Three IES Teams head to national mathematics competition final.

When the national final of the challenging Pythagoras Quest maths contest is held in Malmö in June, students from three IES schools will be taking part.

Internationella Engelska Skolan in Nacka, Sundsvall and Uppsala will each be sending a team of three students after they won their regional finals, and the chance to represent their county (län) at the national event.

The students had to go through several rounds in order to reach the national final.  First they needed to pass an hour-long qualification test without the use of a calculator or any other electronic equipment.  The three students from each school who performed best in their qualification test were then chosen to attend the district final, to see which schools would have the right to go forward to the national final.

The regional champions from IES Sundsvall
(L-R) Filip Borgström, Klara Marntell and Isavelle Sahlin

Isabelle Sahlin, represented IES Sundsvall alongside Klara Marntell and Filip Borgström. She said: “The regional final was really exciting. After two rounds the result was still not decided and we had no idea how we stood. It felt good though, we had found the answer to every question and we were pretty confident in our calculations.

“When we solved the tie breaker in just a minute, it was so quick that we felt like we had done something wrong, but we took a chance and submitted our answer. Because we were so fast we won. We hadn’t dared to hope to win, so we felt a huge amount of joy when they called out our team name.”

IES Nacka will progress after students Wilhelm Sigurd, Viktor Lundqvist, and Alex Thelander won the Stockholm regional final.

Viktor said: “It was very exciting to win the Stockholm final. We had practiced before the regional final, but we knew the competition was hard so we did not expect to win. In the end it was very close. It’s going to be great to travel down to Malmö and compete against schools from all over the country. The competition was tough in the Stockholm regional final, and we hope that it will be the same in Malmö. It will also be nice to meet and compete against our fellow IES students."

Winners from Stockholm:
(L-R) Wilhelm Sigurd, Viktor Lundqvist, and Alex Thelander of IEs Nacka. 

Alex added: "We think that we will perform well in the national final. The questions will be substantially more difficult, but we think that with enough practice and hard work we will be able to solve most. The competition was very tough in Stockholm because of its high population, so we are already prepared for facing off against other good teams. We will do our best, but in the end we will be happy regardless of how it goes since we never expected to get nearly this far."

Now, the three teams from IES will face off against one another and 11 other teams from around the country in the national final.

Ted Buzzelli, the organisation’s subject facilitator for maths, said: “At Internationella Engelska Skolan we believe in helping every student to meet their full academic potential.  While for some students this means giving them extra support to help them to understand difficult concepts, for others that means providing additional challenges, and helping them to go further than the syllabus suggests.

"Competitions like Pythagoras Quest are a fantastic way for students to challenge themselves further.  It is always beneficial for students to see just how much they are capable of, especially when working as a team.  I am once again delighted to see IES represented by no fewer than three teams in the national finals of Pythagoras Quest.  I am sure that colleagues and students from schools across IES will join me in wishing the best to these talented students."

The final will be held on Friday, June 2nd, in Malmö. 

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.”

Read more from VA:

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.