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About the Swedish education system

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1 About the Swedish education system

2 Det svenska utbildningssystemet

3 How are the preschool and school steered?
A goal steered system with a high degree of local responsibility. The main responsibility lies with the municipalities and the organisers of independent schools and schools. The Swedish Riksdag and the government draw up the overall national goals in: The Education Act The curricula The school ordinance, the upper secondary school ordinance, and the adult education ordinance The syllabuses for compulsory school The subject syllabuses for the upper secondary foundation subjects The diploma goals for the upper secondary school

4 The Agency's steering instruments
The National Agency for Education draws up and decides on: Syllabuses for the compulsory school, the compulsory school for learning disabilities, the Sami school and the special school Subject syllabuses for the upper secondary school Knowledge requirements for all school forms Regulations General guidelines School organisers have primary responsibility for distributing resources and organising activities so that pupils attain the national goals. Based on this, each preschool, school and leisure-time centre chooses the working approaches most appropriate for them. The work is followed up by means of systematic quality assessment.

5 Grading scale In the compulsory school for learning disabilities, grades are only awarded if the pupil, or the pupil's guardian requests this. F or a (–) dash are not used in the compulsory school for learning disabilities. Pass level The national knowledge requirements describing grades E, C and A relate to the goals under the heading "Aim of the subject" in the syllabuses. They also relate to the core content in the different subjects. Knowledge requirements are formulated in text form and specify what students should achieve, and with what quality. Irrespective of grade levels, the knowledge requirements describe a broad domain of knowledge. The main principle is that there should be the same assessment of knowledge at E, C and A levels, and that the progression between grades is made visible through the use of structural terms which are marked in the text. National knowledge requirements are drawn up for grades E, C and A. The knowledge requirements for each grade provide a complete description of what is required. A student who has attained the lowest overall acceptable knowledge requirements receives grade E. A student receives grade C if the knowledge requirements for C are fulfilled in their entirety, and similarly for grade A if the knowledge requirements are fulfilled in their entirety. If a student does not satisfy the knowledge requirements for E, the student receives the grade F. However, this does not apply in the compulsory school for learning disabilities, where F and the (–) dash are not used. Dash (–) If there are insufficient grounds for determining a student's knowledge due to extended absenteeism, a dash (–) replaces the grade, but this does not apply in the compulsory school for disabilities. The school must be able to account for the measures it has taken in connection with absenteeism. "Most of the knowledge requirements" Grades D and B reflect knowledge attainment en route to the next grade. For instance, a student who fulfils the knowledge requirements for grade E and most of those for grade C, receives grade D. The assessment "most of" is strictly related to the contents of the knowledge requirements, however, an advanced pedagogical assessment must be made individually for each student. Knowledge requirements for grades B and D are not specified. Read more at

6 Preschool New as a school form for children aged 1-6 years.
Voluntary, general preschool from the age of 3, or from the age of 1 if this is needed because of parents' work or studies or the child's own needs. Should ”stimulate the child's development and learning, and also provide a secure care environment." The preschool lays the foundations for the first part of a pupil's lifelong learning. Children should be provided with good pedagogical activities. The preschool should be enjoyable, secure, and rich in providing learning opportunities for all participating children. Children should have the opportunity of learning through playing, creating and exploring – on their own, in groups and together with adults. The municipality or the organiser decides what the cost of a place in the preschool should be. The Education Act states that the fee should be reasonable. From the autumn term when the child reaches the age of 3 and up to the time when school starts, there is a right to 525 hours free of charge each year. Today all municipalities use a system with a maximum fee. The maximum fee sets an upper limit to the fee payable by families. The preschool is a separate school form and its activities cover education and teaching. Teaching takes place under the supervision of preschool teachers, but there may also be other staff to promote the child's development and learning. School staff plan pedagogical activities enabling children to create, learn and explore. This takes place, for instance, through playing, cooperating with others, painting, building and singing. Creating security for both children and parents is an important task of the preschool. Read more at

