News | 29 March 2023
The success of IES is built on our ability to create schools that are effective workplaces where teachers can teach and students learn. We ensure this through clear processes and procedures for identifying, recruiting and developing the best and most engaged leaders and teachers.
Clear leadership – the important role of the principal
Internationella Engelska Skolan is strongly driven by its core values, which permeate the culture and guide the organisation. The most important duty of the organisation’s leaders is to inspire people and ensure they uphold our core values in their work. That’s why IES must recruit principals – the primary leaders of each school – who live and lead according to these values. The role of the principals is to ensure that IES’ core values are converted into actions. Principals have full responsibility for their individual schools and staff.
It is their duty to recruit competent staff, motivate them to work unfailingly to foster the students’ academic and social development and ensure that they comply with IES’ core values. They recruit teachers who are passionate about their subjects and who inspire their students. IES principals are present throughout the school day, from welcoming students in the morning to being around in the corridors and the dining hall during the course of the day. In other words, the principals have a clear role with a great deal of responsibility.
So that new school principals have the best possible start and a chance to live up to the high expectations placed on them, they take a number of introduction courses during their first few months. These are focused on important matters including student health, labour law, quality, the Education Act and safety. Since there are 46 schools there are also 46 leaders, and this gives the principals a unique opportunity to collaborate and share experiences. Along with the other leaders, and with the same focus and conviction, they work regularly and consistently to improve the schools.
They are also given support through an internal mentorship programme. For the last several years, IES has run a leadership programme for a number of years for future leaders within the organisation.
A stimulating environment for teachers
IES works actively to be an attractive employer, a place where competetive employment terms and a good working environment are a given. Providing a safe and stimulating working environment is of vital importance for attracting competent and engaged employees to the schools.
A good working environment for the teachers requires clarity in how things are done so that everybody works according to the same principles inside and outside the classroom. It also means ensuring that teachers never feel alone in their professional role, which can sometimes be a vulnerable position. The IES model entails having support staff in place, including a team focused on student health and guidance which works alongside teachers and supports them in matters that fall outside of their specialist areas. This allows the teachers to focus on teaching and makes work more enjoyable. The IES organisation also consists of heads of department and heads of years to ensure quality in teaching and in the school environment. This type of organisational structure is unique to IES compared with other schools, and it is also one of the keys to our strong academic results and high number of students who qualify for upper secondary school.
Recently recruited teachers commence their employment with an introductory course, which focuses on IES’ core values and methodology. For international teachers, the programme also includes the Swedish school system and national curriculum. Every academic year begins with an introductory week when we bring all employees together to ensure engagement in IES and the school’s core values and focus on the areas of development for the year ahead.
IES recruits many talented teachers from other countries and helps them to settle in so that their introduction to Sweden goes as smoothly as possible. For instance, IES gives them information on how the Swedish system and society work and how to find somewhere to live. We also help with arranging visas and opening bank accounts. Many teachers choose to remain at IES and make Sweden their long-term home. Teachers from other countries are often attracted to Sweden by the beautiful nature and secure conditions the country offers, and to IES due to our profile and culture. Recruiting teachers from outside of Sweden is also a way to deal with the teacher shortage in Sweden.
Staff turnover within IES remains stable. Across all employees it was 20 per cent in 2021/2022 (19 per cent in the previous year) and for permanent employees it was 13 per cent (same as in the previous year).
IES works with a partner for preventive and rehabilitative health care and offers employees a support hotline that is available 24/7. To promote transparency and responsible behaviour, IES uses a whistleblower function provided by an independent third party. IES carries out an employee pay survey to ensure that there is no unjustified unequal pay between women and men.
To read the full quality report, click here.