Internationella Engelska Skolan Skellefteå officially opened

Internationella Engelska Skolan Skellefteå officially opened

"Welcome to your school." - Frederik Granström, principal of IES Skellefteå, and Cecilia Marlow, interim CEO of IES, planting a ceremonial apple tree.

IES opened its 37th school, in Skellefteå, during a grand opening ceremony attended by students, parents and staff.

The school in Skellefteå is opening with around 240 students in grades F-9, and will grow over time. It has been opened following a close dialogue with the local municipality, to compliment the schools they run, help attract families with an international background to the town, and above all to provide more school places which offer students a high-quality of education.

Before planting an apple tree in IES tradition the school’s principal, Mr Granström, told students: "Welcome to your school, I promise you that this will be a school where you can feel safe every day.  This will be a school which helps you to develop academically and also socially, with a view to the future. We live in a global society and the borders outside of Sweden will be open to you.  This is a school where you can be exactly who you are and be respected for that.”

Turning to the parents he added: “It is with a great sense of responsibility that I promise that I will do my very best to take care of your children and their education when they are with me, thank you for choosing IES Skellefteå and thanks for being here today.”

IES has been teaching children since 1993 and today has 26 000 students in Sweden. The organisation follows the clear convictions set out by the organisation’s founder, Barbara Bergström, about what constitutes a really good school, where children can develop to their fullest potential.

The school will provide a bilingual education to children from Skellefteå and the local area, following the IES promise to help students learn to command both the English and Swedish languages.

As with other IES schools it will also provide a safe and calm environment, so that students can enjoy their time at school and concentrate on what they are being taught.

Cecilia Marlow, interim CEO of Internationella Engelska Skolan, told the audience: "That means that we can use every minute of the lesson, it means that it is a safe environment to learn in and to teach in. It also means that your children will gain the most knowledge during their years in this school.

“Thank you for entrusting us with the most valuable thing you have, your children, it is a very big responsibility, but I can personally vouch for that your children are in very good hands with Mr Granström and his team."

Student volunteers proudly held up the ribbon for Mr Granström, to cut, before he welcomed everyone into the building.

Mr Granström with students, cutting the ribbon to officially open the school.

Ten-year-old Maya Gillerstedt (pictured above, furthest left) was one of the children who held up the ribbon. Although she has a Swedish-background, she has lived in Canada for the past eight years, and her lessons so far have been in English.  She is now looking forward to a fully bilingual education.

She said: “I like the school, the teachers are nice and I think it is a very good building.  I think I have a head start in maths and English, I might be a bit lower in Swedish because it is not what I am used to in school, but I know the teachers will help and I am a pretty quick learner.

“I don’t know the national anthem, so I need to learn that."

The ceremony concluded as parents watched their children line up by class, to be led into their new school by their teachers. Everyone who attended the opening ceremony also had the opportunity to tour the building, which has been transformed into a bright and modern educational environment.

With the school officially open students will start learning, get to know one another, and embark on a journey which will see them put on blue caps and gowns as they graduate at the end of year nine.

Norran subscribers can also read how the paper covered the school's opening here:

Hundreds of new staff welcomed ahead of autumn term

Hundreds of new staff welcomed ahead of autumn term

More than 650 freshly-appointed IES educators from 37 schools gathered for an inspirational conference at Karolinska Institutet’s Aula Medica.

This year IES is opening a new school in Skellefteå, while several existing schools are also growing. To meet the demand for places at IES schools, hundreds of new staff have been interviewed and chosen in Sweden and internationally, mostly from English-speaking countries.

All New Staff Day is about welcoming our new staff, sharing our ethos with them and exploring what sets Internationella Engelska Skolan apart when it comes to education in Sweden.   

New staff have the chance to gain a deeper understanding of what we stand for, and how we make our ethos a reality every day in our schools.

During her presentation, Cecilia Marlow, interim CEO of IES (pictured, right) said: "If I was a number of decades younger I would have chosen a different path, I would have become a teacher, that is how inspiring it is to work in this fantastic company, with all these schools and all these amazing school leaders. I feel very confident in saying that you have made an excellent choice.

“We are value-based, our culture and our ethos is constantly present. We also have a strong and visible leadership, so you and your students will see your principal a lot. We see our students and we care, we offer support if needed and we also challenge the most able students. We have more structure and discipline than other schools and we also have more love and kindness.  The two things go hand in hand.”

Educators at the event heard about our attitude towards collaboration and team working, how we work to be inclusive and how we best understand the needs of our students. Different cultural expectations were also discussed, as Swedish teaching and non-teaching staff rubbed shoulders with their new colleagues from other countries.

New and returning staff are now preparing for the start of term, when 26 000 students will step through the doors, ready to learn.

Vi betalar konkurrenskraftiga löner i linje med den lokala arbetsmarknaden för lärare

Den statistik som Skolvärlden i dag den 15 augusti 2019 publicerat tar inte hänsyn till flera väsentliga faktorer i sin jämförelse. 

