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National Tests see IES students shine

National Tests see IES students shine

Grade nine national test results for 2019 have seen students from IES achieve strong results.

Figures for 2019 have now been released by the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket). They show that a greater proportion of Internationella Engelska Skolan students have again managed to achieve top grades (A-C) for every subject tested, when compared to the average for Sweden, the average for municipal schools, and the average for free schools.

Damian Brunker, head of quality and academics for Internationella Engelska Skolan said: “The national tests are the most credible measure of knowledge which exists in the Swedish educational system.”

“This is the outcome of years of hard work by more than 3,600 grade nine students, and their teachers, at IES schools throughout Sweden. These results represent hours of study and individual effort, which has helped student after student to  do better than they perhaps thought possible.”

The pattern of a greater proportion of IES students earning a better grade held for all subjects for which there are national tests, including all science and social science subjects.

In grade six, where only maths, Swedish and English are tested, a higher proportion of IES students also achieved the top grades, although the difference was less pronounced.

Mr Brunker added: “IES students come from a range of backgrounds, which usually represent the area the school is in. We do not choose our students, they choose us, and we have schools in both traditional middle-class areas but also in tougher areas. 

"The results clearly show the positive effects of excellent teaching, setting high academic expectations, and a safe and orderly school environment where teachers can focus their energies on teaching, and students are able to concentrate without distractions.

“This is what IES offers its students, and the results show that it is this quality of teaching and learning that can help any student to achieve success, irrespective of their background.”

We will continue to publish statistics about our schools

On Tuesday, December 17, a ruling was published following an appeal by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges Kommuner och Regioner, SKR), against the decision of Statistics Sweden (SCB) not to provide information about, among other things, grades and student composition at free schools in cases where there is only one free school in a municipality.

The judgment can be interpreted in several ways and it is unclear at the time of publication what statistics the National Agency for Education (Skolverket) will provide in future if the judgment gains legal force. We believe SCB’s interpretation of the situation is incorrect. It is only possible to draw limited conclusions about a school's economy from these statistics. In contrast the statistics are a very important tool for parents when choosing a school and assessing the quality of teaching.

It is therefore of great importance that statistics continue to be produced for all schools, following to the same methodology, and by an objective agency, so that these statistics can be considered credible and comparable. Similarly, access to the statistics is important for journalists, debaters and researchers who have a role in holding schools to account. The collection of statistics has worked very well so far, has provided a good level of transparency, and has ensured the ability to compare and review all schools, both municipal and independent.

As a listed company, we go even further in our transparency as being listed requires that we publish a quarterly report with an income statement and balance sheet, which is also available on our website. It is possible to read how we use school funding (skolpeng), which benefits both the public and other organisations with which we work, who can judge that we are financially stable. Of course, being transparent with financial results creates debate in the media, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and, of course, businesses that are financed by tax money must show how they use this funding, at least annually - this should apply to all schools.

We note that the National Agency for Education is also concerned about the decision of the Administrative Court (Kammarrätten) in the matter. We hope that SKR will be granted permission to appeal at the Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta Förvaltningsdomstolen) so that the matter can be resolved and given a final interpretation. We await the final decision in the case.

Whatever happens as a result of the verdict, Internationella Engelska Skolan will continue to publish the same information as before and we hope that we together with other independent schools and the National Agency for Education will find another common solution so that comparisons between schools can continue to be made.

IES får inga hyresrabatter eller mark från kommuner

I flera artiklar de senaste dagarna har olika skribenter påstått att IES får hyresrabatter och/eller rabatterad mark från kommuner och därmed gynnas på ett otillbörligt sätt. Detta stämmer inte vilket vi har påtalat för dessa media. Vi får lokalkostnadsersättning från respektive kommun enligt de lagar och regler som gäller. Vi köper ingen mark från kommuner utan tecknar hyresavtal med olika byggföretag som köper mark. 

Det behöver byggas många nya skolor i Sverige de kommande åren för att möta det ökande antalet elever. Att bygga en ny skola kostar inte sällan mer än 500 miljoner kronor och medför därför en högre hyra än äldre byggnader. Frågan i många kommuner handlar därför om hur de ska kunna hantera denna investeringsutmaning. Vi arbetar därför tillsammans med kommunerna för att hitta lösningar som möjliggör nya skolor med höga krav på kvalitet och utformning samtidigt som skattemedel hanteras med försiktighet.  

Den lokalkostnadsersättning som ges av kommuner till fristående aktörer sätts normal baserat på kommunens kostnader för befintliga skolbyggnader. Om kommunens skolor är äldre och inte har renoverats under senare år, kan det uppstå ett stort glapp mellan faktisk hyreskostnad och kommunens ersättning. Om detta glapp är uppenbart orimligt tillåter lagen att kommunen ersätter aktören högst för faktisk hyreskostnad. 

Internationella Engelska Skolan har utvecklat en metodik för att bygga nya skolor kostnadseffektivt. De nya skolorna utformas utifrån de behov som elever, lärare och kommun har och utifrån den svenska läroplanen avseende ämnen och antalet timmar i olika årskurser. Genom att ytorna används effektivt kan vi få ner byggkostnaderna och bygga till en lägre kostnad än vad många kommuner lyckas göra och därigenom spara skattebetalarna pengar. I många kommuner klarar vi finansieringen även för nybyggda skolor till kommunens genomsnittliga lokalkostnadsersättning och ingen extra ersättning behövs.

