Malmö works to deliver inclusive education services – from playgroups and preschools to higher education – that provide a sound platform for lifelong learning.
A secure and happy childhood provides the foundation for a long, healthy life. Mindful of this, the City of Malmö has organised municipal preschools into a specialist department with its own steering committee.
The preschools department is one of the City of Malmö’s largest. Its more than 4,700 employees are responsible for more than 260 municipal preschools that cater for 17,000 children and their parents.
Size is one of the department's strengths, providing the scale required to deliver the preschool quality that children deserve. The emphasis is on ensuring an inclusive preschool education that can provide a solid platform for lifelong learning. Each and every child should be able to develop and grow in his or her preschool.
Preschools are open to children from the age of one until they start elementary school at the age of six. They help children to develop their language, numeracy, motor and social skills through activities based on play, music and art that provide the foundation for a child’s creative development.
Quality and equality
No Malmö parent should be in any doubt that they have chosen the right preschool for their child. The City of Malmö works intensively to establish equality and raise quality standards in all municipal preschools.
The preschools department has dedicated teams with special educational needs teachers and experienced quality support staff who can respond to requests from preschool principals. Principals play a key role in preschool quality enhancement. Quality-support staff visit all municipal preschools, working with teachers to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
Malmö is a fast-growing city. The ratio of children aged between one and five is projected to rise sharply in the coming years, putting pressure on the city to build more preschools. The preschools department works closely with other departments and stakeholders to meet the need for preschool places. This work covers the entire spectrum, from concept to completed project. All children and parents should be able to enjoy high-quality indoor and outdoor environments, regardless of where in the city they live.
Preschools ensure children receive necessary support
To meet the demands of as many parents as possible, some preschools offer special services such as extended hours, night-time opening and specialist educational profiles.
Most children with special needs can receive the support they need at their local preschool in the form of targeted activities. Some municipal preschools have groups for children with reading or language-related difficulties. Specialist preschools are available for children with greater needs, such as multiple physical or psychological disabilities. Several preschools have groups for children with deafness or hearing impairments. Malmö also operates a preschool for children who suffer from allergies.
A number of municipal preschools have one or more outdoor-based groups and there are also special bus groups that offer mobile education to children aged three to five. These groups follow the standard preschool curriculum.
The City of Malmö runs eight public playgroups, which provide an educational environment for children who do not attend a preschool. Playgroups are for younger children and their parents and are open to all. They are a place where children can play and develop while their parents have a chance to meet other adults.
Independent preschools Malmö also has more than 70 independent preschools that are privately run and cater for around 2,000 children. Independent preschools are subject to oversight by the City of Malmö preschool department, which can impose sanctions if the schools fail to address identified shortcomings or deficiencies.
In Sweden, all children between the ages of 7-16 must attend school. If the parents wish, a child can start school one year earlier, at the age of six. Municipalities have an obligation to provide a place for all 6-year-olds in a preschool class. Included in compulsory schooling there are the regular compulsory schools, Sami school, special school, and compulsory school for the learning disabled. Education is compulsory and free of charge. Normally, students or their parents are not charged for teaching materials, school meals, health services and transport.
Upper Secondary School
Every municipality in Sweden is required by law to offer all students who have completed compulsory school an upper secondary education. In principle, students also have a right to receive their first choice of program. Upper secondary education is free and a non-compulsory form of school.
The right to begin an upper secondary school program applies up to and including the calendar year in which the student turns 20. After that, there are various types of upper secondary programs for adults.
Swedish upper secondary school gives students the basic skills needed to live and work in the community, and prepares them for further study.
All undergraduate education is provided in the form of courses. These may be combined by the institution providing them to create programmes of education with a varying element of individual choice. Students themselves are also able to combine different courses into a degree. The extent of a programme of education or a course is measured in credits. One credit corresponds to one week's full-time study. An academic year normally consists of 40 credits, and is usually divided into an autumn term and a spring term. In addition, certain institutions of higher education give courses during the summer. One credit corresponds to 1.5 ECTS (the European Credit Transfer System). In the Degree Ordinance, the Government lays down which degrees may be awarded and the objectives for these degrees. Every course and programme of education has a plan decided by the institution of higher education in question. Degrees in undergraduate education are divided into general degrees and professional degrees.
Malmö University is the largest higher education institution in Sweden. Founded in 1998, it has 1,800 staff and 24,000 students.
The city is also home to the Malmö Art Academy, the Malmö Academy of Music and the Malmö Theatre Academy. The World Maritime University, operated by the United Nations, has been based in Malmö since 1983.
Adult education in Sweden is extensive and has a long tradition. Adult education exists in many different forms and is organized by many different operators, from national and municipal adult education, to labour market training, in-service training and skills enhancement in the workplace. The public school system for adults includes municipal adult education (Komvux), education for adults with learning disabilities (Särvux) and Swedish for immigrants (SFI).
Municipal Adult Education (Komvux) includes basic- and upper secondary education, as well as continuing education programs. Komvux was established in 1968 to offer education to adults who lacked the equivalent of compulsory school or upper secondary school.