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Den bångstyriga verkligheten: Har det svenska systemskiftet haft någon betydelse för arbetet med elever i behov av stöd?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
1999 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The unruly reality : Have the changes in the Swedish political and economic system had a significant effect on the organization of assistance for pupils with special needs? (English)
Abstract [en]

This study compares the manner in which local schools organize to address the policy problem of support for pupils with special needs. Since the end of the 1970s, it has been a central aim to decentralise basic comprehensive education in Sweden. Several reforms have totally remapped the formal organization structures and how educational resources are allocated from the state to municipalities. The role of central and regional state administration has shifted from being highly involved in regulating state grants to evaluating implementation of state goals. The implementa­tion structure approach used in research relies primarily upon semi-structured interviews with members of schools to identify who is involved in the tasks of defining needs, deciding priorities among needs, mobilising resources to alleviate needs and evaluating the work. From the teachers selected as the point of entry into schools, the interviewing proceeded to other members of the municipal educational system, within or outside the local school district. In each municipality one local school district was selected for study, and in each school district the study focuses on the upper level of the comprehensive school. Care has been taken to select schools of a certain size and to find schools with non-selective school populations. The same schools were studied in 1986 and 1995.

One conclusion from the interviews in 1986 was that political intentions and the special SR- grant had minor or non-existent implications for the work being done in schools. It was of no interest where resources came from. This same conclusion can still be made in 1995. The review of how municipal education committees organized allocation of the SR-grant in 1986 did not indicate that they had acted to develop areas or criteria to direct more actively the use of resources in schools. This study argues that the capacity of municipal education committees to actively participate in the work has actually deteriorated. Decentralization of formal powers in combination with declining resources actually worsened the situation in this respect between 1986 and 1995. One can see that variation between schools in respect of total resources in the schools has declined, but to a level under the expected total amount of resources in 1986. In a comparison between schools on how schools actually have allocated resources to different education purposes, the finding is that the variation is immense both in 1986 and 1995 - but in different ways. Some schools gave priority to lowering the group average while others made their priority special education teachers. In both cases there is no evidence that pupil needs had anything to do with these priorities. The lack of evaluations for pupils with special needs is the foremost problem for both those with responsibility for schools and for the implications at higher levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1999. , 231 p.
Forskningsrapporter i statsvetenskap vid Umeå universitet, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 1999:3
Keyword [en]
Implementation, decentralization, institutionalization, organizing, decision theory, special needs, schools
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147ISBN: 91-7191-692-XOAI: diva2:141160
Public defence
1999-10-08, Hörsal A, Samhällsvetarhuset, Uneå universitet, Umeå, 13:15
Available from: 2003-11-10 Created: 2003-11-10 Last updated: 2012-11-01Bibliographically approved

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Löfquist, Staffan
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