Education Minister Jan Björklund

Government to remove independent schools’ religious content

The four leaders of Sweden’s centre-right coalition government have agreed religious content should be removed from all subjects taught in the nation’s independent schools.

The government is proposing to give authorities the right to impose fines and even temporary closures on schools that fail to comply.

Explaing the plans, Education Minister Jan Björklund told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter students must be protected from religious fundamentalism in all its forms.

Meanwhile, a study carried out by the Swedish National Agency for Education has found Sweden’s religious schools are no worse, or better, than any other of the country’s independent schools.

According to the survey of Sweden’s 470 independent schools, of which 44 are termed religious, 20 had no flaws whatsoever.

Those religious schools that were found to be failing, were failing in similar ways to other, non-religious independent schools.

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