Compulsory school

0. Registration entry for subjects

0.1 Name

Compulsory school

0.2 Subject area


0.3 Responsible authority; office, division, person etc.

Department: Education and culture
Contact: Haukur Pálsson
Tel: 528-1042

0.4 Purpose and history

Statistics Iceland has collected data from all compulsory schools in Iceland since 1997. The data collection includes information on children, personnel and operation. The purpose of this collection is to give an overview of this second educational level and register changes and trends. Also to compare the Icelandic compulsory schools internationally. Statistics Iceland started this collection as a result of the agreement between Statistics Iceland and Ministry of Education from 1997 on collecting statistics on education. Before 1997 the Ministry of Education collected data on compulsory schools.

0.5 Users and application

Users: Ministries, municipalities, private and common organisations, specialists and the public. Analysis and planning in common and private organisations, scientific investigations and common debates. Data are used in schools for research and development and also used by teachers and parents unions. Data are also provided to international institutions.

0.6 Sources

In October and May each year data are collected from every compulsory school in Iceland. In October data are collected on students and personnel with October 15th as a reference date. In May data are collected on the operation of the previous school year.

0.7 Legal basis for official statistics

Act on Statistics Iceland , no 163/2007. Act on compulsory schools no 91/2008 and regulation no 384/1996, as well as the agreement between Statistics Iceland and Ministry of Education on collecting educational statistics 1997.

0.8 Response burden

According to law, all municipalities are supposed to provide the Ministry of Education with data concerning compulsory school annually. Since the Agreement from 1997 Statistics Iceland has collected and processed these data. Data are mainly collected via the internet.

0.9 EEA and EU obligations

The data collection is in accordance with the European standards and in collaboration with Eurostat. Data are provided to international institutions.

1. Contents

1.1 Description of content

Data collection includes the following information:
Compulsory school: name, CVR-number, address, operator, private or public classifications, supervisor, telephone number, single or double shift operation.

Operation: First and last day of the school year, number of school-days, number of full-time teaching days and number of examination days. Number of days of absence because of weather, strike or other reasons. Other teachers´ working days within or outside of the time that the school operates.

Lessons: Lessons per week per class. Lessons per subject per week. Number of lessons in foreign languages and name of language learnt; Danish, English, Norwegian, Swedish, German, French or others.

Pupils: number of students, year of birth, gender, number of classes

Other mother tongue: number of students with other mother tongue then Icelandic by class, gender and language.

Special education: number of students in special educational programmes, by class, gender and form of teaching (in class with other students or in a special classrooms. Collected since 2004.

Since 2006 data are collected on an individual level, i.e. ID-number, class and mother tongue. Information on gender and domicile comes from the National Population Register in December each year.

Personnel: by ID-number, occupation, education, licence and full-time equivalents. Excluded are contractors working as bus-drivers and cleaning personnel. Information on gender and domicile and comes from the National Population Register, December each year.

After-school care: Information on after-school care was collected from 2000-2005.

1.2 Statistical concepts

Compulsory school: A compulsory school is an instituion with its own headmaster. A compulsory school can be in one or more buildings, and have different locations, normally though within the same municipality. Two or more municipalities can operate one school together.

Single shift system: All students/classes start at the same time in the morning. Since the year 2005 all compulsory schools in Iceland are single shift oparated. A school has a partly single shift system if at least 75% of students start at the same time. A school has a double shift system if less than 75% of students start at the same time in the morning.

Grade: Grades from 1st-10th. In some schools there is a class of 5 year old students. Students are usually registered in a grade by year of birth.

Class: Group of students learning together. Usually in the same age, but in small schools two or more grades are sometimes taught together in one class. Mixing of ages can also okkur in schools with individual studyplans. Schools are asked to register such classes specially.

Mother tongue: The language the child learns first and speaks mostly and is spoken at home, sometimes only by one parent.

Personnel: All persons working at the school. Excluded are contractors and replacement-teachers. Personnel are registered by the main occupation if he or she has two different occupations. Personnel on paid leave (because of sickness or further education) are included.

Personnel occupation number: Each personnel is given a 4 digit number classified by ISTARF95, which is based on ISCO-88.

