An educational seminar in a room of many school leaders, saw the launch of a new book, telling the story of the first 25 years of Internationella Engelska Skolan.
The book, Tough Love, tells the story of the challenges that needed to be overcome, and how the organisation grew from one woman’s vision of high-quality education, to an educational company which today teaches around 26,000 students in 36 schools across Sweden.
It also shows the effect that this vision of education and dedication has had on the Swedish school system.
At the event Mrs Bergström paid tribute to her husband, Dr Hans Bergström, and the work that he put in to collect information for the book.
She said: "This book is very very methodically researched in every aspect. The book is not about me, it is about entrepreneurship, it is about our organisation.”
Turning her attention towards the principals in the room she said: "In my view, leadership is everything and you as principals you embody your leadership skills in everything that you do all the time. Hans has shown how important that is for everything, not just schools."
The seminar saw a panel of several researchers comment on the book and how it interacts with their findings.
Professor Torkel Klingberg spoke about working memory and grit, Docent Henrik Jordahl about the importance of good leadership in schools and Professor Pontus Braunerhjelm about entrepreneurship and in particular female entrepreneurship in Sweden and around the world under the period of time covered by the book.
The book is written in Swedish, but with an extensive summary in English.
The dust-jacket states:
For over a quarter century, Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) has offered families a clear alternative for education. This is the history of how IES started and has evolved, from a beginning where the founder had to ask for donated furniture and clean the school herself on weekends to manage its economy – to a company now operating 36 schools, with 26 000 students and an annual turnover of 2,5 billion SEK.
It is a story about schools in Sweden, but also about leadership and enduring entrepreneurship. IES has grown under constant challenges from school authorities against its very core ideas for order and success in a school. Several times, authorities have threatened to close down the school because of differences in views. The quality of the IES schools and the trust and support from parents have been crucial.
The book provides strong recommendations for education, based on deep experience. It also has a wider interest, for anyone concerned with the conditions for effective leadership and the challenges a small company goes through when growing.
The book is available to buy from book shops, and can also be ordered online via Bokus - https://www.bokus.com/bok/9789188193711/tough-love-internationella-engelska-skolan-de-forsta-25-aren/ or Adlibris - https://www.adlibris.com/se/bok/tough-love-internationella-engelska-skolan-de-forsta-25-aren-9789188193711