The purpose of the Danish primary and secondary school is to support a professional and versatile development of every pupil. Thus, thorough knowledge of the pupils’ strengths and weaknesses is essential to be able to support and stimulate them, making sure they make the most of their education.
In primary and secondary schools in Denmark, a wide selection of tools and evaluation methods contribute to a strong culture of evaluation. The tools make it easier to detect individual pupils or schools with challenges and set in with support and development early on.
Mandatory Testing and Evaluation
A selection of tests and evaluation and assessment tools are mandatory in primary and secondary school. The purpose is to help schools identify and meet pupils’ needs and challenges. The mandatory tests and tools are:
- National testing
- Screening for reading difficulties in pupils in 1st grade (mandatory from 2025/26)
- Risk-testing for dyslexia for pupils in 1st grade at the latest
- Language assessment in kindergarten (mandatory from 2024/25)
- Screening for high ability pupils in the 1st grade (mandatory from 2024/25)
- "Meddelelsesbog" – a mandatory dialogue-tool for messages between the school, parents and pupils
- Dialogue on progress between schools and municipalities
In addition to the above, schools in Denmark use a number of local tools and tests as part of an ongoing evaluation and development of education in primary and secondary schools.
Current Test, Evaluation and Assessment Tools in Primary and Secondary School
Read more about the mandatory test and evaluation tools currently used in Danish primary and secondary schools.
National testing in primary and secondary school comes into effect from 2026/27. In the meantime, temporary national tests are implemented from 2022/23 to 2026/27. The tests will be carried out in:
- Danish (literacy performance) in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th grade.
- Mathematics in form levels 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th grade.
The purpose of the tests is to give teachers and parents an insight into the individual pupils’ academic skills, in the specific areas of literacy and mathematics, covered by the tests.
Risk Testing for Dyslexia
Schools are obliged to test pupils in kindergarten or 1st grade if they show signs of reading difficulties. Pupils with parents who are dyslexic will be part of the tested group.
If parents find their child to have reading difficulties, they have the right to have their children tested with the dyslexia risk-test, in 1st grade at the latest. The responsibility to ensure that an effort is initiated to meet pupils’ needs, based on the tests for dyslexia, lies with the school.
Dialogue Tool for Messages between the School, Parents and Pupils
"Meddelelsesbogen" (the Message Book) is a dialogue-tool for messages between the school, parents and pupils. It is mandatory in primary and secondary school. The purpose is to support the dialogue between pupil, parents and the school, focusing on the pupils’ individual and professional development.
The tool consists of focal points the educational staff deem to be essential to support the pupils development. These points must be based on the knowledge of the educational staff and current observations of the pupil.
There are few formal requirements for the dialogue-tool. Schools are free to develop relevant formats. An example of a formal requirement is that it must be in writing, but it is not a requirement that it be prepared digitally. The requirements also cover:
- Regular use and making it available to pupils and parents at least once a year.
- For pupils in kindergarten there must be content about the competence areas of language and mathematical attention.
- For pupils in 1st to 9th grade, there must also be content that covers the subjects Danish and Mathematics.
- For pupilsin grades 7 to 9 there must be content about the students' education after primary and secondary school, and the process for achieving the academic requirements that may have to be met in connection with admission to an upper secondary education.
- For pupils with challenges there should be content covering the initiatives and the follow-up that the school has initiated to remedy the challenges.
Dialogue on Progress between Schools and Municipalities
A dialogue between school and municipality on the school’s challenges and development is important in order to create a good framework for the professional development and well-being of the pupils.
Annual dialogue between schools and municipalities must be carried out in primary and secondary school.
The principal of a school has the right to look into the development at their school, making it possible for the school to set the direction for development within the framework for the municipality’s schools set by the municipal council. The municipal board and administration provide input based on the strategic framework for the school system.