• Sweden edition

Britain studies Swedish schools

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With leading UK educationalists talking up the Swedish ‘free school’ model, the BBC and The Guardian both packed a school bag and headed north to get a closer look.

The BBC traveled to Ingar outside Stockholm to meet the Lundquists a couple who, failing to find a suitable school for their kids, siply decided to set one up.

That was 12 years ago and since then the Lemshaga School has grown from a tiny 80-pupil primary school to a thriving state-funded comprehensive with 420 pupils aged from three to 16 and an international reputation.

The school’s creation was made possible by Sweden’s radical school choice policy introduced in 1992, which allows pretty much anyone, a private company, charity, co-operative or voluntary group, to found a school and receive state funding.

The Guardian’s correspondent meanwhile is not even sure at first that he has come to the right place.

To call Stockholm’s Praktiska Gymnasium basic hardly covers it. Even the most rundown inner-city English comprehensive usually makes some effort to tart itself up, but this Swedish upper secondary school has made almost none. Classrooms and workshops are spread out across several industrial buildings, and facilities are thin on the ground.

One Response to “Britain studies Swedish schools”

  1. Adrian Says:

    “The Guardian” is a newspaper that likes to pretend that it is harmful to accept change. So, given the British reference to Swedish education, their alarm bells started to ring and they had to do anything that they could to muster support for rejecting this idea! Needless to say, not many balanced British folk saw their article. The BBC report was much more inspired.

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