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Bankruptcy hits major Swedish free school firm

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Bankruptcy hits major Swedish free school firm
10:22 CEST+02:00
JB Education, one of Sweden's largest operators of publicly funded, privately managed free schools, announced on Tuesday it would declare bankruptcy.

A the end of May, JB Education sent shockwaves through Sweden's free school establishment when it announced it would be quitting its primary and secondary school operations in Sweden due to a drop in the number of students.

On Tuesday night, the institution took things a step further, announcing in a statement that it would declare bankruptcy on Wednesday.

The firm, which had been a pioneer in Sweden's free school movement, added that it would sell its adult education operations to Academedia, Sweden's largest education company. Staff members within JB Education's administrative roles have already been let go.

"We were hit by a drop in the number of upper-secondary school students over recent years; the numbers in our school almost halved," CEO Ander Hultin told the TT news agency.

"The owners, Axcel, came to a point where became meaningless to continue."

JB Education's adult education operations boasted several thousand students across the country, within fields such as labour market education, business education, and occupational higher education.

"No student places will disappear," Hultin added.

JB Education has managed to find new principals for 19 of its 23 secondary schools as well as all its elementary schools. According to Hultin, the company runs 31 upper secondary schools in Sweden. In February, JB announced it was withdrawing from seven of the schools.

JB Education, previously known as John Bauer Gymnasiet, opened its first school in Sweden in Jönköping, central Sweden, in 2000. It currently operates schools in 20 locations around the country.

TT/The Local/og

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