New English-language international school opens in Stockholm

A new educational option has emerged for internationally minded families in Stockholm looking for an affordable international education delivered in English.

New English-language international school opens in Stockholm

Starting in August, Futuraskolan International School of Stockholm will open its doors from preschool to grade 9.

Futuraskolan already operates a number of schools and preschools in Stockholm. Some of these preschools are international and English-speaking and some of the schools offer bilingual instruction in English and Swedish.

The school will follow the International Primary Years programme from preschool to grade 5, starting this August, and the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme from grades 6 to 9, starting in 2012.

Fees are mostly covered by Swedish municipalities’ school vouchers, with parents paying only 10,000 ($1,550) to 15,000 kronor per year to cover the cost of the international programmes.

Most capital cities around the world have several school options for international families to send their children. Futurakolan has worked tirelessly to add to such an option in Stockholm.

The school will be located at Erik Dahlbergsgatan 58-62 on the site of an old courthouse. Renovations have already begun to prepare the building for its August opening.

The school’s target population is aimed at expatriate families who are transient and currently based in Stockholm, as well as Swedish families who may benefit from an international education delivered in English.

As an integral part of an international education, the Swedish aspect in the school’s curriculum will be respected and all students will be exposed to the Swedish language and culture as a subject in its own right.

The school is registered with the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket). It has room for 450 to 500 students in five to six years, but expects about 100 pupils in its first year.

Futuraskolan has fielded a substantial amount of local interest since announcing it will open its doors. In addition to the international perspective the school provides, it is also accountable to external audits by the IB organisation.

The school is currently undergoing a rigourous interview process to hire teachers resident in Sweden. All teachers at the school will either be English as a mother tongue speakers or have very fluent English-language skills, as well as experience living abroad.

Interested parties are invited to attend information evenings at the school on February 10th and 24th from 6pm to 7.30pm.

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Distance learning remains a ‘possibility’ for Swedish schools: Education minister

Remote learning remains a possibility, but not an obligation, for schools in Sweden as students around the country begin term this week, the Education Minister said on Wednesday.

Distance learning remains a 'possibility' for Swedish schools: Education minister
Education Minister Anna Ekström (L) and general director of the Schools Inspectorate, Helén Ängmo. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Minister Anna Ekström made the comments during a press conference in which she outlined the rules ahead of back-to-school season but did not make any new announcements.

She urged schools to be “flexible”, outlining some of the measures which have been recommended by the National Board of Education since an early stage in the pandemic.

This include changing furniture arrangements to promote distancing, staggering lesson and break times to prevent students mixing in large groups, and increasing cleaning. Many parent-teacher meetings are likely to be cancelled, she said.

Schools for under-16s have remained open throughout the pandemic, and Ekström said this decision was based on research showing children were affected by the virus to a lesser extent. “The younger the child, the more mild the symptoms,” she said.

In Sweden, only one of the almost 6,000 people to have died after testing positive for the coronavirus was aged under 10, and none of the victims have been in the 10-19 age group.

Ekström added that no occupational group linked to schools had been over-represented in Sweden's coronavirus statistics.

In addition to taking this kind of measures, heads of schools have also been given additional decision-making powers.

These include the ability to switch to remote learning, or make other changes such as adapting the timetable (including moving lessons to weekends) if necessary due to the infection situation. 

“If the situation gets worse, teaching can be moved partially or entirely to distance learning. This could happen in the whole country, individual schools, or in municipalities or regions where schools may need to close as a measure to prevent spread of infection,” Ekström said.

“The government is prepared to take measures, but we don't want to close schools.”