There are 423 upper secondary schools in Norway. The average pupil number is 449. 22 per cent of upper secondary schools are privately owned. Private schools tend to be smaller than public schools. Public upper secondary schools have an average of 529 pupils, while the average in private schools is 162. 43 per cent of private upper secondary schools have fewer than 100 pupils.
Most private upper secondary schools are government dependent schools. Dependent schools receive government funding and must meet certain criteria in order to be approved.
In 2015, there were 90 approved private upper secondary schools in Norway. Most schools approved under the Independent Schools Act are schools with an alternative philosophical or religious orientation.
Large number of private school pupils in Oslo
Some 14,900 upper secondary pupils were attending private schools in autumn 2015. They make up 8 per cent of all pupils. Oslo has the highest proportion at 16 per cent. 3 out of 4 pupils attending private upper secondary schools follow a general study programme.
Although the per cent of pupils attending private schools is higher at the upper secondary stage than at the primary and lower secondary stages, it is still low when compared to other countries. OECD figures place Norway well below the OECD average of 19 per cent (Figure 3.3). At 11 per cent, Norway is also below Iceland, Finland and Sweden but well above Denmark.
Figure 3.3 Pupils enrolled in private upper secondary schools in selected countries. 2013. Per cent.
Source: OECD/Statistics Norway