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The Swedish education system comprises a number of types of schooling and education, designed for individuals of different ages and with differing needs and abilities.

Municipalities have an obligation to provide preschool activities for children whose parents work or study, or for children with a particular need for such activities. Parents that are unemployed or on parental leave can leave their children at preschool for a maximum of 15 hours per week. Övertorneå municipality has preschools in Övertorneå, Juoksengi and Pello. There are also two independent preschools, in Hedenäset and central Övertorneå.

Preschool activities are intended to lay the foundations for lifelong learning. They have to be safe, fun and educational. Parents or guardians can apply for a place at a preschool of their choice, independent or municipal. You will be offered a preschool placement without unreasonable delay, i.e. normally within 3-4 months of submitting your request. Municipal preschool placement is based on the distance to the child’s home.

For parents or guardians that have irregular working hours (evenings, nights and weekends) Övertorneå municipality also offers childcare. Read more about childcare during irregular working hours on our website.


Preschool class
From the age of 6 children have the right to start in the preschool class. The preschool class is a school form in its own right with a large element of creative work and play.

The preschool class is a voluntary school form, which the majority of six-year-olds in Sweden attend. Municipalities have an obligation to offer children a place in a preschool class from the fall term of the year the child turns 6 until the child starts compulsory school.


Compulsory school
In Sweden school is compulsory for all children between the ages of 7-16. In Sweden most children begin their first year at school in the autumn term when they reach the age of 7. It is also possible that children start when they reach the age of 6 and in special cases 8.

Included in compulsory schooling there are 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. There are comprehensive schools in Svanstein and Övertorneå, and an independent school in Hedenäset. The education platform SchoolSoft is used, which means that parents have access to their children’s results and timetable online.


Upper secondary school
Every municipality in Sweden is required by law to offer all students who have completed compulsory school an upper secondary education. Upper secondary education is free and a non-compulsory form of school. Swedish upper secondary school gives students the basic skills needed to live and work in the community, and prepares them for further study. 

Gränsälvsgymnasiet (an upper secondary school) is in the central community of Övertorneå and offers a broad selection of programmes. All students in year 7-9 and in upper secondary school have their own laptop computers. Students and teachers also have access to the Swedish National Encyclopedia internet service. All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards or video projectors.

Övertorneå was elected Young Entrepreneurship Municipality of the Year in 2011 and 2012 for its work on promoting young entrepreneurs. During upper secondary school, all students are given the opportunity to start and run their own business.

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.


Adult education
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.

Utbildning Nord is a school that trains students from Sweden, Norway and Finland for the labor market. Tornedalens Folkhögskola is another education provider in Övertorneå municipality.

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