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Evaluation of implementation of the "General recommendations for education of newly arrived pupils" issued by the Swedish Agency for Education

Rydin, Ingegerd, Eklund, Monica, Sjöberg, Ulrika, Högdin, Sara

Rapport (Refereegranskat)


This evaluation is a part of the project “Integrating Refugee and Asylum-seeking Children in the Educational Systems of EU Member States: Evaluation and Promotion of Current Best Practices” (INTEGRACE). The main objective of the INTEGRACE project is to promote the educational integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children (RASC) in the EU by developing common standards and sharing best practices in policies and programmes development and evaluation,   with a specific focus on the needs of vulnerable groups (e.g. children who have been victims of crime, unaccompanied children).

The main purpose of this evaluation of best practices concerning refugee and asylum-seeking children (RASC) will be “[...] to analyze to what extent and under what conditions, these practices could be replicated in a different context.” The principle aim of this evaluation and of the SIA to be conducted in Slovenia and Bulgaria will be to assess the possibility of replication and the social impacts of the eventual implementation of a practice which has already been identified and evaluated as a good one in some of the old member states of EU.

The aim of the conducted evaluation is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from old to new EU member States, thereby allowing the latter to deal more effectively with the their new migration situation. Furthermore, the evaluation at hand will provide the grounds for developing a common EU framework to addressing the educational needs of RASC in the near future.

In the Swedish country report a number of so-called best practices aimed for RASC were described. Based on responses and discussions with the partner in Slovenia, a case was chosen on the implementation of the “General recommendations for newly arrived pupils” in three schools in Bollnäs, a municipality, located in the middle of Sweden.

This report, will therefore analyse in detail how these “General recommendations” are implemented into the Swedish school system in light of an evaluation conducted by the authority The Schools Inspectorate (SI), but also provide the reader with a short note on the reasons for the Swedish National Agency for Education to formulate these recommendations concerning education for newcomers.

The concept “newly arrived” refers, according to the “General recommendations”, to compulsory, special, upper secondary or special upper secondary school children or youth who arrive in Sweden near the beginning of or during a specific school year. They are not native speakers of Swedish and are as a rule unable to speak or understand Swedish; finding themselves in Sweden on different terms and under different circumstances. Many have a permanent residence permit already upon arrival. Others have obtained a residence permit after a long wait in a refugee camp or lodging with acquaintances. Some are asylum seekers. Of the latter group, most have arrived with their parents, whereas others are unaccompanied and have no legal guardian. Some arrive based on their connections to refugees with a residence permit. Others have come after a parent has married a Swedish citizen. Still others are in hiding in the hope of revision of a previously denied asylum application. Finally, some are so-called paperless children – children or youth present in Sweden who have not applied for a residence permit and who are, thus, not registered with the Migration Board. A child or an adolescent coming to school may, thus, have arrived directly from another country or may have been present in Sweden for a shorter or longer period of time. Thus, being “newly arrived” may mean being new to the school but previously present in Sweden, in some cases having learned Swedish to some extent.4 In other  words, behind the term “newly arrived” we find a vast range of children where refugee and asylumseeking children (RASC) are also included. 

Nyckelord: Integration; ecucation; asylum seeking; children; migration

Citera: Rydin, Ingegerd, Eklund, Monica, Sjöberg, Ulrika & Högdin, Sara, Evaluation of implementation of the "General recommendations for education of newly arrived pupils" issued by the Swedish Agency for Education, 2011