Photo: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix

Free Schools inflate grades: school inspectorate

Sweden’s privately run free schools are more generous with their high school grades than public schools, according to a new report from the national schools inspectorate.

The authority re-checked National Test grades (nationella prov) for 31,800 students in 461 high schools and found that essays were often graded higher in free schools.

Earlier this year Education Minister Jan Björklund pledged to change the current system where teachers grade their own pupils and introduce centralized correcting. However a senior education department told news agency TT on Monday that there are no plans for changes in the pipeline.

“We’ve not seen any room for that in this year’s budget,” he said.

The new report revealed that public schools grade papers more evenly, while there were large variations between privately owned - but publicly funded – free schools, particularly in how they grade essays.

“One solution could be to grade the papers externally; that someone with no link to the school correct exams instead,” Jonas Vlachos, one of the researchers behind the inspectorates report told Swedish Television.

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