The equality grant means that the country's school principals divide by several billion SEK with the aim of reducing the gaps between schools and municipalities. The school principals with the greatest need receive a larger share of the contribution per pupil.

But the grant is conditional. The municipality or the independent principal is not allowed to reduce their own tuition costs while receiving the grant. To date, this has resulted in seven school principals, one company and six municipalities, becoming reimbursable. Decisions in more cases are expected shortly.

Five municipalities

And the follow-ups continue. The chiefs now under review are the municipalities Ale, Hofors, Hylte, Hudiksvall and Vaggeryd. Furthermore, the independent principals Al-Azhar Foundation, Bellevueskolan AB, Elma Scool AB, Frihab AB, Global Bridge in Sweden AB, Korallens Friskola AB, Landskrona School of Sports AB, Montemini Hbgs Montessoriskola AB, Safirskolan AB in Gothenburg and The Learning Lab in Stockholm AB .

- We select principals based on the knowledge we have of their financial status. We should be where there is a high risk of being wrong with the grant. We therefore believe that there is a greater risk that these principals have lowered their costs, says Unit Manager Andreas Spång at the National Agency for Education.

As for Al-Azhar, the foundation has been obliged to repay SEK 1.1 million from other grants it received from the National Agency for Education.

Unwanted effect

At the same time as the National Agency for Education is conducting its audits, the authority has also pointed out to the Government that the conditions can have undesirable effects.

- There is a fairly high level of concern, especially among municipal heads, linked to an expected recession. The municipalities that have to lower their costs, because they cannot afford anything else, dare not seek the government subsidy, says Andreas Spång.

If municipalities with better finances can continue to receive the grant, this risks "reinforcing the inequality in school funding," the Swedish National Agency for Education concluded in its evaluation in August.

Education Minister Anna Ekström (S) has announced that revision of the grant conditions, but more than that is not known.

- If there is a change in the state subsidy, it is reasonable to believe that this will only happen at the turn of the year, says Andreas Spång.


Minister of Education Anna Ekström (S) Photo: SVT