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Sweden:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

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Overview Sweden

Contents

Sweden:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Sweden:Historical Development

Sweden:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Sweden:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Sweden:Political and Economic Situation

Sweden:Organisation and Governance

Sweden:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Sweden:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Sweden:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Sweden:Organisation of Private Education

Sweden:National Qualifications Framework

Sweden:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Sweden:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Sweden:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Sweden:Funding in Education

Sweden:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Sweden:Higher Education Funding

Sweden:Adult Education and Training Funding

Sweden:Early Childhood Education and Care

Sweden:Organisation of Programmes for Pre-Primary Education

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Pre-Primary Education

Sweden:Assessment in Programmes for Pre-Primary Education

Sweden:Organisation of the Pre-Primary Class

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in the Pre-Primary Class

Sweden:Assessment in the Pre-Primary Class

Sweden:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Sweden:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Sweden:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Sweden:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Sweden:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Sweden:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Sweden:Organisation of Upper General and Vocational Secondary Education

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in Upper General and Vocational Secondary Education

Sweden:Assessment in Upper General and Vocational Secondary Education

Sweden:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Sweden:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Sweden:Higher Education

Sweden:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Sweden:First Cycle Programmes

Sweden:Bachelor

Sweden:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Sweden:Second Cycle Programmes

Sweden:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Sweden:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Sweden:Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Distribution of Responsibilities

Sweden:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Sweden:Main Providers

Sweden:Main Types of Provision

Sweden:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Sweden:Teachers and Education Staff

Sweden:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Sweden:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Sweden:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Sweden:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Management and Other Education Staff

Sweden:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Sweden:Management Staff for Higher Education

Sweden:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Sweden:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Quality Assurance

Sweden:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Sweden:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Educational Support and Guidance

Sweden:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Sweden:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Sweden:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Sweden:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Sweden:Mobility and Internationalisation

Sweden:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Mobility in Higher Education

Sweden:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Sweden:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Sweden:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Sweden:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Sweden:National Reforms in School Education

Sweden:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Sweden:National Reforms in Higher Education

Sweden:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Sweden:European Perspective

Sweden:Legislation

Sweden:Institutions

Sweden:Glossary

Funding

Municipal tax revenues are the municipality's main source of income. Apart from the income taxes which finance the majority of municipal education the municipalities also receive a state grant which is not earmarked for a specific activity. The structural element of the grant is determined by several underlying factors such as the size of the population in the municipality, its age structure, population density, social structure and number of immigrants. In the decentralised Swedish system, each municipality determines how it allocates resources and organises its activities and uses the budget. The municipalities are obliged to provide their inhabitants with certain services and often supply additional non-compulsory services such as cultural and leisure activities.

In the area of education, the municipality must fulfill its obligations regarding activities and quality in accordance with the Education Act. The municipality usually has its own local board of education or similar, which decides on the allocation of funds between different schools in the municipality. This local body also decides on the funds to be allocated to grant-aided independent schools in the municipality. There are no national regulations on how resources should be allocated between schools; each municipality develops its own allocation system, however the systems are quite similar. Often a basic amount is determined for each pupil and on top of that additional resources are added for pupils with special needs etc. The costs vary between the municipalities (for example the need to provide school transport varies between the vast regions which are sparsely populated and the bigger cities etc.).

School funding is shared between state and municipalities. State funds are paid as what is called ‘the general state grant’ to the 290 municipalities. Each municipality then allocates resources to individual schools. The preschool (förskolan) is financed partly in the same way, but also charges fees to cover part of its costs. The amount for these fees is regulated and a maximum fee determined centrally. The municipalities may receive revenues from municipal taxes to finance municipal activities. Sami schools (sameskolan) and schools for pupils with impaired hearing (specialskola) are financed directly by the state. Higher education at universities and university colleges is also financed directly from the state budget. Schools at compulsory level, municipal as well as grant-aided independent, are funded by municipal grants from the pupils' home municipalities and by state grants, i.e. are grant-aided and free of charge (and this includes school meals, tools and equipment as well).

Funding of Early Childhood Education and Care

Preschool (förskolan) takes various forms; preschool (förskola), pedagogical care (often called ‘family day care homes’) (familjedaghem) and open preschool (öppen förskola). Preschools and school age childcare are financed by state grants, municipal grants and fees. The state grant provided to the municipalities takes account of additional resources needed for children with special needs. The state grants are then distributed by the municipalities.

