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Failing pupils to sit extra school year

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Failing pupils to sit extra school year
09:15 CEST+02:00
Pupils failing to graduate from compulsory level education (grundskola) could be forced to sit an extra year, according to a new government proposal to extend the age of mandatory school attendance to 17-years-old.

Pupils already have the opportunity to attend school for an extra year to boost their grades but are currently freed from legal obligations to attend school after their sixteenth birthday.

"It is permissible to retake a school year, but as compulsory education ends at 16 it means that many drop out," education minister Jan Björklund told Dagens Nyheter.

Björklund explained that the the government proposal, which forms part of a new schools law to be presented on Monday, means that pupils will be offered tailored supervision during the additional school year.

"Some need special resource teachers, some simply need more time," he said.

Björklund reasons that the changes are needed to underline the obligations of the nine-year compulsory level education system to all pupils.

He wants to see the extra year introduced as soon as possible to ensure that pupils do not leave school lacking the basic qualifications for high school (gymnasium) courses.

The extra year could be introduced as early as year three as the first indications of a pupil's progress emerge in conjunction with the first stage of national tests in Swedish and mathematics.

"The purpose of these tests is to catch those who don't make the grade," Björklund told Dagens Nyheter.

The education minister also promised that pupils who wish to voluntarily undergo another year of school would be allowed to do so.

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