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From the Principal

Clarification regarding IES Borås and students' grades within the media

Recently, a number of news articles have been published about Internationella Engelska Skolan in Borås. Annakarin Johansson Sandman, Head of Academics at IES, responds to some of the statements that have appeared in the media during the past week.

Is it true that students from IES in Borås perform worse in high school than other students?

- That is definitely not our view. Unfortunately, we do not have the opportunity to follow up with all of our students' results in high school. However, the absolute majority of the feedback we receive is quite the opposite, from both former students, parents and colleagues at other schools.

More than half of the students at IES Borås are multilingual. 53 percent were born in another country or have parents from a country other than Sweden. We know that it can be a challenge for some students to transition from an international, bilingual environment in primary school to a more traditional Swedish one in high school. We work continously to find ways to help in facilitating the transition for all of our students.

The accusation that IES students perform worse in high school is very serious and principal Maritza Molin at IES Borås has asked for statistics from the municipality high school administration to understand if there is something behind the accusations. According to Christer Samuelsson, head of administration of the upper secondary school administration in Borås municipality, in an email to IES Borås, is “... the statement that the principal at Sven Eriksonsgymnasiet makes, is not the administration's official position. We do not have data to support such a position. "

Furthermore, it is a statement made by one principal at one high school and it is based on his own so-called observations of a small number of students. IES works systematically with both teaching and grading in a way that both the National Agency for Education's statistics and the Swedish Schools Inspectorate's supervision have shown work. Borås Tidning also reports that the anonymous teachers who are quoted in the article have no statistical basis for their claims.

Swedish Radio P4 Sjuhärad has interviewed a student who claims that he did not learn anything at IES in Borås, how do you view it?

- If one student experiences it, it is of course a failure, so it is serious. However, one student's opinion does not represent all previous IES students and that is important to point out.

Does IES Borås inflate the grades of the students?

- No they do not. Fair grades are very important to IES and we work systematically with the issue. Last time we had national exams, IES Borås had a significantly higher correspondence between the results on national exams in core subjects and final grades than both other independent schools and municipal schools in Borås. This can be seen in the National Agency for Education's statistics.

How do you work to ensure that correct grades are given?

- At IES, we constantly work to ensure that the grades that are set reflect the student's knowledge. IES Borås, like IES in general, works actively against both grade inflation and grade deflation, for example through joint assessment locally and together with other schools, grade discussions and training for our new teachers in the curriculum and grading. This work is also reflected in the education and support we provide to school managements in their analysis work as well as systematic quality work.

The Swedish Schools Inspectorate assesses in a recent review that IES, as huvudman, maintains high quality in the work of carrying out follow-up and analysis in order to identify challenges in terms of fair and equivalent grading.

How important is it for IES that your students maintain high grades?

- For IES, grades ​​are not an end in themselves, but it is about eligibility for further studies, and that our students have a good foundation for further educational development. Our focus is on preparing our students for an international environment by offering a bilingual education and providing the support and challenges that we should according to the Education Act.

Borås Tidning refers to a report from the National Agency for Education which points out that fewer students from IES graduate from high school three years after they have finished upper secondary school compared with students from other schools. How do you view that statement?

- It is a new report that we have not yet finished analyzing, as there are several views on methodology and selection. Above all, what must be taken into account is that the analysis was made by excluding students who do not have upper secondary school qualifications. Linked to this, the municipality of Gothenburg is used as a reference. This means that the municipality of Gothenburg, which has a very large proportion of students who do not pass compulsory school, appears to be a good municipality in the analysis, which is remarkable.

In 2017, 97 percent of IES students received upper secondary school eligibility, in the city of Gothenburg the corresponding figure was 72 percent. This means that 28 percent, almost a third, of the reference municipality's lowest performing students and three percent of IES students have been excluded. If these students are included, 75 percent (077 * 0.97) of the students who graduated from year nine of IES received a high school diploma. In the reference municipality of Gothenburg, 57 percent (0.79 * 0.72) received a high school diploma. The conclusion is that 32 percent more of the students who complete year 9 at IES get a high school diploma, not adjusted for background.

Furthermore, students who go on to an international education are excluded, this proportion is likely to be higher at IES and applies even more so to high-achieving students. The analysis also does not take into account causality nor which school / high school unit the student has started or completed his or her education. This should be of great importance for whether a student succeeds or not. It should also be noted that you adjust for merit value, which is an outcome of which primary school a student attended and not on background data in the ordinary sense.

We have previously asked Gabriel Heller Sahlgren and Henrik Jordahl, researchers at the Institute for Business Research, IFN, to look at how our students are doing when they leave us, and according to their report, a higher proportion of students taht attended IES in grade 9 and went on to study longer programs in university at the age of 25 compared equally with other student groups.

