The parents, children and young people who apply to IES all believe it is important to master the English language, have a safe and calm educational environment and have the best possible conditions for academic success. In the IES annual anonymous survey of parents and students attending IES schools conducted in spring 2016, 30 percent of the respondents said that they chose IES mainly because they believed young people should learn to master English, 36 percent chose IES because they appreciate the “tough love” concept – with an orderly and calm work environment – and 24 percent chose IES because they appreciate the high academic expectations.
In the 9th grade national tests in the core subjects of Swedish, English and mathematics, IES students have performed significantly better year after year than the national average, and also better than the average for independent schools.
IES has gained a good reputation through the way it runs its schools combined with the strong academic results achieved. In the annual anonymous survey 96 percent of parents responded that they would recommend IES to another parent if asked.
IES has good potential to be welcomed into municipalities, even in a climate where the political regulations and attitudes towards independent schools in general could result in more restrictions. This is due to the reputation of IES as a long-established and serious educational organization that provides quality schools to municipalities. The IES concept is clear and complements the existing educational offering.
Through its long and good relationships with large real estate companies, when opening a school, IES can free the municipality from the need to invest in the conversion of an office building into a school or totally remodel a run-down school property during years when there is a great need for new schools (Umeå and Tyresö are relevant examples). When municipal schools are opened, the municipality itself has to cover the cost of these investments.
These are some of the explanations as to why IES, from the 2004/05 academic year to 2015/16, has been able to increase its student body from around 3,400 to around 19,800, equivalent to an average increase of 19 percent a year. During the 2015/16 academic year IES was the single largest provider in the Swedish compulsory school segment based on the number of students.