Moderates want zero tolerance on underperforming schools
As part of their shadow autumn budget, the conservative Moderate Party has proposed reforms to improve school results and to encourage more Swedes to train as teachers.
Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra told Radio Sweden that every pupil should be entitled to a good start in life. The party's proposed zero-tolerance policy, she said, would involve the state stepping in to offer support for schools with poor-performing pupils. If that does not help, the state may even take over and run the school.
"Every pupil is entitled to a good school but no one is entitled to run a school that doesn't perform," said Kinberg Batra.
Owners of freeschools, which are privately run but publicly funded, could be denied profits if they underperform, according to the party's proposals, presented at a press conference on Wednesday.
The Moderates - Sweden's largest opposition party - also want to offer bonuses of at least SEK 50,000 for those who train as teachers or nurses and who complete their training. However, the Swedish Teachers' Union has said that salary increases for teachers would be preferable.
"I think you need several measures, where higher salaries is one. More career teaching positions is also one and attracting more students to become teachers is another.... Sweden needs more teachers and we need them to stay in the profession and also to prioritise meeting pupils and be relieved of, for example administration," said Kinberg Batra.
Total extra money for schools would amount to SEK 5.6 billion next year, rising to 12.1 billion by 2020, according to the shadow budget proposal.