Swedish education agency Skolverket has now published statistics from the 2016 national tests for middle schools. Internationella Engelska Skolan’s (IES) year 9 students have once again achieved significantly higher results than the national average.
In the subject of mathematics the difference between IES and municipal schools has grown. Some 60 percent of year nine students at IES managed to achieve top grades (A-C) which compared with 35 percent of students in municipally run schools in Sweden. In Swedish, 72 percent of students in IES took top grades, against 51 percent in municipal schools. In English the difference was 97 percent against 69.
As part of its quality assessment system, Internationella Engelska Skolan is now looking at the value added to its students. Irrespective of the socioeconomic composition, how much does the school help to raise the students' attainment level over a three-year period. This is a measure, which is strongly recommended by school researchers. Now, for the first time it is possible to compare the results achieved by students in grade nine in spring 2016 with the corresponding national tests that they undertook when they were in grade six in the spring of 2013. IES has found a way to statistically follow the students so that we can see the results for the exact same student body for both tests.
Comparing these results to find the value added shows that Internationella Engelska Skolan has a significant positive effect on the education of students. On the national test in mathematics in year six, the gap between IES and municipal schools in terms of the percentage of students achieving top grades A-C was 11 percentage points. Three years later this gap had grown to 29 percentage points, meaning a value added by IES of 18 percentage points. In the subject of Swedish, the value added is 12 percentage points while in English the difference is one percentage point (this is because 95 per cent of IES students already received top grades in year six after most of them had studied with IES for three years).
In the debate around education, it is often claimed that the positive outcomes from Internationella Engelska Skolan’s students are the result of the socioeconomic background of the students. This is said despite the fact that IES does not select its students, has many schools in poorer socio-economic areas and has a higher proportion of students with a foreign background than the average in Sweden. The new measure of value added validates that IES schools have a significant positive impact on students’ attainment. Students have shown a greater academic improvement, regardless of their background, at IES schools than they have in those run by municipalities.
Damian Brunker, Head of Academics for Internationella Engelska Skolan, comments: “It is clear from the results that the calm teaching environment and the work ethic that we offer, combined with the recruitment of qualified teachers from other countries, drives positive results among students, irrespective of social background.”