Barbara Bergström wins the VA prize as the year's female entrepreneur.

Barbara Bergström wins the VA prize as the year's female entrepreneur.

The founder of Internationella Engelska Skolan, Ms. Barbara Bergström, has been named as  “The business world’s most powerful female entrepreneur” by Veckans Affärer. The award, presented on International Women’s Day, recognises 25 years of successful development at Internationella Engelska Skolan.

The VA award has a long tradition as the most important recognition for women within Swedish business life.

The text announcing Ms. Bergström as the winner said: “American Barbara Bergström saw the need for both English competence and discipline in Swedish schools and took the matter into her own hands.”

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Principal Appointed for IES Södertälje

A dedicated and qualified educator with years of experience as a Principal has now been appointed to lead the development of Internationella Engelska Skolan Södertälje.

Mr Johan Öhman will become the Principal of IES Södertälje in April, four months before the school starts. He will work closely with colleagues from IES to ensure the school opens with everything needed for success - from new facilities to excellent teachers, all in time for the students to be welcomed into the refurbished building by their new Principal.

Mr Öhman is joining Internationella Engelska Skolan from his current job as the Principal of two upper secondary schools in Täby and Upplands Väsby, and is also taking part in the postgraduate program for Principals at Stockholm University.  He has 17 years experience in education and has worked as a teacher of subjects including the social sciences, economics, business studies and computing.  He also has a strong international background, as teacher and in school management, from international schools and education in Bangladesh and Singapore, including his commitment to the Swedish Supplementary Schools.

Speaking about his appointment, Mr Öhman said: “I am truly honored and excited to be the founding Principal of Internationella Engelska Skolan in Södertälje. As always with Internationella Engelska Skolan the expectations are set to a high standard. This expectation of a continually high standard gives us great inspiration to provide all our students with a first-class education.”

Ralph Riber, CEO of Internationella Engelska Skolan, said: “I am very pleased that we have managed to recruit a Principal with the experience and international mindset of Mr Öhman to run our new school in Södertälje. 

“His first task as Principal will be absolutely key to the success of the school, as he builds a strong international team around him, bringing the best teachers from the English-speaking world as well as excellent teachers from Sweden.”

Internationella Engelska Skolan Södertälje will be a 4-9 school and will open in August 2017. The queue is open now and parents are welcome to apply for a place for their children on a first-come, first-served basis.

Internationella Engelska Skolan has sent in its written comments on the Reepalu proposal to the Ministry of Finance

“The Reepalu commission has provided a totally inaccurate description of what serious organizations like Internationella Engelska Skolan stand for and contribute with to society. Its proposals cannot form the basis for legislation.” This is a core conclusion from the Board of Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES), in its statement of opinion sent to the government on Monday. IES is the leading free school organization in “Grundskolan” (grades 1-9), operating 29 such schools in Sweden plus one upper secondary school during the current school year, with 21 400 students. As of 30 September 2016, there were approximately 122,000 applications in the waiting list to secure a place for the forthcoming year.

Mrs. Barbara Bergstrom, the Founder of IES, adds: “I can state with certainty, that Engelska Skolan would not exist, had the Reepalu proposal been the law at the time. Through the years, our schools have saved thousands of students being tormented by bullying and suffering from lack of the most basic safety in public schools, schools marked by chaos. IES has provided students with a safe environment, and peace to work. We have brought, currently, 700 teachers to Sweden from other countries, teachers in subjects like Math and Science, who are very hard to find in Sweden today.”

“I am proud of what we have created, and don't want to see it destroyed because of ideological fundamentalism. I cannot conceive that this will happen, either. But the threat against our very existence must stop, hopefully through a broad, pragmatic political agreement. The Reepalu proposal is a distraction, and cannot be considered a part of the solution.”

The statement from IES raises the fundamental question of the purpose of the Reepalu commission. The answer cannot be found in problems in schools or health care, considered by other commissions. The real answer is to be found within politics itself. The Reepalu commission is a result of political blackmail from the Left party during the formation of a new government after the election of 2014. The governing Social Democrats now seem to think that it is a smart political play to invent an ideological conflict before the 2018 election, thereby distracting from the real problems facing the country. The Reepalu commission has therefore started with a conclusion in a desperate search for a problem. It has not reached its conclusion based on any objective and rational analysis of facts.

The political system in Sweden is currently marked by “confusion and lack of order” (“oordning och oreda”), not the companies operating in education and health care, writes IES. The Reepalu commission was unnecessary from start and is highly damaging in its proposals. It should be replaced by a balanced and pragmatic political agreement, creating long-term stability for the educational and health care markets.

In its extensive statement of opinion, IES shows why entrepreneurship and companies must be allowed to develop the plurality of options needed for choice. The statement explains in detail how quality in the operations is the only way to achieve long-term success and profits. To create surplus in existing operations is a necessary precondition for expansion, and also serves as a security for parents and students. IES carries a financial burden of over 4,000 MSEK for rental contracts alone. No landlord would ever enter into a contract, if they could not be sure that IES has a strong cash flow and financial solidity. The statement makes the fundamental point that the Reepalu commission has not at all understood what constitutes capital (“insatt capital”) in a service company like IES.

The IES statement to the Ministry of Finance also counteracts the accusation that a school company like IES contributes to “segregation”. The dominant problem here is that many schools are not operated in a way which helps lift the academic results of all students, due to a Rousseau paradigm of rejecting adult authority. New important research from the University of Göteborg on `School Excellence' gives strong evidence that this is the crucial problem, made greater by the huge number of recently arrived immigrant students. Last academic year, 2015/2016, 36 percent of IES students had a foreign background, well above the 22 percent for Swedish municipal schools.

