In Sweden, a child’s education is not the parents’ responsibility.
Home education in Sweden was possible up to 2010 after getting permission from municipality political Board of Education. Permission to home educate were given if a/ the family allowed insight into their activities, and b/ the home education was fully equal to school education. The number of home educated children up to then, was only around one hundred at any given time, as the process of getting permission was cumbersome and often resisted by local civil servants and/or politicians.
The school law was changed June 22, 2010, after a near 50/50 vote in Parliament. The new law was set to begin in the fall of 2011. The new law added four words to the previous School Law, regarding home education: “If special circumstances exist”. This made home education virtually impossible, as the bill and preparatory work for the new law gives examples of such “special circumstances”, and they definitely exclude home education based on any philosophical, pedagogical, and religious reasons.
A handful of families continued to home educate after 2010 in spite of the new law, and they were fined varying amounts of money by their respective municipality. Only one fine has been collected, even after they moved abroad. The fine was payed by the Rohus association. The threat of collection is still looming over the other families. Other families have continued to suffer intimidating investigations from the social services, and some have simply put their kids in school.
At present, the one association defending home education in Sweden, Rohus, is battling on many arenas for this right.
Many other families left Sweden, in “political exile”, most of them to Åland Islands (autonomous region of Finland), others to Great Britain, Denmark, etc.
www.Rohus.nu – The Swedish Association for Home Education, in Swedish.
www.Rohus.nu/en – The Swedish Association for Home Education, in English.
Rohus blog – Blog of The Swedish Association for Home Education, in Swedish.
www.school.gr8.se – School-forum, multiple languages in forum. (Not very active, but has quite a few HE documents and videos).