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Are these the best areas for schools in Sweden? That’s what a new ranking claims

Are these the best areas for schools in Sweden? That's what a new ranking claims
Find your municipality in the ranking below. Photo: Alexander Olivera/TT
A new report into Swedish schools ranks the country's 290 municipalities based on areas such as resources allocated to schools, teacher numbers, and pupil performance.

And for the first time in five years, Vellinge in southern Sweden is not top of the table. Instead, Torsby in Värmland – perhaps best known outside Sweden as the home town of former England football coach Sven-Göran Eriksson – outshines the rest in the Swedish Teachers' Union's (Lärarförbundet) new ranking.

“We have for example had a two-teacher system for a few years now. When it is needed, two teachers will work in the same classroom, which has had good effects. And perhaps most importantly, we haven't had any internal bickering. Everybody is pulling in the same direction and that benefits the pupils,” Peter Jonsson, head of Torsby Council's education committee, told Swedish news agency TT on Wednesday.

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Sweden is shaking up its national school curriculum. Photo: Ann-Sofi Rosenkvist/imagebank.sweden.se

Both the Swedish Teachers' Union and Sweden's other union for teachers, the National Union of Teachers in Sweden (Lärarnas Riksförbund), regularly publish school rankings. But the new report is not comparable with previous results, said the union, because it has changed the method of evaluating the schools.

The new report focuses less on grades (although student results were not completely removed from the equation), which are in many cases influenced by the parents' education level, and have previously inflated the results of municipalities where a large share of students come from socio-economically well-off homes.

Instead it looks at things such as number of trained teachers, resources allocated to the schools, and how many students go on to study at gymnasiet, Sweden's upper secondary school or senior high school.

The ranking compares Sweden's compulsory education (with students aged around 6-16).

Work is currently under way to revamp the school curriculum, which has been largely unchanged since 2011 but has received criticism from teachers, students and parents over complicated grading criteria.

Teachers and parents are being urged to submit their feedback on the new proposals to Sweden's National Agency for Education (Skolverket) before October 23rd. You can read more in English on The Local.

Find the full ranking below, with even more detailed information available here.

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