At IES, a large part of the teaching takes place in English. Can it make the transition to high school more difficult?

- The transition from primary school to high school can feel like a test for any student, not just for IES students. We often have former students who come back and visit us during their first high school semester who tell us that they feel well prepared and that their English lessons are not challenging enough. How students handle the transition between compulsory school and upper secondary school is highly individual and upper secondary schools must review their routines for support for new students.

To support the transition for our students, we use, for example, mathematics books in Swedish to a very large extent and recommend that we use a combination of books in Swedish and English in NO teaching.

Why is so much of the teaching done in English?

- It is our profile and an important reason for many students to choose us. We are a bilingual school. Parents choose IES because they understand the value of bilingual education and the opportunities offered by the command of the English language. We train future global citizens, being able to communicate in English opens doors for them in further studies and in working life.

Does IES have a lower proportion of qualified teachers than other schools in Borås?

- On the contrary. 79 percent of IES Borås teachers are licensed or trained teachers with the right to teach in English according to exceptions in the Education Act. According to the National Agency for Education's statistics, the schools in Borås have 67.1 percent teacher qualifications in grades 4-6 and 62.4 percent qualified teachers in grades 7-9.

From the Principal

Celebrating 10 Years of IES Borås

Welcome to Internationella Engelska Skolan Borås! This year we celebrate 10 years of being a part of the IES family. Mrs Barbara Bergström founded the first IES in 1993 and we have now grown to 39 schools across Sweden.


 Our ethos was established by Mrs Bergström and it continues to be at the heart of IES.


A safe and orderly environment where teachers can teach and students can learn: Order, structure and safety are neces­sary prerequisites for learning and signal respect for the value of education. We are strict in norms of behaviour, but also care for our students in our efforts to prepare them for success as adults. We call this “Tough Love”.


Command of the English language:  English is the “key to the world” and children should learn to command both the Swedish and the English language at an early age. We believe fluency is best achieved through language immersion. Up to half of the education at Internationella Engelska Skolan is delivered through the English language, by native English-speaking teachers.


High Academic expectations and aspirations: Our conviction is that every child can achieve success irrespective of social back­ground. This ambition means we support every student to realise their own potential. We are dedicated to supporting students of all backgrounds to become responsible citizens and acquire the confidence and ambition to do the most with their talents.

One of the most important organizations at our school is the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA brings forth ideas and enhances our learning community. This year the PTA provided activity bags for each class in grades 4-6 to use during the breaks. A big thank you to our PTA! We welcome and appreciate your continued support.

Summer has come and gone and our school is once again filled with students. We understand that we are still susceptible to the spread of covid-19. We continue to follow the recommendations of Folkhälsomynigheten (Swedish Health Authority) to prevent the spread, which include but not limited to: staying home if any symptoms of illness are present, handwashing, accessibility to hand sanitizers and keeping distance as much as possible. 

The IES community continues to be strong and supportive!  We look forward to a fantastic 10th year!


From the Principal

Fall 2018 School Inspection Results - Positive

During October 2018, School Inspection surveyed 5th graders, 9th graders and parents all across Sweden.The results for IES Borås were very positive and were above the national scores in almost all areas surveyed.

There are two areas that I want to continue to focus on primarily in senior school. These areas are safety and student health. Although our scores are something to be proud of, quality and improvement is what we stand for.

It takes time to influence behavior and customs that make up a school culture. We will continue to monitor and measure areas that concern safety by checking in with our students and welcoming feedback from parents. We currently have four advanced teachers working with activities in this area.

The area of student health is the focus of our Student Care Team, which includes the nurse, school doctor, counselor, school psychologist and the special educator. We are currently without a school counselor but are in the process recruiting. As a former school counselor myself, I understand that there is a great need for counselling in middle school. School counseling is designed to facilitate student achievement, improve student behavior and attendance, and help students develop socially. Counselors also help students work through conflicts that may affect academics or relationships. We will continue our recruiting process until we find a qualified counselor that meet our school’s expectations.

The overall positive results of our school are an indication that the IES Borås community stands strong together. Our sense of community only grows stronger with influence from students, parents and staff.

Maritza Molin


“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller

From the Principal

Where are they now?

Hi, I was one of the first students at IES in Borås. Choosing to change schools just before year 9 was an easy choice due to the fantastic reputation and pillars that IES is built on. Being half English I saw this as an opportunity to learn and develop my knowledge of the actual language as well as growing as an individual, and it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. 

