The Norwegian school system is divided into three levels:
- Primary School (1st to 7th grade)
- Secondary School (8th to 10th grade)
- Upper Secondary School (1st to 3rd year)
While the first ten grades of school are a municipal responsibility, Upper Secondary School is managed by the county administration.
School districts and zones
The municipality is divided into 16 Primary School districts and 7 Secondary School zones. Children have the right to attend the school in the school district/ zone in which they reside. While parents may apply for admission to another school within the municipality, placement in that school is not guaranteed, being conditional on place availability at the time.
School bus service
First-graders who live more than 2 kilometres from their school and children between 2nd and 10th grade who live more than 4 kilometres from their school, have the right to be bussed to and from school. If one chooses to send one's child to a school outside the school district, one loses the right to the school bus service.
All children in Norway registered with the Office of the National Public Registrar are automatically given a place at the school in their school district in October of the year they turn 5. As a general rule, children start in 1st grade the year they turn 6. As a newcomer, it is important to check that you are registered with the Office of the National Public Registrar. In Asker, there are 16 municipal primary schools and seven municipal upper secondary schools.
After-school Activity Programme (SFO)
Norwegian primary schools have a relatively short school day. From 1st to 4th grades, it lasts until around 1 pm. Before school begins and for the remaining part of the day, the school provides an after-school activity programme for children on the school premises (called SFO in Norwegian). SFO opens at 7.30 am, and lasts until 4.30 pm. All 16 municipal schools in Asker have SFO programmes. The cost is NOK 2,251 per month for five days a week. Parents can also choose to have SFO only three or four days a week at a reduced cost.
There are special schools attached to four Asker schools – Arnestad, Blakstad, Hvalstad and Vollen - for children with disabilities. There are three private schools in the municipality, the Steiner School, which offers teaching up to 10th grade, and the fairly new Vollen Montessori School and Pre-School, which is currently approved up to 7th grade. In August 2013 Asker International School starts, offering teaching for grades 1-5.
All newcomers to Norway who do not have sufficient Norwegian language competence to participate adequately in the classroom have the right to Norwegian language instruction. Non-Norwegian speaking children also have the right to instruction in their mother tongue or bilingual instruction, on the condition that competent teachers are available within the municipality.
Quality of Asker schools
From autumn 2007, national tests in reading, math and English are introduced for children in 5th to 8th grades. The purpose of the national tests is to document children's level of competence as compared with concrete goals specified in the national education plan. The Asker Municipal Council aims for primary schools in Asker to achieve an average result on the national tests that is among the top 5 per cent in the country.
School health care
The school health care programme is a continuation of the health care programme for small children run through the municipal health clinics. The programme is run by a nurse, a doctor and a physiotherapist at the school. It involves health examinations and follow up, as well as a vaccination programme. All children in Asker schools are covered by the school health care programme, which also offers counselling and specialist referrals for children with special problems.
School dental care
Up to the age of 18, dental care is free in Norway.