Sweden:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

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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

One fundamental principle of the Swedish education system is that all children and youth must have access to equivalent education, regardless of gender, place of residence and social and financial background. The curricula are valid nation-wide. State regulations for the education system are set out in the Education Act (Skollagen), the Higher Education Act (Högskolelagen) and in a number of ordinances.

New education act

The new Swedish Education Act (Skollagen) of 2011 contains basic principles and provisions for compulsory and further education, preschool, preschool year, out-of-school care and adult education. It promotes greater oversight, freedom of choice, and student safety and security.

New curricula

New curricula for compulsory schools for all students, Sami schools, special schools and upper secondary schools came into force 1 July 2011. The curricula contain new general goals, guide­lines and syllabuses. The preschool curriculum includes clearer goals for children’s linguistic and communicative develop­ment and for science and technology. Mandatory national subject tests are held in years 3, 6 and 9 of compulsory school to assess student prog­ress. There are also new qualification requirements for areas including upper secondary school studies.

New grading system

The old Swedish system with four grades from Pass with Special Distinction (MVG) down to Did Not Pass (IG) was replaced by a new grading scale with six grades from A to F in 2011. A to E are passing grades, with F as a failing grade. Grades are assigned starting in year 6. The new grading system is very similar to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), the standard grading system for higher education in Europe.

Teacher certification

As of 1 December 2013, professional certification is required for school and pre-school teachers on permanent contracts. The decision, a milestone in Swedish education policy, aims to raise the status of the teaching profession, support professional development and thus increase quality in education.

Preschool

In Sweden, preschool (förskola) is provided by municipalities for children ages one to five. The amount of municipal subsidy for preschool depends on the child’s age and whether the parents work, study, are unemployed or on parental leave for other children. Swedish preschool emphasises the importance of play in a child’s development, with a curriculum aiming to ensure children’s individual needs and interests. Gender aware education is increasingly common, striving to provide children with the same opportunities in life regardless of gender.

Curriculum for the preschool (Läroplan för förskolan).

Preschool Class

All children are guaranteed a place in a one-year preschool class (förskoleklass) starting in the fall term of the year they turn six until they start compulsory school. This year is designed to stimulate each child’s development and learning, and provide a platform for their future education. Although the preschool class is non-compulsory, almost all children in Sweden attend it.

Curriculum for the compulsory school, preschool class and the recreation centre (Läroplan för grundskolan, förskoleklassen och fritidshemmet).

Compulsory School

Swedish compulsory education (grundskola) consists of three stages: years 1–3 (lågstadiet), followed by years 4–6 (mellanstadiet) and then years 7–9 (högstadiet). Children between ages 6 and 13 are also offered out-of-school care before and after school hours. Compulsory education also includes Sami schools (sameskolor) for children of the indigenous Sami people.

Curriculum for the compulsory school, preschool class and the recreation centre (Läroplan för grundskolan, förskoleklassen och fritidshemmet)

Upper Secondary School

Upper secondary school (gymnasieskola), years 10–12, is optional. There are 18 regular national programmes of 3 years to choose from, 6 of which are preparatory for higher education such as university, and 12 of which are vocational. While entrance requirements vary between programmes, all of them demand students to have passing grades in Swedish, English and mathematics from their final year of compulsory schooling.

Curriculum for the upper secondary school (Läroplan för gymnasieskola).