Education and Schools in Sweden
The academic year starts from mid-August and runs to the beginning of June the following year, and is divided into two semesters: the autumn term and the spring term. There are several mid-term holidays during the school year: höstlov in October, Christmas holidays (jullov), sportlov in February, for Easter (påsklov) and then three months for summer vacation (sommarlov).
The education system in Sweden
In Sweden, children start voluntary pre-school from the age of one year old, which is very common as often both parents in the family work full time. When the children turn six years old there is a preschool that provides a bridge between pre-school and elementary school.
There are nine compulsory years of schooling and then students can attend an upper secondary school that is geared towards either further study or learning a trade. Natural sciences and social sciences are common to the programmes which are focused on further studies.
Ratings do not occur before grade 8. The standard A-F rating system is used.
Ratings are awarded four times in high school: at the end of autumn and spring terms in grades 8 and 9. The final grade is used for application to upper secondary school (gymnasium); to be accepted children need to pass in Swedish, mathematics and English.
Primary and high school
Public schools in Sweden
Public schools in Sweden are open to all and follow the Swedish National Syllabus. These schools are administered through the local municipality in which they are located and are taxpayer-funded and may not charge student fees. When children turn seven years old they are automatically placed in a nearby public school. Most children in Sweden go to public schools, but expats generally choose international private schools for their children, as the school language is either English or French and they keep the same standard and teaching as their home country.
Private schools in Sweden
There are a number of private schools in Sweden, known as friskolor. These schools are funded by local contributions from the home municipalities, and notification, queue or registration fees may not be charged; but private schools are free to accept donations.
Private schools are independent and run by individuals, associations or foundations; in some cases there are groups that have formed to run several schools. Private schools are, in principle, not obliged to follow the Swedish National Syllabus. However, most private schools do follow the national curriculum.
More and more private schools have started in Sweden (22 already in Stockholm) and of course it means more competition, not least because parents can now choose which school they want their children to attend and the school money follows the student to the school chosen. This is good for public school students because the competition forces schools to perform better.
International schools in Sweden
International schools in Sweden are primarily intended for students who live a short time in Sweden or have special circumstances, such as family ties to another country. International schools expect a yearly fee and applications need to be made by contacting the school directly.
International schools may have long waiting lists, so it’s best to plan ahead and apply for a spot for your child as early as possible. Fees at international schools can cost upwards of 44,000 SEK per year.
The most prominent international schools in Stockholm include the British International Primary School which follows the British curriculum, the Stockholm International School and Tanto International School, which both follow the International Baccalaureate curriculum. These schools all have classes taught in English, with Swedish language lessons also forming part of the weekly syllabus.
- Completed application form
- Received payment of application fee
- A school transcript from previous school attended highlighting last three academic years
- A copy of the student’s passport. If you are a Diplomatic Family a copy of the passport and visa are required for both parents.
- Completed student medical form
- Copy of students immunisation record
- Yearly annual tuition fee
Other fees might apply if the children are not registered with their local municipality and do not have a Swedish personal number