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Union anger at Dutch inspection of Swedish schools

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10:06 CET+01:00
Dutch school inspectors have been hired to review English language teaching in 30 Swedish schools. The decision has been met with irritation by teacher unions, according to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The team of inspectors from the Dutch firm Cito will be deployed to look at English language teaching at schools across the country.

Swedish inspectors will also accompany the Dutch team and interviews will be conducted in English.

"In the Netherlands there is a long tradition of inspecting schools and a reason to commission Cito for this work is that they work differently. We naturally hope to learn from the cooperation with them," said Sven-Olof Lundin at The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) in a press release.

The review will look at the teaching of pupils between the ages of 11-16 and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2010. The total cost has been projected at around 5 million kronor ($714,000).

The Swedish teacher unions have expressed surprise at the inspectorate's decision.

"I am irritated that we have not been informed about this project. I question how a Dutch firm can study a Swedish school. What requirements do they have to judge Swedish schools and what will the results be used for?" said Metta Fjelkner, chair of the National Union of Teachers (Lärarnas Riksförbund, LR) to DN.

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