Early Childhood and School Education
The responsibilities of management, monitoring and guidance staff in early childhood and school education are partly regulated in the Swedish Education Act (Skollagen).
Local authorities are responsible for education from preschool to upper secondary school. Municipalities have education departments within their local administration that are responsible for planning, allocating places in preschools and schools, resources, staff, child welfare, special educational needs, continuing professional development for staff and quality assurance.
In primary and secondary schools the management responsibility generally lies with the principals and vice principals. Schools are free to organise their management. In vocational education and training there are often department heads who are responsible for the training in their department. Other educational staff in primary and upper secondary education comprises guidance, health care, social welfare and special needs personnel.
The National Agency for Education (Skolverket) prepares knowledge requirements, regulations, general recommendations and national tests. The agency is responsible for official statistics in the area of education and conducts national follow-ups and evaluations. The agency also oversees Sweden’s participation in international education surveys.
It is the principal organiser of a school, a municipality or the operator of an independent school, which is responsible for its quality and results. The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) scrutinises schools and assesses applications to run independent schools. Anyone can turn to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate if they think that a school has done something wrong. The inspectorate conducts regular supervision of all municipal and independent schools, from preschool to adult education.
Students of all types of education, except in the preschool and the preschool class, should have access to guidance for the selection of future educational and professional activities. Those who intend to begin education should also have access to guidance. To get permanent employment in guidance, the applicant must have adequate training.
The responsibilities of management, monitoring and guidance staff in higher education are partly regulated in the Higher Education Act (Högskolelagen) and the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen).
A higher education institution (HEI) is governed by a board. The governing board is responsible for ensuring the effective management of the institution and for planning its future development. The board is ultimately responsible for all the affairs of the institution. These boards consist of a chair and no more than 14 other members. Eight of the members are external members appointed by the government on the proposal of the higher education institution. The government always appoints the chairperson of the board and the board then elects a vice-chairman. The Vice-Chancellor must always be a member of the board.
A vice-chancellor is appointed by the government to manage the day-to-day running of a HEI for a maximum of six years. A pro-vice-chancellor is appointed for a maximum of six years.
The Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) has the task of evaluating all higher education. The government has laid down a qualification descriptor for each qualification awarded by the higher education institutions. Irrespective of the organisation of the studies that have led to the award of a qualification, the quality of the courses and programmes must always be high enough to ensure that the goals laid down in the qualification descriptor are attained.
The Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen) states that "Students shall be provided with study and career guidance. Higher education institutions shall ensure that those intending to begin a course or study programme have access to the information about it that is required."