Queues have opened for new IES schools in Norrtälje, Vårby & Österåker

Queues have opened for new IES schools in Norrtälje, Vårby & Österåker

Families can now add their children to the queues for three new IES schools in the Stockholm region.

In August 2023 Internationella Engelska Skolan plans to open three new schools in NorrtäljeVårby and Österåker.

When full each of the three schools will teach around 600 students in grades F-9. It is anticipated that the schools will open with grades F-7 during the first year of operation, becoming full F-9 schools after two years.

The queues for these three schools have now opened and families can place their children in the queue using the links below.

Join the queue for IES Norrtälje

IES Norrtälje (above) is planned to be located centrally in Norrtälje. A schoolyard and a new sports facility will be built next to the school. 

Join the queue for IES Vårby

IES Vårby is planned for a new residential area of Huddinge, Vårby Udde, where Huddinge Municipality is planning to create approximately 2,000 homes, together with schools, preschools, nursing homes, shops and parks.

Join the queue for IES Österåker

IES Österåker is planned to open in the former Hackstaskolan building in central Österåker. Part of the school building will be demolished and replaced. Improvements will include a new manufacturing kitchen and a school restaurant. There is a gym hall next to the school building.

Each IES school has its own queue and families can choose to place their children in the queue for more than one IES school.

Read more about school choice

Queues now open for children born in 2021

Queues now open for children born in 2021

From February 1st families can place children born in 2021 in the queue for IES schools.

As a parent you have the right to make a choice about where your child will go to school. Internationella Engelska Skolan uses a queue, meaning the places are offered in the same order that students were placed in the queue. We also consider whether they will have a sibling in the school at the same time (syskonförtur).

In our schools children can be placed in the queue from the first of February in the calendar year after they are born.  That means that from February 1, 2022 families can place children who were born during 2021 in the queue for the school or schools that they would like their child to attend.

This means 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.

Every IES school has its own queue. All IES school queues can be found here.

For more information please contact the school that you are interested in or visit You can also contact us by email at

Our teachers are key to us providing the highest quality education

Our teachers are key to us providing the highest quality education

Teachers are the most important factor to ensure that our students are able to go out into life with knowledge and insight. Therefore, it is positive that school issues are always discussed. In recent weeks, part of the debate about schools has considered the rules at Internationella Engelska Skolan, conditions for our international teachers and the work environment. We know that this debate has raised questions and would like to answer some of them.

We offer bilingual teaching of the highest quality and so we recruit teachers who can contribute new knowledge from some of the world's best education programmes,  sharing best practice, diversity of experience, and perspectives from both Sweden and the wider world. Approximately 1,000 of our 2,300 teachers have English as their mother tongue.

One of our most important promises is that students should be allowed to learn and that teachers should be allowed to be teachers. We invest a lot in building teams around the student where different specialist competencies work together to create the best learning environment. We have 3,500 employees at our 43 schools, of which 2,300 are teachers. Together with student health teams, after-school educators, librarians and school management, they work every day to create a safe study environment. The fact that each person works with their profession is a guiding principle in our work.

We know from our annual employee survey that IES is a valued workplace and employer. 9 out of 10 staff would recommend IES to others.

At the same time in schools, as in the rest of society, the pandemic is a grim reality that affects operations in depth. The situation in schools is pressured. To ensure students' education, even while many employees are ill or in quarantine, colleagues cover for one another, just as they do in workplaces in all sectors across the country. During some time periods, we have had up to fifty percent staff absence at some of our schools, but lessons have continued.

IES’ head of HR Catarina Friborg said: “It has been fantastic to see how colleagues have stood up for each other and tried to create normality for the students in a completely different situation. It has required a lot from everyone and it continues to be tiring.”

In order to maintain a good working environment as far as possible, we obviously have systems and processes in place. We always follow laws and regulations and we follow Almega's collective agreement for independent schools. Here, the employer has the ultimate responsibility. Should it turn out that someone has been treated incorrectly, we always take action.

The work environment is something we create together. IES has a responsibility to ensure that there are systems in place to safeguard that we follow laws and regulations, catch any problems early and remedy them before they have time to grow and have consequences. This work includes an annual employee survey, an independent whistleblower function, ongoing dialogue with the unions locally and centrally, and major investments in leadership.

Ms Friborg said: “Every day school principals ensure that our employees have the right conditions to do their jobs. We are extremely careful when we recruit principals, because we know how important it is to have a leadership that supports and encourages people.”

All IES school leaders have support from other experienced managers and access to further education in a number of areas, such as our core values, student health, labour law, quality, school law and safety. Newly appointed school leaders are also supported through an internal mentorship program. In addition, IES has run a leadership academy for future leaders within the organisation for several years.

“The recruitment of our international teachers takes place primarily through visits to universities in various English-speaking countries. This means that many of the teachers who come to us are relatively young, with the latest in education fresh in their minds. But we also recruit teachers with longer experience,” said Ms Friborg.

IES has a collective agreement and follows rules regarding working hours and remuneration. In addition to annual salary revisions, we make a continual analysis of the salary situation for different salary groups, to ensure a good salary development at an overall level.

