Public grants system
The private schools receive a grant ("per pupil per year") for their operational expenditures, which in principle matches the public expenditures in the municipal schools - less the private school fees paid by the parents. This is to ensure that public expenditures for the private and municipal schools follow the same trend.
In 2006, the average grant towards the operational expenditures per pupil per year amounts to about DKK 41,000, and the average fees paid by the parents to DKK 9,000.
The actual grant per pupil varies from one school to another depending on 3 factors:
- the size of the school (number of pupils),
- the age distribution of the pupils,
- the location of the school.
A large school with comparatively young pupils will get a low grant per pupil per year, while the large grant per pupil goes to the small school with older pupils.
There are also a number of special grants, such as grants towards expenditures incurred in connection with the teaching of pupils with learning disabilities or other special needs. These grants are awarded on the basis of a case-by-case assessment. Another special grant is the additional grant received by the German minority schools in the south of Jutland because they teach in two languages, German and Danish.
Some special grants are administered by the schools themselves. They include the additional grant received by the German minority because its schools teach in two languages and grants towards expenditures relating to free places.
The schools receive a block grant per pupil to cover rent, maintenance, construction etc.
The schools receive a grant for their school-based leisure activities per pupil participating in these activities, from the school's pre-school class to the 3rd class.
All grants (apart from grants relating to special needs teaching and free places) are allocated as one total block grant independent of the actual expenditure. As long as this block grant is used for school and teaching purposes, the school is free to spend the money (and fix the school fees) according to its own priorities.
To be eligible for public financial support, schools must be of a certain minimum size. A school must have a total of at least 28 pupils in the 1st to 7th classes, though only 12 in the school's first year and 20 in its second year.
Furthermore, the school must be a self-governing institution with a board of governors responsible to the Ministry of Children and Education and with rules regulating the use of any net assets in case of liquidation. The school's funds must only be spent for the benefit of this school and its activities. A school must not be owned by a private individual or run for private profit.
Schools must be able to find a degree of self-financing. The requirement per pupil in 2006 is about DKK 5,000 per year.
Joint municipal financing
Education at basic school level is in principle a municipal task, and the municipalities save expenditures on the pupils attending private schools. The municipalities are therefore required to reimburse the government for a good deal of the government grant. In 2006, the municipal reimbursement rate is about DKK 31,000 per pupil.