There are 78 production schools in Denmark which are mainly located in small and mediumsized towns.
The local labour market organisations (social partners) must be represented on the school board, and the board can include representatives of the municipality(ies) providing the basic grant.
The objective is to strengthen the personal development of the participants and improve their chances in the education system and the ordinary labour market. This educational option is organised with a view that the young people obtain qualifications that can enable them to complete an education on upper secondary level leading up to a professional qualification.
This option is given to young people under the age of 25 who have not completed a qualifying youth education and who, at the time, are not qualified to start such education, or who have dropped out of a youth education programme. Production school may only admit a participant with a state grant when the Youth Guidance Centre has assessed and identitfied that the young person belongs to the target group of the production schools.
Under normal circumstances, the individual pupil is entitled to a maximum of one year at a production school. This includes, present and earlier courses at the same or other production schools.
The pedagogical theory and practice of the production schools is built around activities in various workshops, taking a point of departure in practical work and problem-solving combined with instruction in theory, with a view to genuine production and sales.
The professional standard at the workshop is used as an educational tool to make a contribution to the development of personal and social competencies. In addition, the school offers teaching in general subjects in order to prepare the participants to commence a regular youth education programme.
Up to one third of a school-based programme can be spent on teaching, education programmes and courses that are established by means of, or pursuant to, an educational Act. This can consist of, for example, general subjects at an Adult Education Centre (VUC) or part of the basic programme at a vocational college.
A general rule is that, pupils attending a production school for more than three months must take part in a programme of minimum two and maximum five weeks that grants credits and is aimed at a qualifying education and training programme, for example vocational education and training (EUD). Participants also have the opportunity for work experience placement for 4 weeks per half year, that they have commenced.
The production schools are primarily financed by the state through a taximeter funding system in the form of grants to cover operational and building costs. In 2010, this was set at DKK 90,370 per full-time equivalent pupil. It is a precondition for the grant that the individual production school receives the municipal basic grant, which in 2010 was DKK 449.998 for each school.
The municipalities finance a share of the costs through a municipal contribution per full-time equivalent pupil, and this is paid out once a year on the basis of the actual activity. For 2007, the rates have been set at DKK 32, 420 per fulltime equivalent pupil under 18 years, and DKK 55,827 per full-time equivalent pupil of 18 years or more.
Pupils attending production schools are not entitled to the Danish State Education Grant and Loan Scheme, but may instead receive a school allowance. Participants in receipt of other public support to over their living costs (social security/unemployment allowance) are excluded from this. In 2010, the school allowance for participants from the age of 18 was DKK 1,475 per week whereas participants under 18 received DKK 616 per week (November 2007).
The school allowance is regarded as ”wages” for the commodity/service sold by the school. The allowance is also to be used as an instrument for consequent pedagogical repurcussions, as the young people’s wages are to be cut if they do not attend or come late.
Supervision and examinations
The Ministry of Education is the supervisory authority for the production schools. As a general rule, there are no tests or examinations at production schools, unless the pupil completes courses that grant credits and where there are tests.
A full-time student equates to 40 weeks of 30 hours totalling 1200 hours.