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More apply to independently manage Swedish schools

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10:26 CET+01:00
Interest in the independent administration of Sweden's state schools increased dramatically in 2007.

The National Agency for Education (Skolverket) received 59 applications last year, up from only a handful of applications in 2006.

If personnel from a school wish to manage it independently, they must first apply to take ownership of the school.

The personnel can then manage the school independently, but still have access to public funds to support school operations.

Authorities approved a total of 17 applications for 2007, including ten compulsory schools and seven secondary schools.

“To receive approval, applicants need to stress that they have access to facilities, that their finances are in order, and that the school will continue to have a supply of students,” said Skolverket's Birgitta Fredander.

Nineteen applications were rejected, most often due to a lack of clear financial information or insufficient course offerings.

A further 23 applicants withdrew their submissions from consideration.

Independent schools (friskolor) often specialize in a certain subject or have customized course offerings.

The schools are open to all students, but can have special rules governing which students are admitted in cases when the number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces.

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