Policies for minority education : a comparative study of Britain and Sweden

University dissertation from Stockholm : Stockholm University

Abstract: The aim of the study is to examine how policies for minority education in Britain and Sweden have developed over the last twenty-five years. Policy has been used in a broad sense, including not only central but also regional and local decisions, not only written documents but also administration, interpretation and application of policies. During the initial stage the authorities in both countries encouraged immigration and only later did they realize the implications for the education systems. The acquisition of the majority language by the minorities has been emphasized in both countries. The role of the mother tongue in education is a major issue in Sweden, where all children are entitled to mother tongue teaching. In Britain the mother tongues of the minorities have normally not been included in the curriculum but some projects have started during the last few years. Multi-cultural aspects of education for all children have been more emphasized in Britain than in Sweden. Within the devolved British education system local policy patterns have developed differently whereas in Sweden the policy pattern is more uniform. A trend towards policies for minority education on a supernational level in Europe has been observed in the EEC Directive on education of migrant workers’ children.