7 Preschool class Voluntary school form, free of charge for children aged six. Covers a minimum of 525 hours per school year. Should ”stimulate pupils' development and learning and prepare them for further education.” Combines the working approaches and methods of the preschool and school. The preschool class is a voluntary school form in the national school system. Its activities should be regarded as teaching in the same sense as other school forms. Provision of places in the preschool class has been compulsory for municipalities since 1998 when all six-year-olds were offered a place with at least 525 hours. The preschool class should function as a transitional arrangement between the preschool and the compulsory school. The preschool class aims to combine the methods and working approaches of both the preschool and the school. The aim of the preschool is that it should stimulate the development and learning of each pupil, and prepare them for further education, as well as promote their harmonious development. Play and creativity are essential components. The education should be based on an overall view of pupils and their needs. Attendance is approximately 3 hours a day. During the rest of the day, most pupils are either in the leisure-time centre or in pedagogical care. The municipalities are responsible for providing preschooling and ensuring that pupils are actually offered places. Activities arranged by independent schools are an alternative to municipal activities. Attending the preschool class is free of charge. Read more at

8 Compulsory school education
Compulsory school attendance starts when the child reaches the age of seven. Compulsory school attendance is the norm in compulsory school. Compulsory schools are run by municipal or private organisers. The pupils should be between 7 and 16 and resident in Sweden. The municipalities are obliged to provide six-year-olds with a place in the compulsory school if the child's parents or guardians so wish. Compulsory schools may be either municipal or independent. The majority of compulsory schools in Sweden are municipally run, and the most common situation is that pupils attend a municipal school close to their home. Each municipal school can develop its own profile, have different orientations, such as Montessori, English classes or cultural and sports profiles. Independent compulsory schools are open to all, and the education should correspond to that provided in municipal compulsory schools. Independent compulsory schools have a different organiser (owner) compared to municipal schools. The organiser may be a company, a foundation or an association. Independent compulsory schools are approved and inspected by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate. Read more at

9 Alternatives to the compulsory school
The compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities, sometimes together with the training school, has its own curriculum and syllabuses, for years with the option of an additional year. The special school (state), 5 regional schools - hearing, 3 national schools, years The Sami school (state), years 1-6. There are also other options, e.g. 7 international schools, 3 national boarding schools, special # youth homes and Swedish schools abroad. Compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities Compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities aims to provide an education for children with learning disabilities that is adapted to each pupil's circumstances, provides education in and which as far as possible corresponds to that provided in the compulsory school. The school subjects, in subject areas, or a combination of these. The education can also cover subjects in accordance with the compulsory school syllabuses. Within the compulsory school for disabilities, there is a special orientation called the training school. The training school is intended for pupils who have not completed either all or parts of their education in various subjects. Read more at Special school Children who due to a functional impairment or for other special reasons cannot attend the compulsory school or the compulsory school for learning disabilities, can attend the special school if they are deaf-blind, visually impaired, have other functional impairments, are deaf or hearing impaired, or have a severe speech disorder. The special school provides 10 years of schooling. Read more at Sami school Children of Samis can attend the Sami school. Other children can also attend the Sami school if there are special reasons. Education in the Sami school covers years 1-6. After this, pupils go on to the compulsory school. The syllabuses of the compulsory school apply to the Sami school, but the Sami school also has its own syllabus in Sami. If the pupils wish, they can study Sami as a mother tongue in the compulsory school. Read more at

10 Leisure-time centres Supplements the school for pupils aged between 6-13 years. Should ”stimulate pupils' development and also provide them with meaningful recreational activities.” ”… to the extent needed with regard to parents' work or studies, or the pupil's own needs.” The leisure-time centre receives pupils during the day when they are not at school and during holidays. The task of the leisure-time centre is to supplement the preschool class and the school, and make it possible for parents to combine parenthood with work or studies. According to the Education Act, leisure-time centres should also stimulate the development and learning of pupils and provide them with meaningful activities. Leisure-time centres have an important role in promoting social interaction and the sense of being a part of a social community. The leisure-time centre should in applicable parts follow the curriculum for the compulsory school, the preschool class and the leisure-time centre, Lgr 11. Read more at

11 The upper secondary school
All pupils who have completed compulsory schooling are offered upper secondary education by their home municipality. The right to start an upper secondary education applies to students up to the age of 20. The upper secondary school is free of charge and voluntary. Starting upper secondary school means that students accept the rules governing absenteeism and participation in the education. All youth in Sweden who have completed compulsory school are entitled to a three-year upper secondary school education. Upper secondary education aims to provide a good foundation for working life, further studies, personal development and active participation in the life of society. Read more about upper secondary education at

