Education Act (2010:800)

Chapter 1 Introductory provisions

The purpose of the education within the school system
Section 4 The purpose of the education within the school system is for children and students to obtain and develop knowledge and values. It will encourage the development of all children and students and their learning as well as promote a lifelong lust for learning. The education shall also convey and firmly establish respect for the human rights and basic democratic values on which Swedish society rests. The education shall also take account of the different needs of children and students. Children and students shall be given the support and encouragement to develop as far as is possible. An endeavour shall be made to weigh up the differences in the capacity of children and students to benefit from the education. The education also aims to, in cooperation with the home, promote the all-round personal development of children and students into active, creative, competent and responsible individuals and citizens.

Structure of the education
Section 5 The education shall be structured in accordance with basic democratic values and human rights such as the sanctity of human life, the freedom and integrity of individuals, the equal worth of all human beings, equal opportunities and solidarity between human beings. Everyone working within education shall promote human rights and actively counter all forms of degrading treatment. The education shall rest on a disciplinary foundation and proven experience.

Particular consideration of the best interests of the child
Section 10 The best interests of the child shall be the basis of all education and other activities under this Act relating to children. A ‘child’ means each individual under the age of 18. The views of the child shall be established as far as possible. Children shall be afforded an opportunity to express their views freely on all issues affecting them. The opinions of the child shall be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity.

Chapter 6 Measures to counter degrading treatment

Object and scope
Section 1 The purpose of this chapter is to counter the degrading treatment of children and students. These provisions apply to education and other activities under this Act.

Discrimination
Section 2 The Discrimination Act (2008:567) contains provisions on prohibitions, etc. against discrimination in conjunction with activities under this Act.

Definitions
Section 3 The following meanings apply in this chapter:
– student: in addition to the provisions of Chapter 1, Section 3, a person applying for education other than pre-school under this Act,
– child: a person participating in or applying for a place at pre-school or another educational activity under Chapter 25,
– staff: employees and persons employed within an activity under this Act, and
– degrading treatment: conduct that violates the dignity of a child or student without being discrimination under the Discrimination Act (2008:567).

Mandatory provisions
Section 4 Terms of contract restricting rights or obligations under this chapter are ineffective.

Responsibility for staff
Section 5 The organizer is responsible for staff fulfilling the obligations prescribed by this chapter when exercising their functions or acting within the framework of their assignment.

Active measures

Goal-oriented work
Section 6 The organizer shall ensure that goal-oriented work is pursued within the framework of each specific activity to counter the degrading treatment of children and students. Sections 7 and 8 contain more detailed regulations concerning this.

Obligation to prevent and impede degrading treatment
Section 7 The organizer shall ensure that measures are taken to prevent and impede children and students from being subjected to degrading treatment.

Plan to counter degrading treatment
Section 8 The organizer shall ensure that a plan is drawn up every year that includes a summary of the measures required to prevent and impede the degrading treatment of children and students. The plan shall include a report of which of these measures are intended to be started or implemented during the coming year. A report of how the planned measures have been implemented shall be included in the plan for the subsequent year.

Prohibition of degrading treatment
Section 9 The organizer or staff may not subject a child or student to degrading treatment.

Obligation to report, investigate and take measures to counter degrading treatment
Section 10 Any teacher, pre-school teacher or another member of staff who becomes aware that a child or student considers that they have been subjected to degrading treatment in conjunction with the activity is under an obligation to report this to the head of pre-school or headteacher. A head of pre-school or headteacher who becomes aware that a child or student considers that they have been subjected to degrading treatment in conjunction with the activity is liable to report this to the organizer. The organizer is liable to promptly investigate the circumstances relating to the violations reported and, when appropriate, take the measures that may reasonably be required to prevent degrading treatment in the future. The first and second sentences of the first paragraph shall be applied correspondingly if a child or student considers themselves to have been subjected to sexual or other harassment in the manner referred to in the Discrimination Act (2008:567). The first and second paragraphs apply to staff appointed by the organizer for those activities described in Chapter 25 and for leisure-time centres for schoolchildren that are not integrated into a school unit or pre-school unit.

Prohibition against reprisals
Section 11 The organizer or members of staff may not subject a child or student to reprisals owing to the child or student having participated in an investigation under this chapter or having reported or pointed out that someone has acted in contravention of the provisions of this chapter.

Damages
Section 12 If the organizer or members of staff neglect their obligations under Sections 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11, the organizer shall first pay damages to the child or student for the infringement that this entails, and second compensate any other damage caused by this omission. However, damages are not payable if the infringement is minor, except in the case of reprisals. The damages for the infringement may be reduced or eliminated if there are special reasons to do so.

Litigation
Section 13 Cases concerning damages under this chapter shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Judicial Procedure on contentious cases where settlement of the matter is permitted. However, in such cases each party may be ordered to bear their own litigation costs if the party who has lost the case had reasonable grounds for having the dispute considered.

Burden of proof
Section 14 If a child or student, who considers that they have been subjected to degrading treatment under Section 9 or reprisals under Section 11, demonstrates circumstances that give cause to assume that he or she has been subjected to such treatment, it is the organizer for the activity that shall prove that no degrading treatment or reprisals have occurred.

Right to bring proceedings
Section 15 The Swedish Schools Inspectorate may, as a party, bring proceedings for a child or student who so permits in a dispute relating to damages under this chapter. When the Swedish Schools Inspectorate brings such proceedings, the public authority may also, in the same litigation, bring other proceedings for the child or student if he or she so permits. The consent of the custodian is required for children under the age of 16.

The provisions of the Code of Judicial Procedure concerning parties shall also apply to the party for whom the Swedish Schools Inspectorate is bringing proceedings under this chapter as regards situations of disqualification, pending litigation, personal appearance and also questioning under truth affirmation and other questions relating to the evidence. When a child or student brings proceedings under this chapter, the Swedish Schools Inspectorate may not institute proceedings for the child or student concerning the same substantive matter.

Section 16 A child or student may appeal against a ruling of the court in a case where the Swedish Schools Inspectorate has brought proceedings for the child or student if it may be appealed by the authority. When a court’s ruling in a case referred to in the first paragraph has entered into final legal force, the matter may not be reconsidered on the action of either the child or student or the Swedish Schools Inspectorate.