Emellertid är detta omöjligt i vissa kommuner där lokalkostnadsersättningen är uppenbart för låg. Då är ett ytterligare tillskott nödvändigt för att det över huvud taget ska gå att bygga en ny skola - oavsett vem som är huvudman. Vi tecknar upp till 25 åriga hyresavtal med fastighetsägare och tar därför betydande risk. Genom att kommunen tillåts ersätta den aktör som tar risken och inte alla aktörer när en ny skola byggs – oavsett om det är en kommun eller en fristående aktör, slipper kommunerna betala oskäligt höga ersättningar till huvudmän, som inte har lika höga kostnader för sina lokaler till följd av nybyggnation eller renovering. Detta är en fullt rimlig princip från ett samhällsekonomiskt perspektiv oavsett vad man har för uppfattning om fristående aktörer då det totalt sett blir det billigare för skattebetalarna när kommunen använder privata aktörer för att lösa en del av skolutmaningen. 

Ett förtydligande avseende lokalkostnadsersättningen och undantag gjordes i skolförordningen 2018. Tidigare utbildningsminister Gustav Fridolin har i en skrivelse redogjort för detta vilket kan läsas på riksdagens hemsida via denna länk:  https://www.riksdagen.se/sv/dokument-lagar/dokument/svar-pa-skriftlig-fraga/skolors-lokalkostnader_H512720

IES students join New York Academy of Sciences

IES students join New York Academy of Sciences

(Junior Academy Members: L-R Elias and Victor from IES Länna)

Eight students from five IES schools have joined a prestigious group of young international scientists and mathematicians.

The New York Academy of Sciences started its Junior Academy to encourage talented students from around the world to work together, with companies and experts to find innovative solutions to global challenges. Now the group has recruited students from IES schools in Johanneberg, Liljeholmen, Huddinge, Sundsvall and Länna for this STEM project (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Students taking part in the project compete in challenges over 70 days with topics around some of the greatest issues humanity faces today, including issues around public health, nutrition, hygiene, climate change and energy, among others.

Two of the students taking part are Victor and Elias from IES Länna. 

Elias said: “I have always loved to come up with solutions and design work, I love these subjects and working in groups, so I can learn from all of these different people from around the world. That is the biggest part of it, you get to be part of this community and solve problems with people.

"The school told me about this opportunity, I got help from my teachers to write my application, and one of my teachers wrote a recommendation letter. I couldn’t have written such a good application without all that help.”

Victor added: "I will learn to work in teams and with people from all over the world, make friends, and learn about people with different abilities.  For example, right now I am not good at coding but I might get a lot better and learn more, maybe develop interests I do not have today.

"When I talked to my parents, they weren’t too sure I would succeed. When I told them that I got in they were really happy, they said congratulations and that I could choose dinner.  I chose kebab, of course.”

Being part of the programme means that the students taking part are members of the New York Academy of Sciences, which once had Charles Darwin and Thomas Edison as members.

The students work in their free time to find the best solution to the challenges which have been posed.  Those taking part choose who they want to work with, through a global network where they can create a profile which lists their skills and interests.

Now both Victor and Elias have been approached by other students from around the world, keen to enlist their help for the challenges.

Elias said: “I have a lot of messages telling me that they want to learn things together and asking if I want to team up. A lot from Sweden, but also from Pakistan and Egypt, there are a lot from those countries and India. I’m amazed that they want to learn from me and team up with me, it just feels good”

Mr Pruden, academic manager at IES Länna, has been one of those encouraging the two students to apply to take part.

He said: “We were really hoping that one of the two might get in, and when we got the emails to say that they would both take part, we had an academic euphoria. It was a nice feeling and great to see how much both of these students really lit up."

Those teams who win a challenge are given an all-expenses-paid trip to the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City for the annual Global STEM Alliance Summit, where they receive prizes and special recognition.

That is something Victor has his eye on, but he thinks this year will be spent learning how the system works, so that he has a greater chance of winning challenges in the years to come.

He said: “Of course it would be really fun to go to New York but I have plenty of time to win a challenge, I can be part of the community for five years.  Now I will focus on learning the community and seeing how it works.”

IES wishes all the students taking part the best of luck and hopes that they reach New York.

IES plans schools for Värmdö and Sigtuna, opening August 2021

IES plans schools for Värmdö and Sigtuna, opening August 2021

IES today announced two newly built F-9 schools, planned to open in August 2021, in Sigtuna and Värmdö. 

IES Sigtuna (pictured above) will be built in Sigtuna Stadsängar, a new and sustainable area being built just outside central Sigtuna.  The school will be close to lake Mälaren and woods nearby, and will have good transportation links to both Sigtuna and Märsta.

IES Värmdö will be built in Charlottendal, just southwest of Gustavsberg centre. The school will be centrally located by a new residential area, with good access to public transport. 

Cecilia Marlow, interim CEO of Internationella Engelska Skolan, said: “We are happy to be part of Sigtuna and Värmdö municipalities’ investments to provide more schools and quality education for all students, regardless of background. Many parents have campaigned for an IES school in these areas for a long time, and it is therefore gratifying that we will now build two brand-new schools there. We look forward to welcoming all students to brand new premises where, in a safe an orderly environment, they can be motivated to do their best.”

 

IES Värmdö, planned for August 2021

Families can already register their interest in places at the two schools by visiting these links:
IES Sigtuna - https://sms.schoolsoft.se/engelska/jsp/public/right_public_studentqueue.jsp?school=iessi
IES Värmdö - https://sms.schoolsoft.se/engelska/jsp/public/right_public_studentqueue.jsp?school=iesva

The queues for our schools operate on a first come, first-served basis, and those who apply sooner are more likely to be offered a place. The first offers of places are usually sent out in the spring the same year the school opens.

As the projects progress we will launch websites for each school, which will provide more information to families in the local area.
 

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