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Report: Earlier school grades not the answer

Published onsdag 28 januari 2015 kl 11.32
Researchers sceptical about earlier school grades
(1:59 min)
File photo: Bertil Ericson/TT.
File photo: Bertil Ericson/TT.

Giving schoolchildren grades from the age of 11 does not have any positive influence on their education, according to a new report from the Swedish Research Council.

The four centre-right opposition parties want to lower the age that children can be given grades by teachers from 13 to 11, but the agency says there is no evidence that it actually improves childrens' subject knowledge. In fact, the negative impact on kids that get bad grades is greater than the positive effects on those that do well, the agency says.

Liberal Party education spokesman Christer Nylander tells Swedish Radio News that he is not convinced by the agency's comments:

"Researchers have found it difficult to say exactly when grades should be introduced, which I think this study shows. I haven't read it yet though", Christer Nylander says, adding: "But experience across the world shows clearly that the factors that make more kids succeed at school are a focus on knowledge, good teachers, and early help. That's why we want early grades."

Daniel Riazat, a Left Party member of the parliament's education committee, says earlier grades are not the solution: "The thing is, when you look at the problems in Swedish schools, and sit down to see how to solve the issues, then the Alliance comes up with the solution that all the experts are against, the teachers unions are against and that research doesn't back up."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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