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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Educational support and guidance


12.Educational support and guidance

Last update: 27 November 2023


The basic principle guiding Swedish education is "a school for all" - access to equivalent education regardless of background, prerequisites or needs. All pupils have the right to adjustments, educational support and guidance depending on their needs. 

The right to education and the compulsory attendence at school exists to ensure that all learners complete their basic education. The child's guardian has the responsibility to make sure that the child attends school from school year one to nine. If the guardian fails to fulfil the responsibility of compulsary attendence at school there could be legal consequences. The municipality must offer every child a place in education and ensure that all children actually attend and take part in the learning. The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) investigates the munipalities' routines regarding the right to education and the compulsary attendance at school.

All levels of education are obliged to promote a lifelong desire to learn for all pupils and students, regardless of their background.

Educational Support

Special educational support is provided within mainstream education as well as in the compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities (anpassad grundskola), the special school (specialskolan), the upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities (anpassad gymnasieskola), the municipal adult education for adults with intellectual disabilities at basic and upper secondary levels (komvux som anpassad utbildning). There are also possibilities for municipalities to organise special needs education in accordance with their specific local situation. There are grant-aided independent schools for pupils with severe intellectual impairments, but they are few and the range of courses rather limited.

The tuition should - as far as possible - correspond to that given in mainstream education and give pupils an education appropriate to their circumstances. The upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities (anpassad gymnasieskola) follows its own curriculum from 2013, Curriculumn for the upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities (läroplan för anpassade gymnasieskolan 2013). For the compulsary school there is a specific curriculum for education for pupils with intellectual disabilities (anpassad grundskola) from 2022, Curriculum for compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities (läroplan för anpassade grundskolan 2022). 

Basic principle guiding Swedish education is "a school for all" - access to equivalent education regardless of background, prerequisites or needs. If it becomes apparent that a pupil is in need of additional adjustments to reach the educational targets he or she should in the first instance be offered that within the ordinary educational programme. If additional adjustments are not enough, or not expected to be enough, it is the responsibility of the headteacher to ensure that the pupil's needs are investigated urgently. The right to adjustments and support also applies to the pupils' general situation, including disadvantaged backgrounds resulting from disability, personal, socio-economic and/or cultural circumstances. 

Universities and university colleges are obliged to consider the special needs of students who have physical disabilities or for other reasons experience difficulties in following courses and therefore they also receive special funds to be used for special pedagogical support to disabled students to compensate functional limitations.



There are no formal special institutions for guidance. All educational and vocational guidance is given within the schools. It is the responsibility of the school head to ensure that all pupils receive educational and vocational guidance in preparation for choosing the continuation of their educational route. Career education and guidance are provided in the classroom and in various forms of guidance counselling, in conjunction with the general information. It is also common that pupils undergo so called ‘work practice’ at different work places a couple of weeks towards the end of their compulsory schooling.

Most schools have specially trained career and guidance counsellors (studie- och yrkesvägledare). Although career education and guidance is the responsibility of all school personnel, the career and guidance counsellors have specialist knowledge that plays a central role in career education and guidance. In order to be employed as a career counsellor in the public school system the applicant must have an education that is intended for such work. Career and guidance counsellor education is a three-year programme offered at higher education institutions.

School Health

Every pupil in compulsory school is entitled to at least three general health examinations evenly distributed during the period of schooling. The first examination should take place during the first school year. In between the general health examinations the pupils should be offered sight and hearing tests and other special health examinations. The pupils should have access to a school medical officer, school nurse, psychologist and a counsellor (kurator). The entitled school healthcare is free of charge.


The Education Act - (Skollagen 2010:800)