• Sweden edition
 
Online sale of free school permit sparks outrage

Online sale of free school permit sparks outrage

Published: 16 Jan 2012 12:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Jan 2012 12:12 GMT+01:00

“Ever dreamt of starting up your own primary school?” begins the advert on Swedish buy-sell site Blocket.

“Then we have a great opportunity for you!”

The ad has been placed by an agent representing a seller from Malmö in southern Sweden, who claims to have spent the last year gaining accreditation to run the school from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen), resulting in a permit to run a school with an enrollment of up to 180 students.

But now the school, registered as Malmö enskilda grundskola, is being sold – despite not being anything more than a permit and a name, for 500,000 kronor ($71,278) according to Svenska Dagbladet newspaper (SvD).

According to the seller, the school could be up and running by the beginning of the autumn term this year.

“It’s totally unacceptable to do this,” Green Party education policy spokesperson Jabar Amin told the newspaper.

The advert explains that all the hard work has been done and that if an interested buyer wanted to “avoid the red tape for an ambitious and serious start then this is a fantastic opportunity".

"The only remaining work to do is to find a suitable location for the school, new staff, etc.," reads the ad.

Should a sale of the permit take place, it would entail that the buyer would be free operate a school without first having been vetted by the Schools Inspectorate.

However, according to current laws, there is nothing prohibiting such a transaction.

“There is no obligation to report to us if the shares in a company which has a permit to run a free school are sold,” Anna Sundberg, division head for permit assessment with the Schools Inspectorate, told SvD.

“It's the company that has the permit to run the school and therefore is the principal legal entity is still the same.”

In the wake of the Green Party's Amin called for a change in the law to prevent similar transactions from occurring in the future.

“It is one thing when someone has run a school for several years and then can’t any longer, but here someone has not even started up the business. We must change the law – this is totally awful,” he said.

Rossanna Dinamarca, education policy spokesperson for the Left Party also slammed as "inappropriate" and "strange" both the ad and the notion that someone would seek a permit to run a free school to then simply sell it on to another party.

"This is something that needs to be reviewed," she told SvD.

“It is completely unacceptable and I find it extremely provocative that someone who sought and received permission to run a school acts in this way,” Swedish education minister Jan Björklund told SvD in response to reports about the advert.

“The question of who is serious enough to run a school and therefore receive the permits will be decided by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, not by a company broker or by those who have already got a permit,” he said.

Björklund proposed that permits should be tied to schools and to their owners and that a change in ownership would require a new owner to seek a new permit. According to Björklund, such a change would make the transaction advertised on Blocket "impossible".

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

14:02 January 16, 2012 by engagebrain
The private owners clearly expect to extract a lot of money out the Swedish state.

Its about profit not education - the whole problem with state funding of private schools.

At the very least only allow non profit companies to play.
14:22 January 16, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
If this 'permit' to run the school is going to be sold on, presumably for a profit - and the school is "publicly funded" then the proceeds from the sale should be subject to very careful attention from the Skatteverket....
14:48 January 16, 2012 by Åskar
The money will probably be banked in some tax haven.
Today's headlines
Thief caught on camera - police drop case
Happier times at Park Lane: Charles Simonyi and Lisa Persdotter celebrate thier wedding in 2008. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/Scanpix

Thief caught on camera - police drop case

Damning video evidence and an apology from an alleged thief’s daughter were not enough to convince police that a well-known criminal had stolen hundreds of thousands of kronor worth of equipment from one of Gothenburg’s most popular night spots. READ  

Opinion
Sweden 'missed' global opportunities
Sweden's outgoing Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Photo: TT

Sweden 'missed' global opportunities

As Stefan Löfven attempts to form a coalition government, Social Democrat MEP Jytte Guteland says her party needs to focus on Sweden's international image. READ  

National
Politics 'most shared' topic in Sweden
Photo: Shutterstock

Politics 'most shared' topic in Sweden

Swedes are more likely to share posts or articles on politics than on any other issues, according to a new report from Mid Sweden University. READ  

National
Fears schoolboy murdered in Sweden
Photo: TT

Fears schoolboy murdered in Sweden

Police in Halmstad say the results of forensic tests suggest a 16-year-old boy found dead in a creek was murdered. READ  

National
Elk hunters risk injury in Sweden’s woods
Hunter Ingela Olsson loads her rifle at sunrise in Norrbölla, northern Sweden. File photo: Gunnar Lundmark/SvD/Scanpix

Elk hunters risk injury in Sweden’s woods

Sweden’s vast annual elk hunt spells danger not just for the majestic animals but also for hunters, with crumbling towers and over-tiredness just two of the season’s perils. READ  

Malmö
Rat invasion closes Malmö preschool
Rats like this one have been found in a kindergarten. Photo: TT

Rat invasion closes Malmö preschool

Children in central Malmö are staying at home on Tuesday after a rat infestation was discovered at their kindergarten. READ  

National
Sweden's benefit agency site restored
Photo: TT

Sweden's benefit agency site restored

UPDATED: Sweden's Social Insurance Agency website is working again after being out of action since Monday. READ  

National
Swedish teenagers abused on Secret app
File photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix

Swedish teenagers abused on Secret app

Swedish police are struggling to know what to do with a new batch of criminal reports filed by teenagers upset about a controversial app that allows users to post comments and pictures anonymously. READ  

National
Swedish man beats bus in video challenge

Swedish man beats bus in video challenge

UPDATED: A Swedish runner who filmed himself beating his bus in Sundbyberg in north west Stockholm over the weekend is now planning to a similar challenge on the capital's Metro system. READ  

Regional
Rain causes power cuts across east Sweden
Strong winds are battering Stockholm and the east coast of Sweden. Photo: TT

Rain causes power cuts across east Sweden

Heavy rain and wind have left thousands without electricity in eastern Sweden, with ferries also disrupted by the storm. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week - Torslanda
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: September 20th
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Blog updates

22 September

Welcome National Geographic! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What comes to mind when you think of the “The Arctic”? Crystal-encased cliffs jutting from the sea, baronial Polar bears scavenging over sheets of cracked ice or a lone explorer heading north into the night. The image my mind invokes is of three sparkling green lines splashed across the sky like graffiti— the Aurora Borealis— our..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

841
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN