Primary, lower- and upper-secondary education

In Norway, basic education consists of primary and lower and upper secondary school education. Education at primary and lower secondary level falls within the remit of the municipalities, whereas the county authorities are responsible for education at upper secondary level. Accredited independent schools may also offer primary and secondary education.

The County Governor is responsible for ensuring that examinations at primary and lower and upper secondary schools, national tests and obligatory electronic mapping tests are implemented in accordance with the applicable laws and guidelines.

The County Governor offers guidance to county, municipal and private school owners, in accordance with the Education Act and the Independent Schools Act. The County Governor is also responsible for conducting supervision to ensure that school owners operate in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.

Appeals to the County Governor

The County Governor handles appeals pertaining to individual decisions, in accordance with the Education Act and the Independent Schools Act and associated regulations. Appeals relating to an individual decision should first be sent to the body that has made the decision in question. If this body does not uphold the appeal or does not dismiss the case, it must be submitted to the County Governor for a final review.

Bullying and other offensive words and actions

All students are entitled to a positive physical and psychosocial school environment that promotes health, well-being and learning. Children, young people or their parents can ask schools to take action if they believe that someone is being teased, bullied or subjected to other forms of offensive behaviour. Offensive words and actions can, for example, include victimisation, violence, racism or exclusion, or isolated statements on one’s appearance or disability.

Action can be requested either verbally or in writing, but it is recommended that this be done in writing. This means that you can later prove what has been requested and when. When you contact the school to request measures be taken, the school is obliged to deal with this request as soon as possible. The school must investigate and then come to what is known as an “individual decision” regarding any action to be taken.

You may complain to the school’s headmaster or headmistress if you are dissatisfied with the measures taken by the school, or if the school does not implement these.  You can also complain if the school does not take this request seriously. If the school upholds its decision or lack thereof, the school/municipality is then obliged to raise the matter with the County Governor. The County Governor has the authority to determine whether the student’s right to a good school environment is being met or not. 

The website provides information for children, young people and parents on bullying and rights. 



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