The New Town School in Angered, Gothenburg, has for several years struggled to create security at the school, reverse the low grades, and, above all, get teachers and principals to stay.
- It was like a war here when I arrived, says current Rector Else-Marie Hallqvist, who started spring 2018.
When she applied to school, she had a plan: The negatively notorious school would turn around and student results would go up.Follows the plan
When SVT News West talks to staff, students and politicians, everyone agrees: Else-Marie Hallqvist follows the plan.
- When she started, teachers stopped all the time. Now nobody stops and the staff is driven by the fact that we are on the right path, because the workload and work environment are still far from ideal, says Joachim Svärd, teacher and local representative of the Teachers' Union at the school.Stakes that required millions
Together with the staff, she has introduced several initiatives: special education, school renovation, homework help and a "house team" with close contact with the students who will create security and increase student attendance. And it has produced results. Grades are on the rise, violence and school noise are diminishing and teachers remain.
But the efforts have also required extra staff and large financial investments, which has led to the school's budget bursting with millions."Drowned like a rock"
And now the staff in the letter is appealing to those responsible not to stop the positive development and to accept a budget deficit.
- We are fully aware that you have to keep a budget, but that requires that you have something that works. This school was so dysfunctional and did not float, it dropped like a rock, says Joachim Svärd, who tells that he himself sat in a political committee and knows the challenges with budget."Must be a long-term solution"
School Municipal Councilor Helene Odenjung (L) says she shares concern.
- I understand them. I am also worried and alert the school minister as often as I can about what financial efforts are required. I think the state needs to take on a much greater responsibility.
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Joachim Svärd and his colleagues believe that the school can be in balance in a few years.
- I think we need 2-3 years for the school to be in balance both in terms of students' results and the economy. And once we are there we may be able to pay back too, but now it is not possible. It must be a long-term solution. Otherwise money has really been ruined.