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Stockholm - School system

At secondary school level the national curriculum foresees two basic programmes:
* the Social Sciences Programme, and
* the Natural Sciences Programme

These two programmes are based on continuous assessment and do not have a final examination. The award of grades is to be looked upon as a continuous process. Grades are awarded on the completion of every course and not for individual subjects or for each term. Grades are awarded on a four-point scale: Fail, Pass, Pass with Distinction and Pass with High Distinction.The IB Programme which is an internationally recognized curriculum, is starting to be accepted in certain sections of Swedish schools, where English is used as the teaching language. This programme leads to a final examination which is marked and graded by outside examiners.

All three programmes are taught in the international section of Kungsholmen's Gymnasium and are all well recognized and accepted by universities in Sweden and in other countries around the world.

The school year is divided into two terms, Autumn (from mid August to December) and Spring (January to beginning of June) and comprises 40 weeks (between 190 and 178 compulsory school days). One-week holiday in February/March (winter sports holiday in addition to Christmas and Easter holiday). School has a five day week from Monday to Friday.

* Preschool (up to six years)
* Compulsory School ( from the age of 7 to 16)
* Upper secodary studies  (from the age of 16 to 20)

Preschool Day-care centres in Sweden are called "daghem" or "dagis ".  All children in Sweden are entitled to a place in a municipal day-care centre. If you already have a child in a day-care centre, preference is given to his or her sibling.

If your child attends a Swedish day-care centre and speaks a mother tongue other than Swedish, he or she is entitled to mother-tongue instruction. The centre also must ensure adequate support for the child's Swedish language development.

Pre-school teachers and recreation instructors have degrees in early childhood education, while other day-care attendants have upper secondary qualifications.

Stockholm also offers a number of open pre-schools ("öppna förskolor") that function on a drop-in basis. They are intended for children from birth to age five, and offer a variety of activities from music and singing to arts and crafts. To partake in open preschool activities an adult must accompany all children and open pre-schools are a popular meeting place not just for parents but for grandparents and baby sitters as well.

Fees paid by parents for day-care cover about one tenth of the actual cost, while the remainder is financed by taxes. Monthly fees depend on the length of time the child spends in day-care, on parental earnings and on the number of the children in the family. If you pay the maximum fee which is Sek 1140 per month for your first child, for the second one you will pay only sek 760.  From the fourth child onwards, you pay nothing.

From the first of January 2003 free public daycare for at least 3 hours a day has been introduced for four and five years olds.

To find a day-care, visit the City of Stockholm website at
For a more specified search, first choose your area (stadsdell) and then look under "barnomsorg." Unfortunately, this service is only in Swedish.

Compulsory school is divided into 9 grades. Children between the ages of 7 and 16 are required to attend school. The compulsory school provides a nine year programme. Traditionally children start school at seven, but they are entitled to start at six if the parents so desire State education in Sweden is free of charge as well as teaching materials , school meals and school transport.Foreigners enjoy the same rights to the Swedish education system as Swedish citizens do. A free special instruction course in the Swedish language is provided, usually for one year. During the transitional period instruction is given (where possible) in the pupil's own language for a few hours a week.

Expat children who have not attended Swedish primary schools should apply at the office of the nearest high school. Admissions Boards (Intagningsniimnden) exist in all high school districts and are authorized to accept 'in certain cases' children on the basis of qualifications other than the final diploma from a Swedish primary school. It is worth making enquiries well in advance, long before arrival in Sweden.
If you wish to have the full list of Schools for expatriate children you should write to the

  • European Council of International Schools (ECIS)
    21 Lavant Street
    Hampshire GU32 3EL
    Tel: + 44 (0) 1730 268244
    Fax: + 44 (0) 1730 267914
    e-rnail: [email protected]
    and ask for "The International Schools Directory" which is updated annually.

There are three boarding schools of which only one is totally private.
* Sigtunaskolan is semi' private located about one hour from Stockholm. The King was a student here

* Lundsberg Skola is located in the middle of the woods, by a lake in Värmland approximately four hours from Stockholm. The Prince is currently a student there.

* Grännaskolan is located south of Stockholm by the largest lake in the country. It takes around 3-4 hours to get there.

Upper secondary studies
In most municipalities meals and teaching materials are free of charge to upper secondary students. All students between 16 and 20 years of age who are pursuing upper secondary studies in an upper secondary school receive study assistance. Study assistance at upper secondary level comprises a general study grant representing a continuation of child allowance and payable to all students from the age of 16 and a needs-tested grant towards the cost of studies and daily travel.

Under the Education Act, all pupils have to be offered school health care. This has to be provided by a school doctor and a school nurse. The purpose of school health care is to obtain the pupils' development, preserve and improve their mental and physical health and encourage healthy living habits. This health care is intended to be mainly preventive, and it has to include health checks and elementary nursing. The pupils are entitled to school health care free of charge. Overriding responsibilities for pupil welfare rests with the head teacher.

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