12 Admission requirements
Vocational programmes Pass grades in Swedish or Swedish as a second language English Mathematics Five other compulsory school subjects Higher education preparatory programmes Pass grades in Swedish or Swedish as a second language English Mathematics Eight other compulsory school subjects The admission requirements for starting upper secondary education differ between vocational programmes and programmes preparatory for higher education. To be admitted to a national programme in school year 2011/2012, students must have passing grades in Swedish or Swedish as a second language, English and mathematics. Studying a vocational programme requires passing grades in a further five subjects, making a total of eight. The higher education preparatory programmes require passing grades in a further nine subjects, making a total of 12. For programmes in business management and economics, the humanities and social sciences, four of the other nine passing grades should be in geography, history, social studies and religion. For the natural science and technology programmes, students must have passes in biology, physics and chemistry. For the Arts Programme, the nine subjects are optional - in addition to Swedish/Swedish as a second language, English and mathematics. Some education in the arts area, some leading-edge education programmes and sports programmes, may have special admission requirements and sometimes selection tests.

13 Education in upper secondary school
Vocational programmes/ Apprenticeship education Child and Recreation Building and Construction Electricity and Energy Vehicle and Transport Business and Administration Handicraft Hotel and Tourism Industrial technology Natural Resource Use Restaurant Management and Food HVAC and Property Management Health and Social Care Higher education preparatory programmes Business Management and Economics Arts Humanities Natural Science Social Science Technology Introductory programmes Preparatory education Programme oriented individual options Vocational introduction Individual alternative Language introduction There are 18 national programmes in the upper secondary school, 12 vocational programmes and 6 programmes preparatory for higher education. After completing a vocational programme, students should be well prepared for working life, the education should be of high quality and equip students with the necessary vocational skills. It should be possible to start working directly after completing the education. In vocational programmes, it is also possible to choose an upper secondary apprenticeship education where students carry out a large part of their education at one or more workplaces. In order to strengthen cooperation between the upper secondary school and working life, national programme councils exist to validate the vocational programmes. All students in a vocational programme have the opportunity of achieving basic eligibility for higher education in their upper secondary education. Read more about apprenticeship education here larlingsutbildning The higher education preparatory programmes are intended to prepare students for studies in higher education. Read more about the programmes at Preparatory education aims to make students eligible for a national programme, and is adapted for students who are motivated and wish to achieve eligibility rapidly. It is designed for an individual student and should last a maximum of one year. It should also be possible for a students to make smaller subject supplements in order to be admitted to a national programme after a short period. Programme oriented individual options should lead to admission to a national vocational programme. To be admitted, students should have passing grades in Swedish or Swedish as a second language. In addition, passing grades are required in English or mathematics and in at least four other subjects, or passing grades in English and mathematics and at least three other subjects. Students can follow a number of courses in a national programme at the same time as they study courses needed to achieve eligibility. The vocational introduction is intended for students who lack passing grades for eligibility to a vocational programme. Students should receive a vocationally oriented education which makes it easier for them to establish themselves on the labour market or that leads to studies in a vocational programme. The individual alternative prepares students for the vocational introduction, other forms of further education or the labour market. The education is designed for individual students and is intended for those who lack eligibility to a national vocational programme. The language introduction aims to provide immigrant youth who have recently arrived in Sweden with an education in Swedish enabling them to progress to the upper secondary school or other forms of education. Read more about the introductory programmes at

