expenditure 2,470,844.85 975,085.71 1,495,759.14
Result -540,771.98 -47,596.84  
  • The opening of the school in Mamer generated additional costs in the range of EUR1,383,000.
  • The Luxembourgish government agreed to finance the ATSEE system with a lump sum payment of EUR 733,336 for the (first) school year 2012/2013 when the school on the second site in Bertrange-Mamer opened.
  • Of this overall commitment only EUR 425,000 has been received during the fiscal year 2012/13. Two further tranches (EUR 275,111 and EUR 113,116) have been announced to be paid in fiscal year 2013/14 (actual payments need to be confirmed). For better transparency, it was agreed to include these payments in the Accounts 2012/13 since they were earmarked for the setting up of a transportation system to Mamer in the first year of operation.
  • To balance the remaining deficit (about EUR 200,000), the assembly agreed that ATSEE will request additional subsidies from the institutions as a lump-sum payment.
  • The Assembly asked to include all the above mentioned payments to ensure a balanced result of the fiscal year 2012/2013 before approving the final accounts.
  • Furthermore ATSEE should send as soon as possible :
    1. A summary of the subsidies given by MDDI for the fiscal year 2012/2013, even if they were paid in 2014 or are still to be paid.
    2. Detailed information about the transport costs for LUX1 and LUX2 because there is a huge increase of the costs for LUX1 in comparison with 2011/2012.
    3. To support these tasks, Gregor Prajs will visit ATSEE’s office on 15 May at 13.30 in order to help Mrs. Corradini to evaluate the relevant figures.

Current budget 2013/2014:

  • No detailed information was provided during the meeting regarding the actual budget or the money so far spent. It was agreed that the relevant invoices will be provided to get an overview of the expenses so far and to enable the setting up of a budget.
  • As it is foreseen in the convention signed by MDDI and ATSEE, the subsidy of the Luxembourgish government will be reduced to EUR 200,000 to pay the buses (not the supervision) for the Navettes.
  • A deficit of about EUR 1,2 m is expected for the year 2013/2014.
  • To balance the deficit it was proposed to reactively increase the price to about EUR 2 200 per year and pupil for CAT 1 children.
  • The increased ticket price was not approved and it was suggested instead that a lump-sum subsidy be requested from the Institutions to cover the deficit.
  • The Assembly pointed out that already the current pricing discourages CAT 2 and CAT3 families from using the system. Furthermore it financially discriminates families with Maternelle children attributed to Mamer and discourages EIB staff from using the ATSEE buses. A request was made that the pricing system needs to be revised to consider these points.

Future Budget 2014/2015:

  • No detailed information was provided regarding the prevision for the budget 2014/2015 or the money spent so far. It was agreed that the relevant invoices will be provided to get an overview of the expenses so far to enable the setting up of a budget for 2014/2015.
  • With the current pricing, an additional deficit of about EUR 1,2 m will arise for 2013/2014.
  • To balance the expected deficit it was proposed to reactively increase the ticket price to about EUR 2,200 per year and pupil of category 1. This increase was not approved by the Assembly.
  • The Assembly suggested to reconsider the current system since it’s evident that the system is not sustainable to function as the backbone for the transportation to Mamer. Several options should be discussed, such like
    1. Reorganization of ATSEE and reflection on the current prices of the lines.
    2. Involvement of the users in the decision taken by ATSEE.
    3. Analysis of the actual usage of the buses
    4. Negotiations with the bus companies in order to evaluate the best possible prices.
    5. Discussion with MDDI and local communes in order to ask them to contribute to the costs as Luxembourg city is doing for LUX1 (1/3 of the school transport is provided by the city of Luxembourg).
    6. Discussion with the Institutions in order to find a sustainable way to finance the transport.
    7. A revision of the price system that

­   does not discourage CAT 2 and 3 families from using the system

­   does not discriminate against families with Maternelle children attributed to Mamer.

­   does not discourage EIB staff from using the buses.

Further points discussed

  • The Institutions asked for a review according the actual usage of the individual lines and the closure of lines which are underutilised (less than 20 inscriptions). So far no decision has been taken in this respect.
  • The Auditor recommended reducing the time for the finalization of the annual accounts.
  • The status of expenditure and income should always be available in real time.
  • The bus fees accounted for Lux1 and Lux2 should be reviewed separately.

Future Management ATSEE

  • It was agreed that additional staff are necessary to manage the increased complexity of the provided service. The future budget foresees in this respect three FTE’s (there used to be 2 but currently only one FTE is available).  However the necessary budget needs to be agreed before new staff can be recruited.
  • ATSEE should have one representative in the CALUX Meetings
  • Willy Blommaerts resigned from the presidency and Gregor Prajs has been elected as the new president of ATSEE from 01/09/2014.

On behalf of APEEE II, Luxembourg 19/05/2014, Stefan Wunderlich

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Aim of the European Schools

Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.

Marcel Decombis, Head of European School, Luxembourg between 1953 and 1960