IES teachers are on average younger than the national average. 66 percent of IES teachers are under the age of 40, compared with 32 percent in the country. Most of our international teachers come directly from the university and this affects the starting salary. As a whole, we are well in line with the national wage situation.

IES has a staff turnover of 19 percent, which is in line with the rest of the country and significantly lower than other staff-intensive industries. A sign that more people are choosing to stay within IES (and in Swedish schools) is that this figure is also gradually declining.

Ms Friborg added: “Our staff turnover is in line with the rest of the country. Many of our international teachers see it as an opportunity to work abroad for a few years, together with colleagues from other countries. Some return home after a couple of years, others choose to stay longer, which is gratifying.”

Why our school rules include a dress code

Why our school rules include a dress code

In recent days, there have been many reports in the media about the IES dress code. As we received many questions we asked IES’s Head of Education (Skolchef) Robin Kirk Johansson (right) to tell us a little more about what it means.

She said: “According to the Education Act (Skollagen), all schools must have rules that are prepared together with the students. For us, it is part of our effort to create a safe school with a focus on learning”.

At Internationella Engelska Skolan, we see the school as a workplace where everyone behaves in a way that creates the best possible conditions for teaching and learning. We treat others as we want to be treated - with respect and support. We keep our school clean, calm and safe. We arrive on time for school and for all school activities. We walk indoors. Electronic equipment that can interfere with the teaching is kept in our lockers during school hours. We dress in a way that is suitable for a workplace. We do not bring drugs, weapons or other illegal objects to school. We only eat in the dining room or in the cafeteria. We contribute to a calm and inviting environment in the lunch room. We always behave honestly, with integrity and we do not cheat.

The school rules, which are developed together with the students at each school, give great individual freedom in each student’s choice of clothes, and this is true whatever their gender identity.

Ms Kirk Johansson explained: ”The starting point for our school rules is that the school environment should feel safe for all students. For example, it can be about not wearing a shirt with offensive messages, drug advertisements, pictures of weapons, sexist messages or those which incite anger against ethnic groups.”

The IES website says that you should dress for a workplace, but who decides what that means in practice and how does it work?

Ms Kirk Johansson said: “Each principal interprets and formulates their school's rules together with the students, usually through the student council. This means that it can look a little different in different schools.

“When working with children, and in the school world, you may need to give concrete examples to explain abstract concepts. Principals and staff at our schools take joint responsibility for creating a dialogue with students and their families about the rules of order at the start of school and throughout the year.”

The school's task is to prepare students for life in many areas, and to support them as individuals, in close cooperation with their families.

“Of course, everyone should feel safe and understand why the school rules exist, to foster a school environment with a focus on learning. It is a central part of IES's operations and our mission as educators and greatly informs our pedagogic system.” Said Ms Kirk Johansson.

It's about mutual respect

The curriculum sets out that the school prepares students for adulthood. IES school rules state that we dress in a way that is suitable for a workplace.

It is about mutual respect, between students and between teachers and students.

That is also why we have school rules that say that everyone should dress in a way that is not offensive to other students.

“Predictability in the rules that apply, as well as security and order, are central creating a safe environment, which we know that most people within IES appreciate so much” Ms Kirk Johansson concludes.

Creating a safe and orderly environment

Creating a safe and orderly environment

A safe and calm learning environment – that is the promise to every student, teacher and parent in the IES family. At the core of this collective effort is a commitment to a clear structure, daily routines, and good communication.

IES’ head of pastoral Jeremy Elder works with questions of student well-being and safety every day. “My role relates to social and emotional well-being, student behaviour, school culture and the school environment. It looks at our promise to provide a safe and calm environment where teachers can teach, and students learn” he said.

A lot of this work revolves around building trust and creating strong relationships between students, teachers and parents. Clear channels of communication and strong support systems are key to making that happen. Giving students an welcoming and safe space to learn and share in is essential to their well-being, and the IES framework enables teachers to catch any issues early on and give every student the support they need.

“It is also my job to provide management and staff with resources and training to face any societal issues we might have. We have to stay up-to-date and ahead of the game in order to know how to tackle these issues”, Jeremy Elder said.

In order to make those resources readily available, Jeremy Elder has established the pastoral library including guides, seminars and policy documents to help in this work. In addition, Mr Elder provides monthly ‘pastoral updates’, where he reports on what is going on throughout IES. 

“I produce them because I want people to reach out to me, to share ideas. We want to link the schools together, so that they don’t feel like isolated islands.”

All of this is vital, culture-building work. It is a continuous process of listening, learning, adjusting, and improving.  The work affects all parts of the organisation.

“It affects students, in terms of their well-being, their ability to study and the pride they take in their school. But it also affects the teachers in their well-being, their ability to teach, and the pride they take in their workplace. Of course, it affects the parents, who are sending their children to us, and who need to feel that their child is in a safe environment”, Jeremy Elder said.

Our shared values hold IES together. By making it clear what IES wants to accomplish, and committing to it, everyone is held accountable.

“It’s not just talking about it – but acting upon it.”