Swedish schools under pressure to recruit 77,000 teachers

Sweden's schools and pre-schools need to recruit up to 77,000 new full-time teacher positions in the next five years, according to a new forecast by the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket).

Swedish schools under pressure to recruit 77,000 teachers
File photo of a Stockholm school class.Photo: Jonas Ekström/TT

Since Skolverket's last prognosis two years ago, the need for qualified teachers has gone up by 7,000 to 77,000, mainly because of population growth. There is also a need to replace temporary staff without official teacher training qualifications with newly examined teacher graduates up until the year 2031.

Skolverket's Director-General Peter Fredriksson emphasized the importance of making Swedish schools an attractive workplace: “It must be made more attractive to work as a teacher and for that everyone with any influence in schools, not least the teachers' employers, need to make sure that schools are a desirable workplace”.

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Taking into account replacing temporary staff, in order to cover the number of full-time teachers needed by 2031, Skolverket say they need to recruit 187,000 staff in total. In effect, this means there will need to be 227,000 teachers and pre-school teachers employed by 2031.

“At that rate, we will be 80,000 teachers short in 2031,” Fredriksson noted.

Schools in Sweden have been under scrutiny for a number of years since performing poorly in the international Pisa reports in 2013. The most recent Pisa report showed a positive upswing in Sweden's global world ranking.

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