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New storm in Blas de Lezo: the director resigns and the Community elects another without consensus with the parents | Madrid


At the time of forming in the schoolyard the children began to see a stir. The teachers concentrated in circles, speaking softly, commenting on the latest in a soap opera that has been surrounding the Blas de Lezo school for two years. The director, Ana Van Osterzee, he had submitted his resignation last week “for personal reasons.” And the children, as soon as they found out, began to chant out loud: “Let Javier come back, let Javier come back!”. More fuel to the fire to a story that does not seem to end, at least in a peaceful way.

The school is located in Las Tablas, north of Madrid, very close to La Moraleja, about 20 kilometers from Puerta del Sol. There, children from Infant to Primary school study there with parents committed to the bilingual center and, above all, with an educational project in which they have fully believed since the 2015/16 academic year, when the first phase of the center was built. Hence the origin of the fight to maintain values ​​that, they consider, the Community of Madrid tried to destroy two years ago. Then, the regional Administration dismissed the then director, Javier Montellano, a man who started in a center under construction and that he is admired by most parents for how he instilled knowledge in the center.

“It was a reference site, we had a waiting list and everything,” recalls Manuel Hernando, a member of the School Council where he represents families. The discord project consisted in that at each educational level several important themes were proposed at the beginning of the course. Ideas were presented, voted on and the winner served as the common thread in all subjects. “The children lived it like the final of the soccer world cup because they got involved and voted and if it came out what they wanted was a victory,” explains Hernando. Project example: the poles and climate change for all third year Primary classes. If that proposal was won, the mathematics, science or Spanish language teacher would direct their subject so that everything was exemplified with that topic, the poles and climate change. “This is how bilingualism really worked, because what they learned, for example in science, in English, they later finished off in Spanish. They learned concepts in both languages ​​equally. It was very nice to see it ”.

But the cold war came and those years of apparent happiness were nipped in the bud. It all started when the directors’ contest that year was opened, because Montellano was serving four in office. The court, made up mostly of personnel designated by the Administration, considered that the project presented by the director to renew another four years did not reach the approved and they decided to remove the position to him. As no one else had applied for the vacancy, the Ministry of Education itself appointed the substitute: Ana Van Osterzee, who has served as director this time on secondment.

“The project has been loaded. Nothing that existed before is the same ”, laments Hernando. In fact, there is hardly anyone left of the cloister that accompanied Montellano a couple of years ago. Some have left due to disagreement with the new situation and others, such as the previous Primary coordinator who was on secondment, were fired because “they were not necessary,” according to the new director.

The version of Van Osterzee, however, is far from that of the parents, who have not stopped in this time criticizing “the finger” of the Administration on social networks and making demonstrations for the return of the former director. She has come to file up to six complaints of harassment and ensures that graffiti and posters against her have been found at her daughters’ school. It has also received the majority support of its current cloister, which believes that the campaign it has received has been brutal. Parents, who call themselves “quarrels”, believe that it is all a ruse to leave them in a bad place. They acknowledge, yes, that they have not stopped fighting for what they believe is fair, but in a “legal” way.

At the end of December, when the new directors’ contest was called, the Administration did not summon the place in the Blas de Lezo – despite the fact that the director held the position in commission of services -, “because she had not exhausted her mandate,” according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Education. That, however, kept the flame burning for the parents, who presented an appeal to open the process in the center, based on a 2019 ruling that creates jurisprudence of the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia, which established that service commissions are extraordinary mechanisms “and, as soon as the rush that caused them is lifted, the position must be put out to tender.”

A few days after this newspaper asked the Administration for the reason why that position had not been put to competition, the director resigned. “She can’t take it anymore”, explains a teacher who supports her and who prefers not to reveal her name. Van Osterzee has chosen not to answer the questions of this newspaper with the argument that she is “just another official” and the Ministry of Education has limited itself to saying that the resignation is due to personal reasons.

With the resignation on the table, the proposal made by the Administration in a meeting with the School Council last Thursday did not like the parents either, who again reproached another “finger”. The chosen one is Elena Vargas, director so far of the Rosalía de Castro public center, in Coslada, who has already announced at her school that she is leaving, along with her head of studies. The Executive has ensured that it adheres to the regulations and that it will be in the position during the remainder of this course and next year. In the next management process, a place will be opened in the Blas de Lezo so that all the candidates who deem it appropriate, and even herself, can present themselves in the ordinary way.

“The meeting with the Administration was a real paripe. They said it was a proposal but they have not listened to the School Council ”, assures Hernando, representative of the families. They proposed the former head of studies, Esther Díaz Peinado, to continue Javier Montellano’s educational project, which is what worries them the most. “And that she chose her management team, which is what the regulations say,” the parents argue. However, at the same meeting, the representatives of the Administration introduced Vargas in person, who has requested the transfer because he was interested in working in a bilingual center and due to the proximity of his home. “That is the antagonism of this center, which was created with a project that made parents fall in love. We do not want people who come because they live nearby, but because they believe in the germ, in the seed that was planted here and the way of teaching ”, they argue.

Far from calming the waters, the storm does not abate in Blas de Lezo. This Monday the change in management occurs. There is a cold war for a while.


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