Damian Brunker, speaking, second from right, at Almedalen
One of the most important education questions under discussion at Almedalen 2018 has been how Sweden will find the 77,000 extra teachers which are needed.
The lack of teachers across the country was the focus of a seminar organised by Friskolornas Riksförbund, where Damian Brunker, head of academics for Internationella Engelska Skolan joined other key figures including:
- Petter Hallman, AcadeMedia.
- Fredrik Lindgren, Kunskapsskolan.
- Mikael Svensson, Moderaterna.
- Svante Tideman, Lärarnas Riksförbund.
- Per-Arne Andersson, Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting.
At the moment there are 8,000 teachers who qualify from teacher training in Sweden per annum, but twice the number are required each year to meet the need for teachers in Sweden.
Digital solutions were discussed to save time for teachers, and share resources between schools, as well as the definite need to encourage more people into teaching in Sweden.
Mr Brunker spoke to the seminar about how Internationella Engelska Skolan can be a key part of the solution, as it brings hundreds of well qualified teachers to Sweden every year, mostly from English speaking countries.
He said: “We rely on international, English-speaking teachers to deliver our calm environment, that’s important for us, obviously we stand for bilingualism and command of the English language.
“The teachers we recruit have very strong didactic training in terms of classroom management, having strong relationships with the students, being the commander in the classroom, how to structure a lesson, understanding how to maximise those 60 minutes they have with the students in the classroom.
“There are 8000 international schools worldwide and an entire market of teachers fuelling those schools.
“It is a possible solution for the current crisis in Sweden with the shortage of teachers, and they are fantastic, well-trained teachers. On the point of integration, there is something magical about the students coming to our schools, we have a very high percent with a foreign background, 38 per cent. For these students, especially in areas like Skärholmen where 80 per cent have a foreign background, for them to come to school and be met by our diverse teaching body from all over the world is a very important part of our integration policy.
“Look out across the sea there are thousands of educators there who could be contributing positively to the lives of children in this country.”
The event at Almedalen followed hot on the heals of a recent seminar in Stockholm where Mr Brunker, IES's CEO Annette Brodin Rampe and Pascal Brisson, Principal of Internationella Engelska Skolan Sundsvall, joined counterparts and colleagues from Academedia, Kunskapsskolan, SKL and Svenskt Näringsliv for a seminar about success in school leadership.
The fully-booked event saw a large number of principals attend to share best practice and learn from one another.
A key topic for discussion was the need for schools to recruit far more staff than exist today, and how positive school leadership and digital tools can play their part in solving the needs of schools going forward.
Internationella Engelska Skolan is committed to being an important part of the solution for the teacher crisis, and working closely with others from both the municipal and free school sectors to drive forward high-quality teaching in Sweden.