  1. IES siffra inkluderar bara baslön till förstelärare. Med tillägg för lärarlönelyftet och andra tillägg för ansvar en förstelärare kan ha är lönen för förstelärare i IES i snitt 41 700 kr per månad. 
  2. IES har i snitt yngre lärare än snittet för förstelärare i landet. I den statistik Skolvärlden publicerat kan utläsas att snittåldern för förstelärare är över 45 år. Cirka 75% av IES förstelärare är under 45 år. För förstelärare i ålderskategorin över 45 år ökar lönen med ytterligare cirka 2 000 kronor per månad.
  3. Vi betalar enbart förstelärartillägget till de lärare som tillbringar stora mängder tid på att interagera direkt med studenter, snarare än rektorer eller biträdande rektorer som eventuellt undervisar några timmar. Det betyder att vi inte ger denna extrafinansiering till de bäst betalda bland våra anställda, vilket också påverkar snittet. Andra skolor kan fördela finansieringen på andra sätt.
  4. Som framgår av statistiken är det skillnader på lön över landet beroende på den lokala arbetsmarknaden. Det är även så för IES och vi anpassar lönerna till den lokala arbetsmarknaden. IES har 37 skolor från Skellefteå i norr till Lund i Söder, men rapporterar sin statistik som en huvudman. 

Vår ersättningspolitik är tydlig – vi tillhandahåller attraktiv ersättning som är i linje med arbetsmarknaden för lärare. Ersättningen för IES-personal är konkurrenskraftig och vi ser till att det förblir så, vilket innebär att vi kan rekrytera och behålla kvalificerade, engagerade och professionella lärare för att utbilda våra studenter.

Three new IES schools announced

Three new IES schools announced

An early concept sketch of how the school in Södra Änggården might look, by Okidoki Arkitekter

We are happy to announce plans to open three new schools, in Östersund and Upplands Väsby in August 2020, and Södra Änggården in Gothenburg in August 2022.

Cecilia Marlow, Interim CEO of Internationella Engelska Skolan, said: “Over the next few years close to 1,000 new schools need to be built in Sweden for the increasing number of children reaching school age. This is major challenge for many municipalities, financially as well as practically. That’s why we’re pleased to be able to announce three new schools that will complement each municipality’s own schools. We look forward to welcoming all students to modern premises where, in a safe and calm learning environment, they can be motivated to do their best.”

The school in Östersund will be centrally located, in the former Palmcrantzskolan building. Opening is planned for the 2020/21 academic year, and the school will be a compulsory school with two parallel classes for grades F–9, and will accommodate approximately 600 students when fully developed.

Families interested to place their children in the queue for the school in Östersund can now do so at this link:

The school in Upplands Väsby is located in a quiet neighbourhood with several green areas. The school is scheduled for completion by the 2020/21 academic year and will be a compulsory school with two parallel classes for grades F–9. When fully developed, the school will accommodate approximately 600 students.

An interest list has also been opened for the school in Upplands Väsby, and families can register here: . Once all the requirements to open a school are in place, including permission from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, Skolinspetionen, this interest list will be converted into an official queue, and the date that families registered will become their queue date.

The school in Gothenburg (architect's visualisation above) is located just west of the city centre, in Södra Änggården, which is an entirely new neighbourhood that is equally close to nature and the city. The area is part of a project conducted by the City of Gothenburg in close partnership with municipal, private and cooperative players in the construction industry and encompasses a large number of residential properties. Completion of the school is planned for the 2022/23 academic year. It will be a compulsory school with three parallel classes for grades F–9, and will accommodate approximately 900 students when fully developed.

A queue for the school in Södra Änggården will be opened closer to the planned opening, if you would like to be informed when the queue opens please email 

The queues for our schools operate on a first come, first-served basis, and those who apply sooner are more likely to be offered a place. The first offers of places are usually sent out in the spring before the school opens.

As the projects progress we will launch websites for each school, which will provide more information to families in the local area.

Thousands of IES graduates move on to new challenges

Thousands of IES graduates move on to new challenges

As the class of 2019 graduated, more than 3,600 IES students throughout Sweden have been awarded their school diplomas and gleefully thrown their hats into the air.

With laughter, tears and hugs, students bid a fond farewell to each other and their favourite teachers at ceremonies to celebrate their hard work.

The graduation ceremony, with its iconic blue caps and gowns is an important part of the tradition of Internationella Engelska Skolan - a right of passage for students to mark their achievements over several years of education.

It is an American-style graduation, with speeches and performances of live music from the student body.  It also includes a strong nod to Swedish culture as schools sing Du Gamla, Du Fria and Den Blomstertid Nu Kommer.

Phil Boyd, principal of IES Västerås spoke to students, their families and friends at a packed Aros Congress Center (right).  He said: "Every student in this room has been taught good values and habits, being on time, meeting deadlines, being courteous and of course going the extra mile with hard work, saying please and saying thank-you.

"These are the routines and habits you must keep with you forever.  Throughout your life you will meet many people. Many will also share your habits and many will not. You will meet people with values that you respect and you will adopt theirs as your own as well."

Meanwhile Evy Holmerson, principal of IES Tyresö addressed the audience, including hundreds of students, at Nacka Aula.

She said: “It’s absolutely amazing to finally stand before you, looking at you, young adults, ready to fly off, leaving IES Tyresö behind you and moving on to new challenges and opportunities.

"Some of you I have followed from grade five, and you have grown. Your self-esteem and your knowledge in different areas have become greater.  I have no doubt that you will manage to achieve whatever you want, and what you put your heart into."

Principal Evy Holmerson, honours the IES Tyresö students with the best academic results.

She also had advice for those about to start grade nine in August.  She added: "As I turn to you, students in grade eight, next year it will be you sitting here with those blue caps and gowns, ready to fly off into the world.  Make the best of your upcoming year, study hard, but also remember to have fun.”

The Class of 2019 - IES Västerås.

Graduating students emerge to meet their families - IES Tyresö.

Teachers' Performance - IES Västerås