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'Class not migration ups school drop-out rate'

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'Class not migration ups school drop-out rate'
High-school students celebrate after graduating "gymnasium". File photo: B Jaglin/Flickr
09:00 CET+01:00
Growing up with a single parent on a low income cuts Swedish students' chance to graduate high school, revealed a new regional study.

"if you're very unlucky, you have a single parent with a low education level, with low income or on welfare, who lives in a rental property /hyresrätt) in one the Million Programme areas," said East Sweden Regional Council (Regionförbundet Östsam) education policy spokeswoman Carina Johansson.

The Million Programme housing areas were built in the industrial boom following the second world war to house workers, but many have since fallen into disrepair.

Class trumped all other factors in the study, which looked at pupils who began high school between 2004 and 2008 in about 50 municipalities. There was no correlation with whether the pupil was born in Sweden or not, unless they had very recently moved to Sweden.

"The study shows that immigrants don't fare worse than Swedish-born in school," regional council statistician Fredrik Sunnergen told Sveriges Radio (SR).

The drop-our rate varied from ten to 37 percent across the municipalities included in the study, which also found that if a pupil does well in elementary school (grundskolan) they were likely to manage their studies in high school (gymnasium).

"We need to start working with children and teenager much earlier," Johansson told SR. "It's too late to start in high school, where I don't think it will work no matter how much money we pump in." 

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