Placing newborn children in the queue

A new system in place from January 2018 will make the process of applying to Internationella Engelska Skolan’s schools throughout Sweden fairer than ever.

Parents will now be asked to wait until February 1, the year after their child is born, to make an application for a place.

This new intake process will ensure that children born in December have the same chance to obtain a place as those born in January.

The move has been made to counter a problem which saw classes becoming oversubscribed before children reached their first birthday.

Fredrik Åkerman, acting CEO of Internationella Engelska Skolan, said: “We have always been proud to operate our queues on a first-come, first-served basis, to ensure that every family had the same chance of obtaining a place.  In the past the only exception to this has been one to ensure that siblings from the same family can attend the same school.

“We have become a victim of our own success. Today there are 154,000 applications to our queue, which puts a huge amount of pressure on the 24,000 school places we are able to offer.  Some of our schools are seven-times oversubscribed every year, and we have seen a trend where parents are registering earlier and earlier to ensure their children receive a place.

“In the past we have sought to relieve pressure from the queue by opening new schools, for example we opened four new schools this year, but there is a limit to how many schools we can open each year, particularly as we refuse to compromise on quality, and so something else needed to change."

The new system will apply to any children born from 1 January 2018.  When applying to add a newborn child to the queue, parents will now receive a message asking them to wait until 1 February the year after their child was born.

This will mean that all families have the same chance of getting a place at the school, whether their new children have been born just before or immediately after new years eve.

Mr Åkerman explained: “Several schools highlighted to us that the system we have always used would soon no longer function. Queues at these schools were filling up before any children had reached their first birthday, despite the fact that these schools start in grade four or six. This is a trend that was not going to go away, so we needed to find a solution.

“We know that some parents will be disappointed that they cannot register their newborn children right away, but it is important that we create a system which is fair for everyone.”

The new system is the second change to the queue at IES schools in recent years.  This year some IES schools are trialling a new system introduced by the government to allow schools to allow a percentage of students who are newly arrived in Sweden to use a special separate queue to enter the school.  This is also a change which has been made for fairness, as these students have not had the possibility to apply until they received their national identity number (personnummer).

To apply for a place at one of the 34 existing schools Internationella Engelska Skolan runs in Sweden, or the new schools we will open next year, visit:

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