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SVT reveals: Parents tips on how to avoid school duty in a closed Facebook group


In Sweden, it is law that children attend preschool class and compulsory school, but on the Internet there are forums where parents advocate the opposite. SVT News has mapped out a group on Facebook where people actively share tips on how to get out of school - and thus break the law.

Facebook has several international pages and groups about "unschooling", or "unskooling" to which the term has been translated into Swedish. People who advocate this do not believe in any kind of curriculum but instead on what is called "child-directed learning".

Exchange tips and advice

SVT News can tell you that there is a Swedish group of over 400 members with parents who practice this. Here are people who do not want their children to go to Swedish school but are home-taught by the parents themselves.

But according to the School Act, all children who are resident in Sweden have a compulsory schooling and the right to education. Compulsory schooling means that children must attend school and participate in its activities, if the pupil does not have a valid reason not to attend.

Children who live abroad permanently do not have a compulsory schooling even though they are still written in Sweden. However, where the boundary goes between a longer stay abroad and to live permanently abroad is unclear.

The National Agency for Education responds

The Facebook group was started six years ago. Here, people also share thoughts and tips on how to bypass the Swedish school system. One of the most common tips to avoid compulsory schooling is to move abroad.

During the group description you can read:

“Unschooling does NOT mean that one does not take responsibility as a parent to teach - on the contrary, unschooling requires highly engaged parents to succeed. There are different types of unschooling. Since school duty, coercion and violence totally contradict unschooling, this is not a group for those who sympathize with it. "

"We look at this very seriously because it affects the students in the first place, it affects the children who do not get their education, so we think this is a very serious phenomenon," says Maria Olausson, teaching council at the National Agency for Education.

Despite this, the Swedish National Agency for Education believes that it is unusual to try to avoid the compulsory schooling in an organized manner.

The reasons why you want to teach your children home can be both religious and philosophical.

"Unusual and serious cases"

In the noted case with the family in Ystad, the municipality had approved that the children should not be subject to compulsory schooling in the belief that they were "permanently staying abroad". Instead, the years went by and the children were left without schooling.

Do you think that the system currently works with Ystadsfall in mind and that there are more families using similar methods to escape the law?

- We know that there are individual families who try to avoid school duty, but we do not see this happening regularly in Sweden. These are unusual cases and there are serious cases where, at the municipal level, you rather need to intervene and see what you need to do in order for these children to go to school and get their education, says Maria Olausson at the National Agency for Education.

In the Education Act, the imposition of fines is the harshest "punishment" that the municipality can impose on parents who do not allow their children to attend school.

SVT News has been in contact with the administrator of the Facebook group who does not want to answer any questions.

Source: svt

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