“Internationella Engelska Skolan provides a role model for structure, order and systematic quality work from a school operator, according also to the National Schools Inspectorate. That makes it preposterous if the government would come with proposals aimed at destroying a company like IES”, the Board concludes.

PDF iconRemissyttrande över ”Välfärdsutredningen” SOU 2016-78.pdf

Internationella Engelska Skolan applies to open new schools

Internationella Engelska Skolan applies to open new schools

Internationella Engelska Skolan i Sverige AB (IES) has applied to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) for permission to establish and run five new schools. Each application is for permission to open from 2019 or later and to educate students from pre-school until the end of middle school. The applications relate to plans to open schools for grades F-9 in Österåker, Östersund, Skellefteå, Huddinge (Länna) and Ekerö. These applications are the first step in the process and allow for decisions to be made at a later stage about whether to go ahead with each school and which year-groups to open. IES has also applied for permission to expand two current schools by introducing grades F-3 in Halmstad and Huddinge from 2019 onwards.

Jörgen Stenquist, Vice CEO of Internationella Engelska Skolan, is responsible for the expansion of the organisation.

He said: “These applications for permission to open are the first important step in the development of any planned schools. There is plenty for us still to consider when it comes to finding appropriate buildings, securing planning permission, and the work required to turn any buildings we do take into first-class educational facilities.”

IES works to create good working relationships with municipalities to ensure favorable conditions for long-term partnerships.

Mr Stenquist said: “In each case we aim to open a school which compliments the existing municipal schools, offering families who choose to study with Internationella Engelska Skolan an alternative when it comes to education. Half of the education at IES schools is carried out in English and half in Swedish, while the schools follow the Swedish national curriculum.

“When it comes to Österåker, Ekerö and Länna we know there is a high level of interest from parents and students, as large numbers of students from those municipalities already attend our existing nearby schools. Opening new schools in these places would take pressure off some very oversubscribed schools. Students also won’t have to travel as far to attend one of our schools.

“We have previously announced our plan to open a new school in Länna and there is a already an expression of interest queue on our website where parents can register their desire for a place at the school. We also have a conditional agreement, which is subject to planning permission and permission from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate.

”There is great interest from parents in Östersund and Skellefteå for a school with our profile to compliment the other great schools in the municipality and therefore we have initiated a dialogue with municipalities and landlords in both areas”

From the start in 1993, the organization’s founder, Mrs. Barbara Bergstrom, articulated three major convictions, which still characterize Internationella Engelska Skolan:

Command of English. English has become the world's common language, “the key to the world”. Children should learn to command the English language, not just know it, at an early age. Fluency is best achieved through language immersion, instructed by native English-speaking teachers in an international atmosphere.

A safe and orderly school environment where teachers can teach and students learn. Order, structure and safety are necessary prerequisites for learning. A school characterized by discipline and calm learning conditions also signals respect for the value of education. “Tough love” became the motto for a school which is strict in norms for behavior, but simultaneously conveys love for the students and a strong will to help each child succeed. Practicing good manners and proper behavior in a workplace combined with an appreciation of the positive results of hard work prepares students for success in adult life.

High academic expectations and aspirations. Our conviction is that every child can achieve success irrespective of social background. This ambition to support every student to realize his or her own potential applies to those requiring special support to meet standards as well as the most gifted learners.

Internationella Engelska Skolan is dedicated to supporting students of all backgrounds to become productive and responsible citizens, and to acquire the confidence and ambition to do the most with their talents.

Alliance Leaders Visit IES Uppsala

Alliance Leaders Visit IES Uppsala

Students at Internationella Engelska Skolan Uppsala had a chance to quiz political leaders from the centre-right Alliance parties during a visit to the school.

The four politicians, Conservative party leader Anna Kinberg Batra, Liberal party leader Jan Björklund, Annie Lööf, leader of the Centre party and Ebba Busch Thor, leader of the Christian Democrats, toured the school before taking questions from students, and eventually journalists.

Students asked about topics including Brexit, the military, housing issues in Sweden and the gender pay gap.

Students ask questions of the Alliance leaders in a session moderated by thier classmate Angelica Hagström (left).

Angelica Hagström, 14 of class 8A, was in charge of the event after she was chosen to moderate the session for her classmates.

She said: “It was really fun, but I was nervous as well, because If I said something wrong there would be so many people who heard. I felt a bit special when I was asked to moderate, and that is always nice.”

Angelica had been thinking about her own questions to ask before she was offered the chance to lead the discussion.

She said: "I thought I would ask about the grading systems.  Then when we were going into the class my social-science teacher asked if I could organise the questions a bit. I thought: 'that is no big deal, I can do that’.

“The politicians had good and well-thought-out answers so you knew what they meant, they spoke well. I think it is good to hear them speak directly, because then you can build your own opinion rather than being influenced by what is reported.”

Mr Östling, the school's Principal, welcoming Anna Kinberg Batra.

During the event the politicians presented their ideas of how education in Sweden could develop. They spoke of Pisa, how to make the teaching profession more attractive, education for those newly arrived in Sweden, an increase in the number of hours of teaching that students receive, encouraging parents to make a more active school choice and even externally moderated national tests.

Following on from their press conference the political leaders met with Mr Östling, the school’s Principal to discuss issues around education and to hear his views.

He said: "It was a great honour for us to host the visit and show our school to a few of the most influential politicians in the country. We are proud of our school and our students, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to have our students show their knowledge of politics by the excellent questions they asked. Personally, I am very pleased to have shared the story of IES Uppsala and to have been given the chance to discuss educational matters and concerns with people who can really make a difference on the national level."

Mr Östling and Mr Grant, head of year 7 and maths teacher, (right) hold a meeting with the four Alliance leaders.