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May 30th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Warning from Sweden as debate on profit heats up!

Sweden’s free school profits debate heats up

While applications to starts privately-run, publicly-funded free schools (friskolor) are on the rise in Sweden, there is nevertheless gathering unease about the suitability of schools being run by private companies, The Local’s Geoff Mortimore explains.

In February, Sweden’s education minister Jan Björklund conceded that there are several indications that in many privately-run, publicly-funded schools, profit takes precedence over quality.

A loophole in legislation has meant that free schools can choose not to have a library, student counselling, and school nurses and the minister has announced an inquiry into how free schools which fail to meet accepted standards can be prevented from taking out profits.

Broadly the argument follows political lines. The government is largely in favour of the scheme, with some reservations, while among the opposition, the Social Democrats and the Left Party are against…

“The first and overall goal for a company is to produce profit for its owners, not to educate the students. It can be so low-risk to run a school, because the municipality, by law, has to pay them, on average, the same amount per student that they pay to their own schools.” Read full article in The Local Sweden’s news in english


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