Over 44,500 pupils in compulsory education
In autumn 2004 there were 44,511 pupils in compulsory education in Iceland. In addition there were 126 children in grade 0 for 5 year olds. The number of pupils has decreased by 290 since the previous school year. It is expected that the number of pupils in compulsory education will continue to decrease in the next years, since the age groups who will be entering compulsory education are smaller than the age groups who will be completing compulsory education. There were 4,725 teaching staff members in autumn 2004 and almost 11 (10.8) pupils per full-time equivalent teacher. These figures are taken from the Statistics Iceland data collection from compulsory schools, which is undertaken in October every year.

The number of compulsory schools has decreased by 9 since 2003
During the school year 2004-2005 there are 178 compulsory schools operating in Iceland. Their number has decreased by 9 since the previous school year. Since 2003 4 new schools have been opened while 13 schools have been shut down or united with other schools. As a result the average number of pupils per school increases, and in autumn 2004 there are 250 pupils per school on average. There are 2 compulsory schools with more than 800 pupils each, Árbæjarskóli in Reykjavík and Vallaskóli in Selfoss. There are fewer than 20 pupils in 16 schools. The school with the fewest pupils is Grunnskóli Mjóafjarðar with 3 pupils. All compulsory schools but one have a single-shift system. The number of private schools has decreased by one and now there are 430 pupils attending 7 private schools, or less than 1% of all pupils. In addition there are 117 5 year olds attending grade 0 in private schools. The largest private school in Iceland is Skóli Ísaks Jónssonar. In addition there is an Italian school operating at Kárahnjúkar with 8 pupils.

More than 200 pupils speak Polish as a mother tongue
Approximately 3% of pupils in compulsory schools have another mother tongue than Icelandic. There are 201 children whose mother tongue is Polish, 164 speak English and 140 speak Philippine languages. Polish has been the most common foreign mother tongue in compulsory schools since autumn 2002. In the years before 2002 English was the most common foreign language spoken by pupils in compulsory education.


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