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New Private Schools are in Queue for Norway’s New Conservative Government

The election victory of Conservative block made the private educatiors excited to open new schools all around the country. Only Norges realfagsgymnas (science college) hopes to open eight new secondary schools for pupils with special interest in science , two-, three of them already in autumn 2014, writes Aftenposten.

Another interesting new player is Humanist circles in the country. If they get such an exemption before the new year, they can probably start schools in Oslo as early as autumn 2014. They have so far been hampered by the fact that the law only mentions religious schools , and not schools based on humanism belief.

– We have a hope to start as early as next fall, and hope to be like a small village school in Oslo, says Rector Ole Martin Moen.

Also the major player Sonans Academy see a bright future for them in the new government’s term. CEO Kjetil Eide says Trondheim and Tromsø are most appropriate for new schools in their plans. Today, Sonans academy have schools in six different cities .

– We will open new schools, and wishes to be represented in more places than today, says Eide.

Norwegian Science and Independent Schools National Association has previously estimated that Norway can get 250 new private schools in ten years under a new government. They are clear that they do not want schools that do not meet a ” social need “.

Facts About NORWAY’S PRIVATE EDUCATION

There are many independent schools, free- schools and private schools in all the Nordic countries, but their proportion and distribution changes considerably from country to country 

In the 1980s, the proportion of independent private schools for example was higher in Norway than in Sweden, but the reforms and legislative changes have carried Sweden in front of Norway. The number of Swedish free schools has tripled in the last 10-15 years, and they account for 15 percent of all schools. In the same period, the number of private schools was doubled. 

Also in Norway there was a significant increase in the number of private schools until around 2005. In fact, the increase in the number of private schools from 2000 to 2005 was over 70 percent. However, there are currently only 159 private schools in Norway – and they make just 5 percent of all schools in the country. In Denmark, there has been a much higher proportion of independent private schools than it has traditionally been in Norway and Sweden. Today, about 25 percent of the Danish primary schools are these kinds of private institutions. 

Regulations about Private Schools

To be approved as a private school, there is also a requirement to have more than 15 pupils at the school. If a school has fewer than 15 students in three consecutive school years, approval is canceled. For schools in countryside, this limit is ten students. 

It is also not allowed to make profit in operating a private school in Norway. Private law § 6-3 states that schools are still entitled to collect tuition, and it is the school board which determines amount of tuition. However, this right is limited by private Act § 6-2, which sets an upper limit on how much schools can charge. Eventhough some parties such as Høyre and KrF suggest freedom of establishment and full fiancial support of private schools, private schools today can receive 85 percent of the grant that public schools receive.

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