14 Nationally determined differences
Special variants Education with nationwide admission with its own diploma goals Leading-edge education Professional dance education Sports education A special variant is an education where the whole or parts of an orientation or programme specialisation differ from a national programme. These programmes may have special initial knowledge requirements and use admission tests for selecting applicants. Special variants in the arts area impose special knowledge requirements and use supplementary selection criteria in the form of tests. Special variants in the arts area only exist in programmes preparatory for higher education. Read more about special variants at Education with nationwide admission means that students from the whole country can apply on the same conditions. Education with nationwide admission can exist in vocational programmes and in leading-edge arts education. In addition, education programmes with their own diploma goals are subject to national admission. Students who wish to apply for a nationwide education programme should apply via their home municipality. A school may have nationwide admission if there is a national demand for the knowledge provided by the education, and if there is a national interest in recruiting students from the whole country to such a programme. Read more about nationwide education at Leading-edge education in the upper secondary school covers education which is more clearly profiled and focused on certain special areas in comparison to other upper secondary programmes. They fall into two categories: Pilot activities in leading-edge education in the upper secondary school aim to provide students with opportunities to deepen and broaden their knowledge in mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences or the humanities. Leading-edge education should also make it possible for students to study courses at university or university college parallel with their upper secondary studies. In total 20 leading edge education programmes are being piloted up to Students have the right to apply to leading-edge education irrespective of where they live. Leading-edge arts education is not a pilot form of education, but education open to nationwide admission within the Arts Programme. Read more about leading-edge education at spetsutbildningar Professional dance education provides students with training in classical ballet and modern contemporary dance. The education has no orientations, but provides scope for specialisation in classical ballet or modern contemporary dance within the framework of programme specialisations. The goal is that students should be ready for employment in national and international dance and ballet centres. The education is run by the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm. Read more about professional dance education at There are two kinds of national quality assured sports programmes, upper secondary schools specifically focusing on sports, and nationally approved sports programmes. National sports upper secondary schools, RIG, are open to nationwide admission where students from the whole country can apply. The National Agency for Education decides on these after receiving proposals from the Swedish Sports Association. Nationally approved sports education, NIU covers programmes which the National Agency for Education decides on after a sports association has approved the application. The programmes have a clear focus on sports at the highest level. This is the reason that only RIG and NIU provide the subject of special sports. Special sports may be included with 200 credits in programme specialisations, and 200 credits under the individual option. In addition, the subject may be studied as an expanded programme of 300 credits. Students attending these programmes can thus study 700 credits in special sports. Read more about sports education at

15 Diploma goals Programme specialisations Orientation Diploma project
Upper secondary foundation subjects Programme specialisations Individual options Programme specific subjects Diploma project The upper secondary foundation subjects are studied by all upper secondary students. The upper secondary foundation subjects vary in scope between different programmes. The new upper secondary school has nine foundation subjects: English, history, physical education and health, mathematics, science studies, religion, social studies and Swedish or Swedish as a second language. Each programme also contains a number of programme specific subjects, programme specialisations, orientation courses and individual options. Programme specific subjects are subjects that all students in a specific programme study. They define the nature of the programme. Orientations exist in all programmes except the Health and Social Care Programme. An orientation is an area that students choose within a programme. Programme specialisations are courses that lead to different professions in vocational programmes. In the individual option in vocational programmes, the school should provide courses required for basic eligibility for higher education. Arts courses and courses in physical education and health are always provided in all programmes. In addition, the national programmes contain a diploma project which reflects the education in the programme. The diploma project must be approved for students to receive a diploma. Basic eligibility A student achieves basic eligibility for studies in higher education from a national or specially designed programme with passing grades in courses covering at least 90% of the upper secondary credits required for a complete programme, that is a total of credits.

16 Alternatives to the upper secondary school
Upper secondary school for learning disabilities (new as of 2013) International schools National boarding schools IB education Distance education at upper secondary level in Torsås Special institutions (state) (Swedish schools abroad) Read more about upper secondary school at gymnasiesarskola-2013

17 Municipal adult education
Basic adult education from the age of 20. Upper secondary municipal adult education from the age of 20 or completion of a national programme or equivalent education. Special education for adults. Swedish tuition for immigrants (SFI). Students from vocational programmes have the right to attain basic eligibility for higher education. Goals All adults should be given the opportunity of extending their knowledge and developing their competence in order to support their personal development, democracy, gender equality, economic growth and employment, and participate in an equitable society. Strategy Pedagogical approaches and working forms are developed to correspond to individuals' changing and increasing needs for learning in a knowledge-based society. The individual's learning and search for knowledge is supported through guidance and supervision, based on recognition of current already acquired knowledge. Appropriate learning environments and also teaching, supervision and net-based education are provided to an extent that as far as possible corresponds to the varying needs and conditions that adults have for learning. Financial support is available to adults to encourage participation in education and competence development. Society, employers and individuals themselves are jointly responsible for ensuring that the needs of different individuals and different groups for both general and specially designed education are satisfied. All formal and non-formal learning, supported by society, is permeated by democratic approaches and respect for the equal value of each person. The aim is to attain a basic shared view over policy and coordination between authorities, partners on the labour market and popular adult movements in order to realise the individual's learning and competence development. The educational policy goal for adult learning Give all adults the opportunity to extend their knowledge and develop their competence in order to promote personal development, democracy, gender equality, economic growth, employment and participate in an equitable society. Read more about adult education at

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