Rules for decision on school placement

The main rule, in accordance with the Swedish Education Act, is that children shall be allowed to attend the school that their parents/guardians would like them to attend.

However, if a school does not have capacity for every child who has applied, the City of Stockholm will be in charge of selecting which students shall be offered a spot. The selection is based on the City of Stockholm’s selection criteria, using the ranking and priority method described in the next paragraph.

Selection criteria, in brief

  1. Sibling priority – For children who will be starting in the preschool class (grade 0), they will be given priority at the same school where they have a sibling in grades 0–3 during the same school year that the child will be starting school.
  2. Distance to school – relative proximity - Children who have a registered address that yields the highest meter value when calculating relative proximity. If several children have the same meter value, the computer system will randomly generate a list of priority.
  3. Children of guardians who did not apply to school.
  4. Children turning 5 who are applying to grade 0.
  5. Children who have a registered address in other municipalities than City of Stockholm.

More about the selection criteria

When you apply for your child to attend the preschool class (grade 0), your child will be given sibling priority, which means priority to attend the same school as their siblings. This applies if your child

  • lives within two kilometres walking distance to the school (distance according to the City of Stockholm Traffic Office’s registered network of walking and bike paths – not public transport, car route or “as the crow flies”).
    and
  • has a sibling in grades 0–3 at the same school, during the same school year that your child will be starting in the preschool class (grade 0). The children must all be registered at the same address. It also applies for children who are not siblings.

If possible, twins are kept together in the same preschool class.

Sibling priority is used as the selection criteria for children who will be starting in the preschool class (grade 0), not for grades 1–9.

If the number of children entitled to sibling priority exceeds the number of available spots at the school, the City of Stockholm will use relative proximity as the selection criteria (see below) for deciding which child/children with sibling priority will be offered a spot.

The selection criteria, relative proximity, is applied based on a calculation of the distance between the school and the child’s home (the child’s registered address).

If several parents/guardians have applied to a school and the school can only offer a spot to one of the children, the distance between the school and the child’s home will be measured. That distance will be compared to the distance between the child’s home and the school that has the next closest distance to the child’s home (provided that it offers the grade that the child will be attending and regardless of whether the parent/guardian has applied to that school or not).

The distance to the school that is next closest will be subtracted by the distance to the school that the parent/guardian applied to. The child with the highest meter value after that calculation – in other words, the child with the longest distance to the next nearest school – is the child who will be offered that spot.

If the parent/guardian applies to a school that is not the school that is next nearest to the child’s home, the distance to the next nearest school will be subtracted by the distance to the school that was applied to (which is thus further away from home).

If several children wind up with the same meter value in the calculation of relative proximity, the computer system will randomly generate a list of priority to determine which child will be offered that last spot at the school.

Children of parents/guardians who did not apply for any specific school are also entitled to placement at a school that is close to their home. They will then be placed at a school that has available spots according to the City of Stockholm’s benchmarks for what is considered to be close to home:

  • Children in grade 0 or grades 1–3: approximately two kilometres walking distance to school.
  • Children in grades 4–6: approximately three kilometres walking distance to school.
  • Children in grades 7–9: approximately four kilometres walking distance to school.

School is not compulsory for children who have not yet turned 6, which is why they are accepted based on availability. Priority is given to older children, for whom schooling is compulsory, in accordance with the ranking and priority procedures for selection criteria.

A municipality may accept children from a different municipality to grades 0-9 based on the preferences of the child’s parents/guardians.
(in accordance with Chapter 9, Section 13 and Chapter 10, Section 27 of the Education Act)

A student who has been accepted to grade 0-9 at a school in a different municipality for a particular school year is entitled to remain at that school for the entire school year, even if conditions that existed at the time when the child change during the school year.
(in accordance with Chapter 9, Section 14 and Chapter 10, Section 28 of the Education Act).

Students from other municipalities are accepted for one school year at a time. This means that the parents/guardians will typically need to reapply to that school each year that they would like for their child to keep attending.

If the child has been attending the school and is going to be starting in the highest (last) grade, they will be entitled to remain at the school for that last remaining year. For the City of Stockholm, grade 9 is what is meant by the final year at school.
(Chapter 10, Section 28 of the Education Act)

Students who move from the City of Stockholm and become registered at an address in a different municipality will be entitled to remain at the school they were attending until the end of the school year (and also for grade 9, if that will be the grade they will be attending next year).

If there are available spots at the school, children who have their registered address in a different municipality may be allowed to attend for more than one school year.

Updated