Full-time Equivalents: If an employee is not working in a full-time job, he or she is registered as a percentage of one full-time equivalent. Usually a person is working as one full-time equivalent, but sometimes more. A person can also have two different occupations in the same compulsory school, or work in two different schools. That person is registered by the main occupation. Until the year 1999 the highest possible full-time equivalents was 1.0. But since then a person can have an occupation and be registered as having more than one full-time equivalent job.

Education: Each person is classified according to ISCED97 by the highest level of education.

School start: First day of school in autumn.

School end: Last day of school in spring.

Teaching days: Students' days at school under the teacher's guidance according to the time-table.

Other teaching days: Other days at school without a full time-table, or where regular teaching did not take place, such as open house and field trips.

Examination days: Examination days, assessment of students, preparation time for exams for students, exam correction days for teachers

Total teaching days: Full-time teaching days, other teaching days and examinations days.

Days of absence: Days without teaching because of strike or bad weather.

Teaching hours: Hours in the time table. Each class/hour is normally 40 min. If a class has a different time-table before/after Christmas, average time-table is registered.

Operation time: School operation time is from 20th of August until 10th of June.

Teachers working days: Days from 15th of August until 15th of June each year. Headmasters can ask teachers to work eight days a year before or after school operation time. Teachers´ working days without pupils during the school year can be up to 5 days each year and are mainly used for administration and preparation.

2. Time

2.1 Reference periods

Headmasters in compulsory schools are asked to hand in reports twice a year, in the autumn and in the spring. In the autumn report they hand in data on students and personnel. In the spring report they hand in data on the operation during the previous school-year.

2.2 Process time

Processing time is four months from the reference date.

2.3 Punctuality

Statistics are usually published without delay in relation to advance release calendar. Autumn data are usually published in February the following year. Spring data are usually published in September the same year. Data are also published annually in The Statistical Yearbook of Iceland and Statistics Iceland website.

2.4 Frequency of releases

Statistics are published annually.

3. Reliability and security

3.1 Accuracy and reliability

In recent years, every compulsory school has handed in data.

3.2 Sources of errors

Inaccuracy is generally small. The inaccuracy is mainly due to misspellings and/or compulsory schools give wrong information because they don´t know better or misunderstand the questions. An employee working in two different jobs at the same school will only be registered in his or her main occupation. Until the year 1999 personnel in compulsory schools who worked more than one full-time equivalent, were registered as having one full-time equivalent. Data ere compared with other data such as the National Register to check gender and region of a person and the Register of examinations. Data about personnel and students are collected once a year, and therefore don´t show changes within that school-year.

3.3 Measures on confidence limits/accuracy

Not relevant

4. Comparison

4.1 Comparison between periods

Statistics Iceland has collected data from all compulsory schools in Iceland since 1997. Before that time the Ministry of Education collected similar data. The collection has changed little since 1997. In the spring collection 2004 Statistic Iceland started collecting data on special education.

4.2 Comparison with other statistics

Data are compared with other data such as data for the previous year, the National Population Register and the Register of examinations.

4.3 Coherence between preliminary and final statistics

Not relevant

5. Access to information

5.1 Forms of dissemination

1. Data are published on The Statistics Iceland web-site on certain dates, see the advance release calendar.

2. Data are published in Statistical Yearbook of Iceland, published autumn every year.

3. A booklet from 1999 "Grunnskólar".

4. In February 2004, Statistical series; Pupils in compulsory schools in autumn 2003.

5. In February 2005, Statistical series; Staff in compulsory schools in autumn 2004.

6. In September 2006, Statistical series; Teachers in pre-primary, compulsory and upper secondary schools 2000-2005.

7. Information about compulsory schools in Iceland can also been seen internationally in the following publications: Key data on Education in Europe (Eurydice), Education at a Glance (OECD) and Global Education Digest (UNESCO).

5.2 Basic data; storage and usability

The data are saved at the Statistics Iceland. Data on individuals are considered as confidential. It is not possible to get direct access to the data but it's possible to ask for special queries for research purposes. Scientists can apply for data when dealing with research questions if they fulfil certain conditions.

5.3 Reports

The Statistical Yearbook of Iceland,
Statistical Series-Education,
Grunnskólar 1999 and

5.4 Other information

Please contact the person in charge.

© Hagstofa �slands, �ann 5-5-2009