Swedish school system

From the age of six, every child has the right to free education in Sweden. The Swedish school system is compulsory for the first ten years and known for providing a safe and welcoming environment for students. The English language is a core subject in Swedish school which can be a comfort to internationals thinking of choosing this option instead of an international IB-school.

Every municipality in Sweden is required by law to offer students who have completed compulsory school an upper secondary education. Please note, that the Swedish school timeline differs to schools with international curriculums. 

The Swedish National Agency for Education, "Skolverket", is tasked with ensuring that all children and students have access to the same high-quality standard of education and activities in secure environments.

>> Link to Skolverket

>> Link to more information about education in Sweden

Preschool / Daycare

Children attend non-compulsory preschool from ages 1 through 5.  

>> Read more about preschool here

Compulsory school

From age 6, children start compulsory schooling for grades “förskoleklass” – grade 9 (“årskurs”). Students are required to choose a school within the municipality where they live in order to access municipality funding. An exception to this is when special permission is granted to students wishing to study at an international school in a neighboring municipality or a private school with a special profile. Before enrolling your child at the school outside your municipality, we suggest you check with your own municipality first then confirm with the school if they can accept your child.

Upper Secondary School

After grade 9 (age 15/16), children can continue into Upper Secondary School (“gymnasium”), a non-compulsory 3-year program or take another form of educational program. Students can choose between schools located anywhere in the country and still receive benefits from government funding. However, placement is still conditional based on factors such as, student demand and a school’s specific requirements. Upper Secondary School is non-compulsory but is highly recommended and most students choose to enter into a program.

Helpful Hint

Parents may find that with so many schools to choose among, selecting the right order of preference can be quite daunting. Therefore, we recommend that you understand the vision/teaching method of each school, and how this aligns with your values as parents. This should make the selection process a bit easier.

It is wise for parents to note that a child’s first school preference may not always be met. Some reasons for this may include, student demand, special needs, or a family’s place of residence. It is therefore advisable to investigate a few different schools by attending open houses, talking with other parents, or setting up meetings at the schools. Check the website of each school for information on upcoming open houses!