School Blog

Excellent School Lunches Take Internationella Engelska Skolan Västerås to National Final

Excellent School Lunches Take Internationella Engelska Skolan Västerås to National Final

"The Food Is Good Every Day": - Timnit Zemariam (centre) enjoys a meal with friends

Students in Västerås watched, and tasted, with pride as their school restaurant took part in the final of the Skolmats Gastro SM.

The contest, which seeks to find the best school food in all of Sweden, selected Tasteland, the restaurant of Internationella Engelska Skolan Västerås, to take part in the national final, naming them as one of the top five school restaurants in the country.

Now the chefs, students and staff will have to wait to hear whether their school restaurant will be named as the country's best. The jury have four more schools to visit and judge before they eventually announce the winner at the end of April.

Students were quick to praise their school restaurant and the food that they enjoy every day.

Timnit Zemariam, 11, from class 4B said:  "The food is good every day. I think that Tasteland will win because it is a good school and good food."

Max Gustavsson, 11, from class 4a, said: "I think that they will win because they are very good, and the food is good every day. My favourite is spaghetti carbonara because I like bacon."

"The food today is my new favourite": - Linus Apablaza gives his judgement

Linus Apablaza, 12, from class 6b, said: "It's delicious, the food is always good and it is new food all the time, but.  It's got a lot of flavour. I don't know if Tasteland will win because I haven't tasted the food at the other schools, but I think we might have a chance."

However, during the competition the students weren't the only ones judging the food. Kurt Wied, the chairman of Skolmats Gastro led the official jury. Speaking to students and staff after the judging process, he said: "I hope that you have enjoyed the food as much as we have, we have eaten three really good dishes.

"I think that your cooks have done a great job today, when you compete it is always a bit difficult to be the first team that presents food.

"We have sealed the results in and now we just need to see what your competitors do.  It is up to them now, and that is your big advantage, it is up to them now to perform better than you have, so we will see what happens."

Chef Andreas Synnerborn of Chartwells is in charge of the kitchen at Tasteland.  He has worked at Internationella Engelska Skolan Västerås since the school opened four years ago, but enjoys his work much more now that the school has a full manufacturing kitchen, meaning fresh food can be prepared on site for all the students.

He said: "At this restaurant, Tasteland, we have a vision in five to seven years to be the best in the world in school food, why not start by being the best in Sweden.  The kitchen has been open two years, we are pretty new and it is fun to be one of the best in Sweden so soon.

"Our guests need to learn what good food is, every day we serve a good lunch with nutrition and variation.

"We are going to enter until we win, and we are going to win one year, maybe it will be this year, we will see."

As well as presenting food to the students of the school, and the judges, food was taken out to a VIP table, including the principal, representatives from both the municipality and the student council, the press and even Swedish master chef Amir.

Barbara Bergström, who founded Internationella Engelska Skolan twenty three years ago, was one of the VIP guests invited to try the food.  She has always considered good and nutritious food to be an important part of any school.

She said:  "Before it was important to everyone else, food was important to us- I used to say if the kids do not get a decent meal they can't think, they can't concentrate. Some kids travel up to an hour to get to our schools and it is important that they don't spend their time hungry. We don't want them to make a beeline to the nearest hamburger restaurant."

Peter Ledin, the school's Principal, added: "The students are proud of the kitchen here, a lot of students believe that we have the best kitchen in Sweden.

"I think a competition like this is very important, there are a lot of good chefs working in school kitchens who do not get the credit they deserve, they are often better than chefs in regular lunch restaurants, and they should get credit.  Our food is more nutritious and we have a wider range of salads and it tastes really really good.

"Good food is like giving fuel to an engine, you need to have fuel to focus in school, and you need to have good fuel.  If you have candy and energy drinks then your mood and focus is like a rollercoaster. The students are more focussed when they have had good food"

The results of the competition will be announced in Stockholm on the 26th of April once the judges have had the chance to assess the other schools who are talking part. The winning team travelling to Switzerland for an inspirational visit to Inselspital Bern.

Information Meetings at IES Västerås

We would like to invite you to an Information Meeting at our school in Västerås.

Thursday, November 5th at 18 pm or Saturday, November 21st at 10 am.

Come and meet us at Hörntorpsvägen 2!

The Information Meeting will provide those interested in a place with  the chance to meet a range of inspiring teachers from different parts of the world and to get information from our Principal. 

There will be  time set aside for questions. 

No registration needed.

Qualified Teachers in IES Classrooms

Qualified Teachers in IES Classrooms

Qualified: IES has a far higher proportion of qualified teachers

The latest figures show that Internationella Engelska Skolan has a far higher proportion of qualified staff than the national average. 

In total 88 per cent of IES educators this year are certified  teachers, while the remaining 12 per cent are working to attain their qualifications. According to Skolverket, 68 per cent of teachers in middle school nationally carry formal teacher qualifications, 32 per cent not. Of the 1209 teachers working in Internationella Engelska Skolan this year, 39 per cent were certified abroad; they are recognised as qualified teachers under Swedish school law when teaching in English.

Ralph Riber, CEO of Internationella Engelska Skolan, said: "We remain committed to recruiting dedicated and qualified teachers as we continue to ensure quality comes first at our schools. The national proportion of unqualified teachers is almost three times higher than it is in our schools.

"Our aim is to increase the proportion of certified teachers in our schools every year until all our teachers have teacher degrees and our educators from Sweden all have their Swedish teachers' certificate (Lärarlegitimation).

"In an ideal world we would hope to reach the point where they are all certified. However, as the figures show, clearly there is a national shortage of qualified teachers in Sweden, and that presents a problem for all schools across the country, including municipal schools.