Since finishing IES I’ve graduated from Bäckängsgymnasiet, attending the Language Studies profile, I have also travled quite a bit (Costa Rica, Albania) improving my language skills. Also searching for my greatest passion, which I’ve managed to realize is people. Because of my increasing interest in people, I have applied to ”Socionom Programmet” at Lunds Universitet, hoping to begin another interesting chapter of my life. 

- Cheyenne

From the Principal

Where are they now?

I studied at IES Borås 5 years ago, and decided to study International Baccalaureate at Sven Eriksonsgymnasiet, and now I’m studying my last year of social work at University of Gothenburg. I’m also working part-time with domestic violence, and my plan is to keep working with that in the future. IES gave me a lot of tools to set high goals for my future. I was taught to set my goals high through the tough love that the teachers had at IES. Even though IES had some rules that were more strict than the other schools, I knew it was for my best, altough it wasn’t something that I realized at first. It wasn’t until my last year of high school that I understood what IES actually had taught me, and how important it was to have disciplin in school. High school was quite different compared to IES, but at the end I could still benefit from the tough love, the disciplin and the study techniques that I got from IES. Although it has been 5 years since I graduated, I still think a lot about IES and how it helped me get to where I am today. I wouldn’t set my goals high and be able to actually reach them if it wasn’t for what I was taught at IES.

Regina Namroud

From the Principal

Where are they now?

My namn is Lisa Ringlstetter and I was one of the first students at IES Borås in 2010/11. I chose IES for 9th grade because i wanted a more respectful and encouraging environment for studying, and that is exactly what I got. I had a great year at IES - brilliant teachers, lovely classmates and a safe environment where I felt respected and my opinion heard. 

After my short, but great time at IES, I went the International Baccalaureate program. Being well prepared to take on the challenge to study full-time in English. After graduation i took a gap year, lived and worked in Germany and Ireland and travelled to Iceland. Then I studied Microbiology for 2 years at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Now I am back in Sweden, studying Animal psychology and breaking in a horse, waiting for my Biology studies to start in autumn 2019. The plan is to do an Ecology master and go into research and later scientific writing.

From the Principal

Where are they now?

Teddy graduated from IES 2015. What is he doing now?

First of all, this summer I finished my three year long education at Naturvetenskapsprogrammet, with the profile Vetenskap och forskning, here at Bäckängsgymnasiet. Its been three though years of lots of maths, science and new impressions. It has been a roadtrip not only for the academical part of me, but mostly for who I really am. 

During my third year I got the oppurtunity to be head of all the 30 "student compounds" we have here at Bäckäng. As a result of that, having me as a compere on several events, the school administration got an eye for me. Every third year they hire a year three-student as the schools "Informatör". They asked me to apply for it, and I did. It went well, and here I am right now, hired as Bäckängsgymnasiets "Informatör". 

My main task is to market the school, plan the big events such as Besöksdagarna år 9 and Öppet hus. During the spring I will visit all eight-graders and inform about Bäckängsgymnasiet, as a part of recruting new students. Otherwise, I help out with different tasks such as the reception, library and café. 

Well, that is where I am right now. Love this school! 

After my two years as Informatör I will head for my dreams of becoming a pilot, can't wait!

From the Principal

A new school year

Dear Students,                                        

Welcome back! We look forward to another exciting and productive school year. As in the past, our staff will continue to create a positive culture of learning where all students can experience academic, social and emotional success.We encourage all students to take pride in their work and embrace our commitment to "Do the Right Thing" which is our new school motto.

We have some new additions to our staff. Two of them are returning staff from the USA and will be teaching English, Ms Nilsson and Ms Harder. Our new wood crafts teacher is Mr Stewart and we also have two new Social Science teachers in Senior School, Mr Mossberg and Mr Johansson. Other additions are Ms Page who will teach Maths in Senior School and Mr Kafferky in Junior School. Mr Sigudarson will also be in Junior School assisting as needed. 

There may also be some new students in your classes. Please do your best to welcome them and treat them as you would like to be treated yourself. We are so proud of our IES students and we can't wait to start the school year with you!

The IES Staff are here for all of our students and we really look forward to all of you filling the classrooms again!

Please check School Soft for important dates and other information. See you soon! 

Kind Regards,

Ms Molin 


From the Principal

End of the School Year

The year school year has now come to an end and our students are enjoying the first days of summer. The school building is empty and we are preparing it for the fall term. We are already looking forward to the students coming back to fill the corridors with smiles and talk about their summer adventures.

Here are some important dates to keep in mind:

  • First Day of School:   August 22, 2018
  • Study Day:   September 28, 2018
  • Host Lov/Fall Break:   Week 44
  • Study Day:   November 22, 2018
  • End of Fall Term:   December 21, 2018
  • Beginning of Spring Term 2019:   January 7, 2019

Happy summer!