The second level of schooling

In primary school the students are prepared for life and work, and therefore education opportunities must be offered that suit everyone.

Arrangement of the second level of education

  • The local communities are principally responsible for school work and the implementation of the Primary School Act.
  • School Councils in each local community have to see to it that all school children who are supposed to attend compulsory school do attend. The school council is also responsible for ensuring that schools are provided with access to specialist services and that there is acceptable housing available, as well as areas for outdoor activities and playgrounds.
  • The head teacher is the head of a primary school. He or she is responsible for the work of the school, manages the school, and provides professional leadership. The assistant head teacher works under the leadership of the head teacher, and together they manage the daily work of the school.
  • Department managers or project managers are mid-level managers who manage a section of the school work, a department or schooling level, according to the decision of the head teacher.
  • There are teachers' councils operating in all larger primary schools. The councils operate with a mandate from teachers and assist head teachers with the management of the school. In smaller primary schools, teachers' meetings carry out the duties of a teachers' council.
  • Teachers and the supervisory teachers of individual classes organise the preparation of the class curriculum. The curriculum stipulates the study programme for the school year or for individual classes during the school year. During each semester there is a course assessment or examination for each subject, in order to monitor the academic progress of students.
  • An individually oriented curriculum is a schedule for all students. It suits in particular those who need further educational or social assistance, on top of what is offered by the class curriculum.
  • Students take co-ordinated examinations in the fourth, seventh and tenth years, and are informed, for comparison, of the results of each and every student in Iceland. The results are also used to assess the school system.

  • School personnel are expected to strengthen the co-operation of schools and home, partly by providing information on their work in the school and disseminating information about school issues. Furthermore parents can establish parents' associations in the school.
  • The head teacher is responsible for the establishment of a parents' committee in each school. The committee gives an opinion on the school curriculum and on other schedules.
  • Primary-school students are expected to establish a student council, which works for the students' interests and social affairs.

Links of interest

Laws and regulations