Primary and secondary education and training
Primary and secondary education is founded on the principle of equity and adapted education for all pupils in a school system based on the same National Curriculum. All children and young people are to share a common foundation of knowledge, culture and values.
Primary and Secondary Education and Training
Compulsory primary and lower secondary schooling in Norway lasts for ten years and children start school the year they become six. Compulsory education is divided into two main stages: Primary school (grades 1-7) and lower secondary school (grades 8-10).
The objectives and quality framework for primary and secondary education and training are laid down in The National Curriculum [English is taken as a compulsory foreign language from grade 1. Lower secondary school pupils may, in addition, choose another foreign language.
Upper Secondary Education and Training
Upper secondary education and training comprises all courses leading to qualifications above the lower secondary level . It consists both of programmes for general studies and of vocational education programmes. Pupils who have completed lower secondary education have a right to three years of upper secondary education and training.
General studies normally take three years and lead to general university admission certification. Pupils with vocational education and training may qualify for admission to universities and university colleges by taking a one year supplementary programme leading to general university admissions certification. Vocational education and training leads to a craft or to a journeyman’s certificate, usually after two years in school and one year in-service training at an enterprise. The in-service training is usually combined with one year’s productive work, so that the apprenticeship takes two years in total.
Responsibility and actors
The state bears the overall responsibility for the Education Act with regulations, contents and financing of primary and secondary education and training.
The state’s County Governors are to act as links between the Ministry of Education and Research and the Directorate for Education and Training on the one hand and the education sector in municipalities and counties on the other. The County Governors are responsible for supervision and dealing with complaints related to regulations, participation in quality development, information, guidance and various administrative matters.
The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training is an executive subordinate agency for the Ministry of Education and Research. The Directorate’s main task are to promote quality development, quality assessment, analysis and documentation in primary and secondary education and training, and to perform administrative tasks connected with primary and secondary education and training, in addition to bearing the overall national responsibility for supervision of primary and secondary education and training.
The municipalities are owners of and responsible for operating and administering primary and lower secondary schools, whereas the county authorities are owners of and responsible for upper secondary education and training. Legislation and regulations, including the National Curriculum, form a binding framework, but within this framework, municipal and county authorities, schools and teachers can influence the implementation of the education and training. Each school has a head teacher and various boards, council and committees.The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) is the official agency for international programmes and measures related to education and training at all educational levels.