School Blog

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.

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Masterchef Amir cooks with IES Students in Västerås

Masterchef Amir cooks with IES Students in Västerås

Avacados and don'ts: Amir spent the day teaching year nine students

Celebrity Chef Amir, known to TV audiences from Sveriges Mästerkock, swapped bright studio lighting for bright students when he spent the day at Internationella Engelska Skolan Västerås.

Amir, who won the popular televised cooking contest in 2014, worked with 25 students as he taught them how to prepare "Happy Fish Tacos".

The grade nine students had the chance to taste Amir's dishes before showing how well they could reproduce the foods, including fish tacos, salad with mango salsa, and home-made mayonnaise. (You can find the recipes here)

Student Lina Norling, 15, said: "We made tacos, but with fish that are good for the environment. Amir explained that the fish have been taken sustainably, which means not too many of them have been taken.

"I think my family would enjoy the meal if I made this for them and it is fun if you cook together with friends and family.

"I have seen Amir on television before, he won a cooking competition and he was great. Now when we got to know him a bit more he seemed very nice because he wasn't so into his work, he was talking to us and helping us. I learned a few things, like how to make mayonnaise, I have never done it before." 

Also taking part in the event was 15-year-old Henrik Telenius, who had no idea that they would be working with the celebrity chef. 

He said: "I do a lot of cooking at home, I like mixing flavours to see how it ends up. It was fun to have some professional guidance, I learned how to make a type of salad with salsa. I think I can use the salsa for other types of recipes as well.

"I didn't know it was going to be Amir that would be our chef, I have seen the show with him in. So I knew him and it was a big surprise that it was him. It was really fun working with him and I got a lot of tips. I will explain what we did to my dad who loves cooking a lot, I'll tell him the tips that Amir has taught me.

"I think everybody enjoyed this event. The people who have done a lot of cooking probably enjoyed it a bit more because they already had an interest in cooking, but maybe the ones who haven't tried cooking at home will now try because of this. Amir told us that our food tastes as good as when he makes it." 

The event had been organised in association with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) which works internationally to promote sustainable fishing practices and products.

Amir said: "The MSC asked if I wanted to come to school and make food with the youngsters, I think it is great to cook with young people so I said yes and it has been really cool.

"The students learned to prepare fish and make their own mayonnaise from first principles.  The food they made was very tasty, and better than you get in many lunch restaurants in Sweden.  They were very good at tasting and then understanding what they needed more of, they could tell what was missing and find the right flavour to add right away. 

"It is important that students learn to prepare food, after air come water and food. We need to understand where what we eat comes from, that is really important.  People need to think about it from an ecological perspective and also for our own health, we shouldn't grow up on doughnuts and fried chicken.  When I am a pensioner I want to eat nice food, so it is important for me to teach young people how to cook well."