The majority of preschool teachers, leisure-time pedagogues, teachers and head teachers are employed by the municipality. The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges kommuner och landsting) negotiates with the teachers' central unions over principal agreements on salaries and working conditions. The responsibility for setting preschool teachers’ salaries is usually decentralised to the individual preschool where negotiations take place between the employer and the teacher and one of the teacher unions based on the central agreements.

Funding of Primary and Secondary Education

Schools at compulsory level, municipal as well as grant-aided independent, are funded by municipal grants from the pupils' home municipalities and by state grants, i.e. both types of schools are grant-aided and free of charge.

Funding of Upper Secondary Education

Municipal upper secondary schools are grant-aided and free of charge. Independent schools at upper secondary level are generally grant-aided. Grant-aided schools are not allowed to charge fees.

The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket)

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges kommuner och landsting)

The Education Act (Skollagen)

Financial Autonomy and Control

The responsibility for determining teachers’ salaries is usually decentralised to the individual school in cooperation with the teacher concerned and one of the teacher trade unions. These negotiations are based on the central agreement between the SKL and the unions. Most leisure-time pedagogues, teachers and school heads are employed by the municipality and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges kommuner och landsting), negotiates with the teacher trade unions over salaries and working conditions.

When it comes to capital expenditures such as school buildings, the municipalities show a less uniform pattern. Some municipalities prefer to decentralise responsibilities for such expenditures to each individual school, while others keep responsibility for local costs at the municipal level. Additionally, some municipalities choose to handle capital expenditures within other areas, for instance within their own administration for planning and buildings.

Fees within Public Education

Preschool fees used to vary between municipalities. They were mostly related to family income, the number of children in the family attending preschool or school age childcare (skolbarnsomsorg). The municipalities who choose to apply the maximum fee undertake not to charge fees above a certain threshold level, for which they receive a special state grant to compensate for the loss of revenue. All municipalities have introduced maximum fees. The maximum fee for preschool and school age childcare is based on a fixed per cent of the parents’ income. It starts at three per cent (maximum SEK 1260 per month) for one child in preschool decreasing by one percent per additional child to no fee for the fourth child. For school age childcare the fee is two per cent of the income (maximum SEK 840 per month) for one child, 1 per cent for the second and third child and no fee for the fourth child. The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) presented an evaluation of the reform in 2007 which showed that the maximum fee has increased the number of children enrolled in preschool care and it has thus leveled some of the socio-economic differences between children from different socio-economic trata. This goes especially for children whose parents are on parental leave from work with a younger child and those who are unemployed, both categories have the right to 15 hours child care per week. In some municipalities the organisation experienced problems catering for all the so called ’15-hour children’ who attend the preschool three hours every working day.

The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket)

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges kommuner och landsting)

Financial Support for Learners' Families

Financial Support for Learners' Families of Pupils with Special Educational Needs

Compulsory school is free of charge and pupils have free access to books, tools and other aids needed for education. However, certain activities may involve additional accessories that pupils may purchase at low cost. Pupils in compulsory school (grundskola), have a legal right to free meals during the school day. The municipality is by law obliged to provide free school transport for those pupils who need it due to distance, traffic conditions or other circumstances. This obligation does not apply to pupils who choose to attend a another school than that proposed by the municipality.

All children in Sweden are entitled to a general child allowance up to and including the quarter of a year they become 16 years of age. Thereafter the extended child allowance covers the months remaining in compulsory school after the pupil turned 16.

Financial Support for Learners

All children receive a child allowance irrespective of whether they attend preschool (förskola) or not. The preschool fees are generally related to family income, but vary somewhat between municipalities. The maximum fee (maxtaxan) takes into account the number of children from one family that are attending preschool (förskola) or school age childcare (skolbarnsomsorg), thus regulating families’ maximum cost for childcare. For further information on the maximum fee, see 3.1 - Fees within public education.

Municipalities can choose whether to apply a so called child raising allowance for parents who choose not to have their children in preschool. Instead the parents can get an allowance per month and child, for children over the age of 1 but younger than 3. The child raising allowance can be combined with paid employment, in this way parents can spend more time with their children.

