Swedish students spend more time in the classroom than Finnish students, but less than Danish. French students receive significantly more instruction time in reading and writing than Swedish. In the Netherlands, the schools themselves can decide how to allocate instruction time over grades and between subjects, unlike most other countries.


The Eurydice report ”Recommended Annual Instruction Time in Full-time Compulsory Education in Europe – 2018/19” outlines what applies regarding instruction time for 43 European education systems. The report compares the amount of instruction time students in compulsory school received in the school year 2018-2019.

Connected to EU goal

The report also describes how instruction time is distributed over different subjects and grades. Particular focus is placed on describing how instruction time for reading, mathematics, natural science and social science is allocated. This is linked to the EU goal that, by the year 2020, less than 15% of 15 year olds will have insufficient abilities in reading, mathematics and science.

In addition to the comparative analysis, the report contains diagrams that illustrate the situation by land and subject. The data was collected by the EU network Eurydice and OECD (through the NESLI network).