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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Denmark: Transforming Education – Government's initiative to reform primary and lower secondary schools

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Denmark: Transforming Education – Government's initiative to reform primary and lower secondary schools

21 November 2023
Country news

The Danish government has presented a green paper on a reform of the primary and lower secondary education. The purpose of the reform is to strengthen and free the primary and lower secondary school (Folkeskolen) from a number of requirements and regulations. Based on the green paper, the Minister for Children and Education will enter a dialogue with practitioners, stakeholders and political parties. The first negotiations about the reform are expected to take place early next year. 

The green paper focuses on five major areas: 

  1. An increase in local autonomy regarding local priorities in the Danish Folkeskole; 
  2. More instruction in practical subjects and greater freedom of choice for the eldest pupils; 
  3. An increase in the influence of the school boards; 
  4. A strengthening of the teachers’ competencies, for instance by improving the opportunities for further education and training; 
  5. A stronger sense of community in the classroom. 


In the green paper, the government presents many initiatives, including among others: 

  • Local school flexibility regarding the length of the school day, the organisation of the school day and reduction or increasement of instruction time; 
  • Local school flexibility regarding the national requirements on teacher qualifications; 
  • Local school flexibility regarding school curricula; 
  • Increasing the number of practical subjects; 
  • Decreasing the number of pupils per class in form level 0-2; 
  • Investments in specialised classrooms and the necessary facilities for practical and musical subjects; 
  • Junior apprenticeship in the final years of schooling. This entails that all pupils in form level 8 and 9 are offered the opportunity to attend a practical-oriented course in a business one or two days a week instead of following the ordinary instruction in school these days; 
  • Greater freedom of choice for pupils in form level 7-9 by introducing new optional subjects and increasing instruction time allocated to optional subjects; 
  • Improving the pupils’ knowledge and understanding of digital technology and informatics; 
  • Recommendations regarding the pupils' use of digital tools/screens;  
  • Improving the guidance of pupils regarding education and their job opportunities; 
  • Experiments with practical tests/exams; 
  • The pupils’ well-being, including the strain due to tests; 
  • Educational-psychological advisory service; 
  • Improving the teachers’ CPD opportunities; 
  • Development of the teachers’ competencies in special educational assistance and class management. 



For more information: The Ministry of Children and Education 

Source: Eurydice Unit Denmark 

Picture credit: Adobe Stock #301245840 

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