Access to education



Asylum seeking children have full access to the Swedish school system and they are to a great extent integrated in regular schools. They are not covered by the law obliging children between the ages of 6 and 16 to attend school but have the right to attend, if they so wish. The right to go to school has also been confirmed in law for those children still present in Sweden with an expulsion order and who have absconded with their parents.1

Children between 16 and 19 often have to attend a preparatory course to improve their skills in Swedish and other core subjects before being able to access vocational education. Nevertheless, once they have gone through this preparatory phase they are not prohibited in theory from taking a vocational course. If a teenager begins a 3-year course at the age of 16 or 17 and is still in Sweden without a permit 2 years later, they will be allowed to continue their course. However, persons who are over 18 upon arrival in Sweden have no access to secondary education.

Children also have the right to lessons in their own mother tongue on a regular basis, if there are more than 5 pupils with the same language in the area. Itinerant home language teachers are employed for that purpose.

  • 1. Swedish Parliament, Betänkande 2012/13:UbU12 Utbildning för barn som vistas i landet utan tillstånd, available at:

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti