Swedish school for new arrivals


Comprehensive school and recreation centres

For children aged 7-15


What is comprehensive school?

Comprehensive school is compulsory for all children from the autumn of year they turn 7, and is tuition free. Comprehensive school education is nine years long, with each academic year divided into two terms: one autumn and one spring term. 

It is a statutory requirement that the education offered be equivalent in all parts of the country. 

Who attends comprehensive school?

Most children in Sweden begin Year 1 in the autumn term of the year they turn 7. It is also possible to have your child begin in the year they turn 6, and if there are special reasons, in the year they turn 8.

For children with intellectual disabilities, special needs comprehensive school is an alternative to comprehensive school. 

Children who are unable to attend comprehensive school or special needs comprehensive school because of a functional disability or other special reasons are received in special access schools. 

What do the activities include?

Comprehensive schools can be municipal or independent. Most comprehensive schools in Sweden are municipal, and the most common arrangement is that pupils attend a municipal school near their home. 

Comprehensive schools may offer various specialities, such as English language classes or culture and sports classes.

Independent comprehensive schools are open to all children, and teaching at them must correspond to the teaching at municipal comprehensive schools.

Independent comprehensive schools have different principals (owners), which are not the municipality. This principal can be a company, a foundation or an association.

How are grades awarded?

Term grades are awarded at the end of each term in all subjects except third language choice, from Year 6. Grades in third language choice are to be awarded from the autumn term in Year 7. A final grade is awarded in Year 9, at the end of the spring term. The final grade is the basis for applications to upper secondary school. 

A six-point (A to F) grading scale is used. A-E are pass grades and F is a fail. 

If a pupil has been absent from school to the extent that their knowledge cannot be assessed, a dash (-) is used instead of a grade. The F grade and the dash are not used in special needs or special access comprehensive schools. 

Progress discussions
At least once every term, the pupil, the teacher and the pupil’s guardian meet to discuss how things are going at school and if the pupil is happy there. This is known as a progress discussion, and is intended to provide an all-round picture of the pupil’s learning and social development. 

The discussion is to cover how the school can support and stimulate the pupil’s development, and gives the pupil and guardian an opportunity to influence the pupil’s education.

For those years in which grades are not awarded, an individual development plan is to be written once per academic year. This plan is to include assessments and a forward-looking plan.