Schools in Sweden
 



 

Education in Sweden is compulsory and free for all children attending public schools between the ages of 7 and 16. The language of instruction in public schools is Swedish with support programmes available for non-Swedish speakers.

Nevertheless, many expat parents prefer to send their children to a private or international school in Sweden, of which there are plenty to choose from.

Public schools in Sweden are open to everyone, including expats. These schools follow the Swedish curriculum.

Public schools in Sweden also takes steps to accommodate non-Swedish speakers, with classes known as “preparatory classes” which assist non-Swedish speakers. Preparatory classes run alongside regular lessons– the goal is for students to reach a certain point of proficiency that allows them to be fully integrated into the school. This usually takes around six to 12 months. In addition, some public schools offer expat students special classes to help them maintain mother-tongue proficiency.

Swedish schools are administrated by the local municipality in which they are located. These institutions are taxpayer-funded and charge no fees for students from the age of 3 to a maximum of age 20.

School is only compulsory for students aged seven to 16, however. All nine years of compulsory education are undertaken at a comprehensive school (grundskola). Following this, students wishing to continue with their education move on to upper secondary school.

Upper secondary school (gymnasieskola) is more specialised, and students must choose their path from a number of national programmes. Some are vocational and others prepare students for entry to higher education. Each programme focuses on a particular subject area. There are also a handful of introductory programmes available to assist students that don’t yet qualify for a national programme. This includes a Swedish-language programme for newcomers to the country who aren’t proficient in Swedish.

Swedish schools generally have high standards and offer a good quality of education. As such, most children in Sweden go to public schools. However, many expats choose to forego public school in favour of international schools.

There are also a number of private or independent schools in Sweden. These schools are funded publicly via government grants. However, unlike public schools, independent schools are allowed to accept private donations. In doing so, they typically have a larger budget to work with than public schools.

Swedish private schools are run by individuals, associations or foundations. In some cases, there are groups that have formed to run several schools.

More and more private schools are opening in Sweden and this means more competition, not least because parents can now choose which school they want their children to attend. This is good for students because the competition pushes schools to perform better.

There are also a number of private or independent schools in Sweden. These schools are funded publicly via government grants. However, unlike public schools, independent schools are allowed to accept private donations. In doing so, they typically have a larger budget to work with than public schools.

Swedish private schools are run by individuals, associations or foundations. In some cases, there are groups that have formed to run several schools.

More and more private schools are opening in Sweden and this means more competition, not least because parents can now choose which school they want their children to attend. This is good for students because the competition pushes schools to perform better.

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