Thursday - 22 February 2007
Pupils in compulsory schools in autumn 2006
The number of pupils has decreased since the previous school year
In autumn 2006 there were 43,875 pupils in compulsory education in Iceland. In addition there were 103 pupils in 7 schools attending the 5 year old grade. The number of pupils has decreased by 461 since the previous school year, or by 1.0%. It is expected that the number of pupils in compulsory education will continue to decrease in the next years, since the age groups that will be entering compulsory education are smaller than the age groups that will be completing compulsory education. The number of pupils in compulsory education in Iceland was greatest in autumn 2003, a total of 44,809 (figure 1). These figures are derived from the Statistics Iceland data collection from compulsory schools, which is undertaken in October every year.
The number of pupils in private schools has increased by 100
During the school year 2006-2007 there are 7 private schools operating with 572 pupils attending. The number of pupils has increased by 100 since the previous school year, or by 21.2%. The total does not include the 83 children in the 5 year old grade. The number of pupils in private compulsory schools has never been greater since the start of the data collection by Statistics Iceland in 1997 (figure 2).
There are 173 compulsory schools operating in Iceland, 4 schools fewer than the previous year. Hörðuvallaskóli in Kópavogur is a new school but 5 schools have been shut down or united with other schools. There are 4 special education schools operating in Iceland with 160 pupils in attendance. The 10 pupils in the Italian school operating at Kárahnjúkar are not included in the numbers above.
On average there are 18.6 pupils in each class. Special education schools and departments are not included. The average class size increases with the increasing age of the pupils. The average class size is smallest in the 1st grade, or 17.0, while the largest classes are in the 9th grade, 20.5. Information is not available on the number of teachers teaching each class but in some cases large classes are taught by more than one teacher. Also, multi-grade teaching is becoming more common and not only in small schools in the countryside. There were 4,961 teaching staff members in autumn 2006 and 9.8 pupils per full-time equivalent teacher.