Happy to stick with the state

10th February 2006 at 00:00

Staffan and Karin Grundmark are bewildered that Tony Blair is enamoured by Swedish independent schools. "They're too new. You never know if they're going to go bust," says Karin, a mother of three. "Besides, lots of independent schools are run by people who don't have any teaching experience. They're business people."

The Grundmarks, who are both well-educated and live in TAby, an upper-middle-class suburb north of Stockholm, have three children who all attend state schools. "We're very happy with our choices," says Staffan.

"You know what to expect with a state school."

Choosing schools for their children, however, has been a difficult task.

With Anna, 12, about to start secondary school, they have been inundated with prospectuses from schools. "It's very stressful," admits Karin. "Even when you ride the subway there are advertisements for schools."

Independent schools certainly seem to be getting their message across to children. Anna says: "Nearly half the kids in my year are switching to the new international school that's opening up in TAby in August." They like the idea of being taught in English 50 per cent of the time.

Even though the Grundmarks' children go to state schools - Nils, 10, switched to a state school specialising in music last year - they have still had to choose which school they attend. "Our (right-wing) local authority doesn't mind if it's a state or independent or if you go outside the catchment area," says Karin.

Left-wing authorities, on the other hand, often only allow a child to attend a state school outside their jurisdiction if the national programme they want to take is not available locally.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now