“Many teachers lack proper training”

Half of all Mathematics and English teaching at the higher levels of secondary school is carried out by teachers who are not suitably educated, according to new statistics.

The Swedish Teachers’ Union and the Swedish Association of Teachers invited Statistics Sweden to research to what extent students in years 7 to 9 are taught by properly trained teachers.

The basic qualification requirement is a teaching degree. According to the Swedish National Agency for Education, 84% of teachers in secondary school have the degree – but the unions’ report points out that this figure does not show whether their training is in the right subject.

In Mathematics 49% of teachers are fully qualified – both for the right age group and the right subject. 50% of English teachers are fully qualified, compared to 57% of Swedish teachers.

When it comes to Spanish, however, only 23% of teachers are suitably qualified.

When researchers focused on the subject, they found that 56% of all teachers in Mathematics, the sciences and foreign languages had the right training for their subject.

A higher proportion, 65%, of Swedish and social science teachers were trained in their subject.

Clear differences were found between state-run and independent schools. In the independent sector a higher proportion of teachers were lacking the appropriate training for their subject.

There were also regional differences. In some areas, 90% of teachers had the right training for their subject, compared to just 20% in other regions.