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Swedish Social Democrats Call for a Halt on For-Profit Free Schools

The Stand on For-Profit Free Schools in Sweden


Imagine a world where the growth of for-profit schools is not just slowed but completely halted. That’s the vision of Swedish Social Democrats, led by party leader Magdalena Andersson.

A Breakdown of the Issue

The Social Democrats want to put a hard stop on the establishment of new for-profit free schools. Essentially, they are calling for the state to pull the emergency brake, freezing further expansion.

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Why Freeze For-Profit Schools?

“Major school corporations are growing more influential, but we want the Swedish people to have control,” asserts Magdalena Andersson. The “emergency brake” will stay in place until legislation for a total ban on profit-making in Swedish schools can transpire.

“We are witnessing how the large school corporations are growing more potent. We want power to be with the Swedish people.” -Magdalena Andersson, Leader of the Social Democrats

Steps Forward and Proposed Laws

The plan put forward by the Social Democrats involves laying the groundwork for a new law, starting with an initiative for the establishment freeze in the Education Committee. Andersson last week outlined the political strategy for her party moving forward. A crucial aspect of this strategy is to “deal with” market failures in welfare.

The Expat View

For the expat community in Sweden, this could mean that choices in education, particularly international or bilingual schools, may change significantly. In particular, if these schools are profit-driven, they may face stricter restrictions or closures.

Everything in Context

Sweden’s free schools, ‘friskolor’, are non-profit and for-profit schools where education is free. Their numbers have seen a steady increase ever since deregulation in 1992. The proposed restriction is bound to generate debate about education in Sweden.


This news not only signifies a transformative shift in Swedish education policy but ultimately spotlights an ideological battle on a larger scale. The debate is about more than schools – it cuts to core questions of control, authority, and the nature of profit in education. Despite what happens next, the conversation has already begun. While the outcome remains uncertain, keeping an ear to the ground on this issue will undoubtedly prove vital for many.

In other words, it’s time for all of us – Swedes and expats, parents, and students – to put our thinking caps on and consider what we want for the future of education in Sweden.

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