"The fact that we are able to attract outstanding teachers from English-speaking countries helps our schools to have a far higher proportion of qualified staff than the national average.  For the current academic year we recruited an extra 170 international teachers, and all of them came with a background of strong teacher education. Many of these teachers come from countries recognised for the strength of their teacher training, such as Canada, as well as the UK, the USA, Australia and other English-speaking countries.

"Our teachers from abroad are also important in developing the international environment of our schools and creating the bilingual environment that helps our students learn to command the English language.

"However, we also want to recruit the best teachers qualified in Sweden. More than 50 per cent of our teachers are Swedish. We know that the dedication and professionalism of these Swedish staff is also a key factor in the success of our schools.

"Our safe, calm schools, the international working environment that we offer, and the chance to share best practice with colleagues from other countries are all benefits which we know appeal to many teachers from Sweden. Each year we recruit new staff from Sweden and abroad as Internationella Engelska Skolan grows, opening more schools and teaching more students."

For more information about working for Internationella Engelska Skolan, or to see our current vacancies, visit

Qualifications Of IES Teachers (2014-15)

Where Our Teachers Come From (2014-15)

Internationella Engelska Skolan’s teaching personnel using English as teaching language

Internationella Engelska Skolan has special permission from Skolinspektionen for each of our 29 schools to provide up to half of the teaching in the English language.  In chapter 2, 17 § of the Swedish school law, a permanent exception from Swedish teacher certification is granted for those teachers we employ to teach in English and who have a teaching degree from their home country.

49 percent of our teachers have a foreign background.

To teach subjects including maths and science, we recruit teachers from Canada, USA and the UK.  We dare say that their teacher training is superior to the Swedish teacher training. This is reflected by the fact that our results in these subjects on the national tests in year 9 are far higher than the norm for Swedish schools.  At present we have about 600 teachers with a foreign teacher qualification, which is an essential contribution to the Swedish school’s internationalization.

Up to half of the teaching in our schools is done in English, primarily by teachers from English-speaking countries. English is to be used as our conversational language in the corridors and classrooms. Our schools are characterized by an international atmosphere.  The mixture of teachers from many different countries contributes to this.  IES promotes full bilingualism – skills in Swedish are developed in parallel to English.

Barbara Bergström founded Internationella Engelska Skolan in 1993, based on three pillars  that still characterize Internationella Engelska Skolan:

  • A safe and orderly school environment in which teachers can teach and students learn
  • High academic expectations and ambitions
  • Command of the English language 

Swedish teachers are also subject to detailed scrutiny, primarily by the principal of a school to ensure that they do possess the required competence and share those beliefs that created Internationella Engelska Skolan.

Below is a summary of the distribution of teachers with Swedish or international degrees at IES Västerås:

Total number of teachers

Number of teachers with Swedish certification

Number of teachers qualified but not yet certified

Number of teachers with international qualifications

Number of non-certified teachers






Camps That Teach Teamwork And Positivity

Camps That Teach Teamwork And Positivity

Location: The camp at Högbo Bruk

An action-packed programme of fun activities saw 60 children from more than 13 schools attend Internationella Engelska Skolan's camps as the Swedish summer got underway.

A three day programme included axe-throwing, team building activities, shooting and the always popular tree-top course.

Students also take responsibility for duties, including groups taking turns to watch the fire and make sure it doesn't go out overnight.

The activities are designed to promote positivity, teamwork and to boost the confidence of the students who attend the camp at Högbo Bruk, near Gävle.

Ingrid Sjöstrandt Needham from class 8G at IES Uppsala was one of the students taking part. She said: "I've really learned to step out of my comfort zone on several levels. Usually I always wear make up at school, but I actually went bare-faced the entire trip.  

"Another way I really got wonderfully uncomfortable was speaking my mind, sharing ideas and not avoiding people I didn't know. If I could stay for a week with these amazing people, I would in a heartbeat."

Mohammed Mohtadi, who had come to the camp from IES Hässelby, added: "My best memory from camp was to meet all the real friends that had fun inside them.  I learnt that if I have an idea I need to voice it and if I have a negative opinion then I need to keep it to myself because negativity spreads out fast to everyone."

Camp leader Tony Fowler, who works as Discipline Manager at IES Eskilstuna, said: "These events are very popular with the children who take part, but it is not just about having a good time.  The skills and the ways of thinking that we encourage during the camp will stand them in good stead in the classroom, and in future life. The idea behind the camps is to help the students grow as people, a wonderful compliment to the high quality education that they receive at our schools."

Ellery Nott from IES Uppsala was one of the teachers who brought children to the camp. 

He said: "During their short stay at camp, I witnessed an amazing transformation take place in nearly all the students. People that have trouble making friends were suddenly playing cards, darts, fishing and laughing with people from another school.  Many who were painfully shy before were brave enough to get up in front of camp with their team and perform a team song."

Jenna MacGillivary a teacher from Ies Hässelby added: "It is important to give these kinds of students that opportunity to grow and shine, like they do at this camp. These students often go unnoticed in lessons because they are quiet and shy and can often fade into the background.  "It is great to have the opportunity to see these students have the opportunity to meet with students who are similar, and see them be the ones to take charge and lead a group. These students rarely get these opportunities and it is good for them to see what they are capable in a different setting, when given the opportunity."

IES Schools which took part this year included those in: Johanneberg, Uppsala, Liljeholmen, Huddinge, Hässelby, Linköping, Bromma, Falun, Nacka, Täby, Sundsvall, Eskilstuna and Västerås.

You must consent to third-party cookies to view this content.