Four of five children in Stockholm under the age of six attend pre-school. At the age of six, most children attend a preparatory year before compulsory school starts at the age of seven. All education for children is free of charge, and the City also provides many free adult education programs.

Note: If you want to learn more about higher education in Stockholm, visit Study in Stockholm.


Pre-school services are offered to all children from one year of age until they start school. The City of Stockholm provides pre-school services to children of working or studying parents, and in some cases where therea are individual needs. A priority is to find a pre-school as close to the child’s home as possible, and can usually be arranged within three or four months after a registered request.

Four of five children in Stockholm, between the ages of one to five, are currently enrolled in municipal or private day care centres, or family day nurseries. Special facilities are available to assist children with mental and/or physical disabilities. Also, There are special day care groups e.g. for hearing impaired children, and children with speech and language difficulties.

Primary and secondary school

Schooling is compulsory for all children residing in Sweden. In other words, all children between the ages of 7 and 16 are entitled and obliged to attend education within the public sector school system (or at an independent school approved for compulsory schooling).

The City of Stockholm is also obliged to accept all six-year-olds who wish to start school. The provision of pre-school classes for six-year-olds is mandatory for the municipality, but participation is optional for children. Most parents in Stockholm have, however, taken the opportunity to let their children attend this preparatory year before the official school start.

Compulsory school is divided into nine grades (years). The national curriculum outlines the goals that must be achieved by the end of the fifth and ninth years of school. This provides an opportunity of monitoring educational achievments on a national level.

Free choice

As part of a pupil-linked school funding system, children and their parents can select the primary and secondary school they prefer. A reservation for each child is always made at his or her local school, since entry to other schools is subject to availability. There is always the option of changing schools from one school year to the next, regardless of where in Stockholm the pupil lives. There are approximately 220 primary and secondary comprehensive schools in Stockholm. One third of these are managed independently.

Schools with specialisations

There are many schools which specialise in particular fields, such as music, art, dance, sport and languages. There are also schools – both municipal and independent – which offer alternative teaching methods, such as Waldorf and Montessori to name a few.

Foreign children who attend a Swedish school are entitled to receive parts of their teaching in their native language. Education in native languages can be chosen as as an alternative to a second foreign language, after English (which is compulsory). Children up to the age of 12 have the option to attend bilingual classes, combining Swedish with languages such as English, Finnish, Greek, Serbian, Spanish or Turkish.

Monitoring progress

Pupils’ achievements are assessed in the eighth and ninth school year. Naturally, up until this time, parents have the right to receive comprehensive reports on their children’s progress. In addition, meetings are held each half term with the teacher, parent(s) and child.

Upper seconday school

About 24,000 students attend secondary school, and the City of Stockholm provides education on this level at 28 schools. Additionally, there are 45 independent schools. The municipal upper secondary schools offer 16 national programmes, 15 specialised programmes, individual programmes and the International Baccalaureate programme.

The City of Stockholm, as all other municipalities, is required by law to offer upper secondary education to all students who have completed their compulsory, basic schooling. Upper secondary schooling is free of charge and voluntary. The lunch meals are provided free of charge. The right to attend upper secondary school education applies up to the age of 20. To have passed the modules of Swedish, English and mathematics in the compulsory school, is a requirement in order to attend upper secondary education.

Speciality programmes

There are 16, three year long national programmes. Each programme focuses on a particular field, such as Construction, Electrical Engineering, Food, Arts, Business and Administration or Media. In addition to their specialty, they provide a broad and general education - providing qualifications for further studies at university or college. All national programmes include eight core subjects: English, Art, Physical and Health Education, Mathematics, Natural Science, Civics, Swedish (or Swedish as a second language) and Religion. Fourteen of the programmes are primarily vocationally oriented. The other two, Natural Science and Social Science, focus more on university entrance.

Specially designed programmes

By combining special subjects from various programmes, specially designed programmes are offered. A specially designed programme also comprises the eight core subjects and corresponds to a national programme in terms of the level of education and number of hours.

Individual programmes

The upper secondary school education has undergone major changes over the past years. In principle all pupils graduating from compulsory secondary school enter upper secondary school. The qualification requirements have been raised. If a student fails at least on of the modules Swedish, English or maths, he or she is offered individual programmes to prepare them for other national or specially designed programmes. There is a syllabus for each course that defines goals to be fulfilled.

Each course has set criteria for what is expected of the student in order to reach the grade Pass or Pass with credit. An individual programme may vary in length and content and is determined by individual student needs. The aim is for the student to change over at a later date to a national or specially designed programme.

SFI, Swedish for Immigrants

SFI provides basic knowledge in Swedish and knowledge about Swedish society. You will also learn how to use computers as a tool when studying the language. After completing the course, you will receive a grade or certificate. All courses are free.

Who can study at SFI?

In order to study at SFI, you must be registered in the City of Stockholm and you should have received your full national registration number. You must have a residence permit, and you must be at least 16 years old. SFI Stockholm is responsible for all information and admission to SFI in the City of Stockholm, and is the administrative body you turn to in case you have any questions.

Adult education

Stockholm is the leading growth region in Sweden. Stockholmers have the opportunity to study as adults – to be able to meet employer demands, to update their skills, maybe change track and move on to higher education.

Municipal adult education is primarily designed to help you if you were unable to complete your secondary or upper secondary school education or need further qualifications for higher education.

You must be 20 years of age or older and registered in the population register for Stockholm. If you are rising 20 during the year, you may start your studies from the second half of the calender year. If you have an upper secondary school leaving certificate, you can study even under 20 years of age.

As an adult education student you have greater freedom in deciding how you wish to structure your studies. You decide if you wish to study full-time or part-time, during the day or evening or take a distance-learning course. You can choose between theoretical courses and more practical, vocational training.

Adult education foundation course

Corresponds to secondary school level and is tailored to adult needs. You have a right to study at foundation level if you lack the skills that are normally attained in secondary school.

Upper secondary adult education

Corresponds to upper secondary school courses and requires you to have knowledge corresponding to secondary school level or foundation level before you can apply to upper secondary courses. You can choose free-standing courses or a package course. There are no educational guarantees at upper secondary school level. Applicants with less schooling take priority over candidates with more schooling.

Lärvux (Education for adults with learning difficulties)

Lärvux is municipal adult education for individuals with learning difficulties, the majority of whom have learning disabilities. Lärvux is open to students aged 20 or older. Applications to Lärvux are made via your local municipality.


If you would like to do a real job with training, an apprenticeship could be for you. You will spend at least 70 percent of your training in a workplace with a mentor. The training lasts from one to four terms depending on the apprenticeship area and your background. Apprenticeship courses are designed to meet job market needs.

The aim is for all courses to lead to a job at the end of training. In the first instance, apprenticeships are aimed at adults like you who do not have upper secondary school qualifications. If you have completed upper secondary school but are unemployed or in a temporary job, you can also apply for an adult apprenticeship.

However, if you have post upper secondary school qualifications, you are not part of the target group adult apprenticeships are intended for.

Higher Vocational Education

Higher Vocational Education is a post-secondary form of education that combines theoretical and practical studies in close cooperation with employers and industry. Programmes are offered in specific fields where there is an explicit demand for competence. The starting point for Higher Vocational Education courses is that they should be relevant to the job market and working life. Courses vary in length, but most are from one to three years.

Related documents

Education Administration
Phone: +46 8 508 33 000
Fax: +46 8 508 33 662
E-mail: utbf-adm-registrator.utbildning@​