Education minister Jan Bjärklund

Schools to use only qualified teachers

From 2012 only fully qualified teachers will be allowed to get permanent jobs in Swedish schools, according to a plan detailed by the government. And only they will be allowed to grade the pupils.

Minister of Education Jan Björklund, who presented the new plan at a press conference on Monday, said that it is another step to improve the quality in Swedish schools and improve the status for the teachers’ profession. 

The new system will require all teachers to have a special certification not only for the subject they teach but also for the age group they want to teach. A history teacher in high school for example will not be able to teach history in primary school without further education. A newly graduated teacher will also be required to work one year under a mentor before he or she can apply for the certificate.

A disciplinary board will also be formed which will be able to suspend the teacher if the he or she is reported and deemed to be unsuitable or commits a crime.

“If we want to improve the quality in Swedish schools we have to focus on the teachers. We are introducing a new teachers training and put a lot of resources on further education. A teachers certificate will be a stamp of quality,” he said.

But some concerns have been raised.

A licence for teachers has been debated before but since there are too few qualified teachers in Sweden the schools could face problems especially since an unqualified teacher will not be allowed to grade students, Carl-Gustaf Stawström, at the Swedish Association of Independent Schools, told news agency TT.

Private schools in Sweden in general have more unqualified teachers and in total an about 20 percent of all teachers in Sweden are unqualified.

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