• Sweden edition
 
Free schools boost results in public schools

Free schools boost results in public schools

Published: 31 Oct 2012 15:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Oct 2012 15:49 GMT+01:00

According to a new report from Sweden's Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market of Education Policy, IFAU, the higher the number of free schools in a municipality, the better the results of the local children.

“We have found a positive connection. The municipalities where results are improving are those that have a larger number of free schools in the area,” said the author of the report, Mikael Lindahl, to daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

By comparing national tests in maths and English, Lindahl and colleague Anders Böhlmark have looked at changes in results in all of Sweden’s municipalities between 2009 and 1992, when Sweden's free school reform came into effect.

The reform meant that the municipality paid subsidies to independent free schools (friskolor), with local authorities paying 85 percent of what the schooling would have cost the local council.

The reform made it easier to start a free school in Sweden than before.

The authors believe that there could be several reasons why areas with more free schools do better in national tests than others.

One would be the incentive to do better in areas where schools are competing for students.

Another could be that having school options means a better match between the right school and the right student, which in turn would lead to positive peer pressure.

A third may be that positive pedagogical practices might spread between schools in a specific area.

“We can’t really be certain about that, but what we can see is that the improvement hasn’t just involved the students from the free schools but also those in municipality-run public schools,” said Lindahl to SvD.

The study also show that the higher the number of free schools in an area, the more the results of the students have improved. Generally the results in these areas have improved by some 3.4 percent.

“It isn’t amazingly large effects. But neither are they insignificant. It shows that the free schools have some effect. Especially since we have also seen that costs have not increased,” Lindahl said to SvD.

Neither did results differ between for-profit schools compared to others.

“We see no differences between for-profit free schools and others. That is the conclusion we must draw,” said Lindahl.

According to the paper, some 12 percent of Swedish schoolchildren attend the publicly-funded, privately-owned free schools.

The Swedish system with a tax-funded school voucher and a significant freedom in both starting and choosing a school is seen as a role model in several other countries including in Britain and in the US; where the model is seen as a potential complement to the private and public schools.

The Local/rm

Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

05:24 November 1, 2012 by crunchy2k
Editor, you over whelm me with manipulation...on this edition...and Google translates better than the rewritten stories here. And they are just poorly written stories. Goodbye...bye-bye
06:31 November 1, 2012 by Trebla
The other, more likely, possible explanation- selection. The mere act of making an effort to choose a school tends to eliminate the lowest-rung families & children.
08:14 November 1, 2012 by engagebrain
The article does not mention how much the for profit schools take out as profit and whether the companies profit per pupil is inversely related to performance. Similarly how do salaries compare or are the profit schools spending less on food ?
09:12 November 1, 2012 by Morenikeji
I am very skeptical about this. The fact that schools are in charge of conducting and marking their own tests leave this finding suspicious. As much as I agree that Swedish public schools need reform, the way and manner private organizations have been granted permit to run schools is very sloppy. I have attended some of the so-called private gymnasium and I know how we helped the school in our evaluation. They gave us the grades we wanted and we rewarded them with good evaluation.
Today's headlines
New rules threaten microbreweries
File photo: Systembolaget

New rules threaten microbreweries

Swedish microbreweries have reacted with concern to new distribution regulations being imposed by the state controlled alcohol monopoly Systembolaget, which they fear may put them out of business. READ  

ABB and Volvo in electric buses tie-up
Volvo hybrid bus. Photo: Volvo Buses

ABB and Volvo in electric buses tie-up

Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB and Volvo Buses of Sweden have announced a joint project to develop a system for electric buses to recharge their batteries fast when at bus stops. READ  

'First ever' heat warning issued for Sweden
Photo: TT

'First ever' heat warning issued for Sweden

Swedish weather agency SMHI has issued its first ever warning for high temperatures with the many areas set to bask in plus 30C heat. READ  

Top Brazilian football star signs for Malmö club
Marta celebrates after scoring in the 2014 Uefa Champions League Women's Final. Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Top Brazilian football star signs for Malmö club

Brazilian superstar Marta will be donning the colours of FC Rosengård this season with the Swedish club hoping the investment will keep them at the top of the women's game. READ  

Swede feared kidnapped by Ukrainian separatists
Rebel tanks on the road to Horlivka in June. Photo: TT

Swede feared kidnapped by Ukrainian separatists

Swedish police are investigating the suspected kidnapping of a Swedish citizen by pro-Russian separatists at a road block in eastern Ukraine. READ  

Saab pulls out of Denmark fighter bidding

Saab pulls out of Denmark fighter bidding

Swedish defence firm Saab has declined to provide a bid for a 30 billion ($4.37 billion) Danish fighter contract while reports indicate that US firm Lockheed Martin is set to land the deal. READ  

Volvo Trucks mulls appeal over US fine
Photo: Volvo Penta

Volvo Trucks mulls appeal over US fine

Swedish truck maker Volvo Group said Monday that it is considering considering its legal options after a US appeals court upheld a multimillion fine on environmental infringements of its marine engines. READ  

Swede wins Australia's 'ultimate intern' prize
Angeliqa Jonsson (second from right) pictured with her three friends during their Experience Oz adventure. Photo: Ruby PR

Swede wins Australia's 'ultimate intern' prize

A 26-year-old Swedish woman has been named Australia's best intern and is set to travel 3000km across the country to take part in a series of adventures as part of her prize. READ  

Syrians face longer wait for Sweden reunion

Syrians face longer wait for Sweden reunion

UPDATED: Syrian refugees seeking a better life in Sweden are being made to wait up for a year to get an embassy interview as the number of asylum applications has increased dramatically in the past year. READ  

Swedes soak up sun as beaches ban bathing
A sign urging bathers not to go swimming in Malmö taken on July 20th 2014. Johan Nilsson / TT

Swedes soak up sun as beaches ban bathing

Sweden's long hot summer looks set to continue for a while yet with temperatures expected to stay around the 26C mark in places but some beaches have had to turn bathers away due to high levels of bacteria in the water. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Blog updates

18 July

Starting over (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

" I’ve now been off the water for almost 14 days. At first I was totally gutted being forced into a rest period, I had Stockholm in my sights and apart from the pain and discomfort in my shoulder, spirits were high and I was starting to gain some momentum. The news hit me fairly hard and..." READ »

 

18 July

Favorites of Swedish Summer 2014 (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"In a boscage of brush and birch trees, sits an unobtrusive cabin on the sea. A small window faces the windward side of the feverish Baltic. It’s the size of a modern wardrobe, designed to fit a small desk and a limitless cavern of stories and characters that extend as far as the waves and skies..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
National
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Gallery
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Politics
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
National
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Society
Swede snags assassin role in Tom Cruise film
Lifestyle
Top ten ways to spend a few days in Malmö
Gallery
Swedish summer tourism highlights
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
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

690
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
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
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