Full time studying pupils in upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan) over the age of 16 receive a general non-refundable study grant, currently SEK 1050 per month (before the age of 16 a child allowance of the same amount is granted to the pupil’s parents/guardians) if present when not sick or given the permission to be absent. The school is responsible for reporting pupil’s absence to The Swedish Board for Student Support (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN) in order for study grants to be distributed only those who meet these presence criteria. In addition to the general study grant, there is a needs-related supplement based on the total income per year of the pupil and the parents/guardians, introduced to broaden the intake to upper secondary education. There is also a board and lodging allowance to counteract geographic obstacles for those pupils who cannot live with their families during upper secondary school, see 6.1 - Geographical Accessibility.

Swedish Board for Student Support (Centrala Studiestödsnämnden, CSN)

Travel and lodging

The law states that the home municipality of the pupil is responsible for the pupil's daily travelling costs between home and school if the distance is at least six kilometers. This responsibility applies to pupils attending upper secondary schools. If a pupil chooses a different kind of transport the municipality is not obliged to meet the additional costs. A municipality can choose to provide financial support for board and lodging, instead of covering costs of transport between a pupil's home and school.

Teaching material and meals

Upper secondary school education shall be free of charge to pupils. Students shall without payment have access to books, tools and other aids that are needed for a modern education. The entity responsible for the education may however decide that pupils shall, occasionally, pay for personal aids. There may be parts of the education that cause pupils negligible expense. The school organiser decides whether school meals are free or not.

Private Education

Parallel with the municipal upper secondary schools (gymnasieskola), there are grant-aided independent upper secondary schools, see 3.1 - Grant-aided independent upper secondary schools. Independent upper secondary schools (fristående skola) are generally grant-aided. Grant-aided schools, like schools run by a municipality, as a general rule are not allowed to charge fees. There are also 3 grant-aided International schools at upper secondary level. For more information on International schools, see 5.1 - Independent schools and private education. Another form of education at secondary level and post secondary level provided by independent organisers is supplementary education programmes (kompletterande utbildningar), see 7.16..

The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket)

Grant-aided independent upper secondary schools

Independent grant-aided upper secondary schools (fristående skola) have nation-wide recruitment and are not permitted to charge pupil’s fees, application fees, queuing or registration fees.

The majority of grant-aided independent schools at upper secondary level have a general orientation, but there are also schools with alternative pedagogical approaches; In 2009/10 about 9% of the 458 grant-aided independent schools had a confessional orientation, and 5,5% were Waldorf/Steiner schools. Grant-aided independent schools are, in principle, required to follow the curriculum and the national syllabi. They are regulated in the Education Act and in a special ordinance on grant-aided independent schools (SFS 1996:1206).

Education in a grant-aided independent upper secondary school should provide knowledge and skills that correspond to those provided by the national and specially designed programmes in municipal upper secondary schools. Grant-aided independent upper secondary schools should fulfill the general goals of the upper secondary school and be directed by the core values that are the basis for the public school system. They should be open to all pupils who are entitled to equivalent education within the public education system. The independently run schools should also fulfill any additional requirements decided by the Government, i.e. on entrance conditions. A school that meets these conditions may be declared entitled to receive public funds by the Swedish School Inspectorate, providing the school's activities do not have obvious negative consequences on the municipal school system in the municipality where the school is located, or in municipalities nearby.

In 1992 the reqiuirements on grant-aided independent changed and since then the number of independently run upper secondary schools has been increasing. In school year 2009/10, 458 out of a total of 976 upper secondary schools were independent schools (47%), a figure which can be compared with 82 out of a total of 638 upper secondary schools 12 years earlier (13%).The supervision of grant-aided independent schools is carried out by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen). Municipalities are entitled to scrutinise the activities of grant-aided independent schools.

When a pupil chooses to study at a grant-aided independent school the resources that would otherwise be allocated for its education in a municipal school will be redistributed to the grant-aided independent school. The pupils home municipality must pay a grant, determined on the same grounds as are applied by that municipality when distributing resources to its own schools for the same programme. In cases when the municipality doesn’t offer the programme in question, the payment to the schools is based on a national price list yearly settled by the Swedish National Agency for Education.

The Ordinance on Grant-aided Independent Schools (Förordningen om fristående skolor, SFS 1996:1206)

The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket)

The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen)