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"Sweden's schools are becoming segregated"

Published torsdag 3 maj 2012 kl 10.02

The main teacher's union says there is a growing gap in Swedish schools, and that steps need to be taken to help reverse a trend towards inequality.

The head of the union, Metta Fjelkner, analyses the results of a survey of 400,000 school students in Thursday's edition of Dagens Nyheter. She says that over the last 20 years the gap between pupils with the best marks, and those with the worst, has widened by almost a third.

According to the union, this result means that the school system is failing in its mission to compensate for a pupil's background. "All pupils - regardless of class, educational background, or ethnic background, should have the same chance to succeed in school", writes Metta Fjelkner. 

She says that the local municipalities, which run the schools, are not up to the job, and that the state needs to take more responsibility, while also giving teachers more freedom to adapt school work to pupils' needs.

Local areas that are named as failing to boost pupils' chances include cities such as Malmö, Gothenburg and Södertälje. Rich areas like Danderyd and Lidingö are doing better, but so are northern industrial municipalities in Pajala and Övertorneå.

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