Education of children

(Utbildning för barn)

All children in Sweden must attend compulsory school. Those who finish compulsory school may continue on to upper secondary school. Although upper secondary school is voluntary, most young people decide to attend.

Preschool class for children who have turned 6

(Förskoleklass för barn som fyller 6 år)

Children are eligible to start preschool class the year they turn 6, Preschool class, which is voluntary and free of charge, prepares children for compulsory school.

Parents who want to apply for their children to attend preschool class must contact the municipality.

Compulsory school for 7-16 year-olds

(Grundskola för barn mellan 7 och 16 år)

All children must attend nine-year compulsory school. Each year of compulsory school consists of an autumn and spring term.

Children start compulsory school when they turn 7. Instruction, textbooks and daily lunches are all free of charge.

A compulsory school is run by either the municipality or a private organization. All compulsory schools must follow the same rules and curricula. The curricula determine what material children are taught. The Swedish National Agency for Education issues compulsory school rules and curricula.

Starting with year 8, the teacher awards a grade for each subject at the end of the term. The grading scale goes from Passed (G) to Passed with Distinction (VG) to Passed with Great Distinction (MVG). A student who does not meet the requirements for Passed receives no grade in that particular subject. At the end of year 9, students are awarded a final grade, which they use when applying to an upper secondary school.

Find out more at
Information is available in easy-to-read Swedish.

After-school recreation centres


Each municipality arranges an after-school recreation centre for 6-12 year-olds whose parents are working or studying. The purpose of the centres is to supplement school activities, provide children with meaningful recreational opportunities, and support their development. The centres also make it possible for parents to work or study.

Both municipal and private after-school recreation centres are available. Both kinds charge a fee that is based on income.

Upper secondary schools


Young people who finish compulsory school may continue on to upper secondary school. Although upper secondary school is voluntary, most young people in Sweden decide to attend.

An upper secondary school may be run by either the municipality or a private organisation. Young people apply to the school they want to attend and the programme they want to take. Among the available programmes are Social Sciences, Child Recreation, Media, Electrical Engineering and Science.

Swedish, English and Mathematics are automatically included in all programmes. Core subjects are those that all students must take.

Each programme lasts for three years and is free of charge. Most schools also offer free lunches.

Find out more at Skolverkets website
Information about the various upper secondary programmes is available in a number of different languages, as well as easy-to-read Swedish.

Introductory course for immigrants


The individual programme introduction course for immigrants (IVIK) is available to students who need help in speaking better Swedish. It is intended for 16-20 year-old upper secondary students who recently obtained residence permits or are seeking asylum. Students who take IVIK study Swedish and English, as well as social science and science subjects.

Schools for students with learning disabilities


Schools for students with learning disabilities offer specially adapted instruction. To the extent possible, they provide an education that matches compulsory and upper secondary schools. Children must attend for nine years.

After completing a school for students with learning disabilities, they may go on to a four-year upper secondary school.

Special needs schools


Students at special needs schools are either deaf, hearing impaired, have a severe language disorder or have impaired vision combined with another disability. Special needs schools, which match compulsory education to the extent possible, are available through year 10.

Native language instruction


Native language instruction is a separate subject in compulsory education. The course is available to children and young people attending a nursery school, compulsory school, school for students with learning disabilities or upper secondary school who speak a language other than Swedish at home.

Learning and a student’s native language are closely related. It is important for children to learn their native language so that they can develop and learn in Swedish more easily as well.

Parents who want to apply for their children to take native language instruction must contact the school or municipality.

Parental participation in children’s education

(Föräldrars delaktighet i sina barns skolgång)

Parents have the right to know what is happening at their children’s school and how they are doing. Staff members are available to speak with parents about how students are getting along, developing and learning. Progress reviews, weekly newsletters, parent-teacher meetings and parent’s councils are among the ways that parents can become involved in their children’s education.

Parent-teacher meetings are important forums. Parents obtain information about what is happening at the school and how teachers plan their activities. They have the chance to bring up questions that are on their mind. Some schools also publish weekly newsletters for parents.

At least once every term, children and their parents are to meet with the teacher or home room teacher for a progress review. The review looks at how the child is doing at school and in the various subjects, as well as how the school and parents can support the child’s development. The review also covers how well the child is getting along with classmates and staff and whether anything has occurred that the child needs help in dealing with.

A parent’s council normally consists of one or two parents from each class. Council meetings discuss school-related matters and often choose several parents to serve as representatives when communicating with the staff. Getting involved in a parent’s council is one way for parents to learn more about school activities and have an impact on areas that they consider important.



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