Denmark's First Public, International School

The City Council of Lolland Municipality has decided to establish the country's first public, international school. The school is a significant political and strategic investment that will help realize the permanent opportunities that the Fehmarnbelt tunnel will create for Lolland's citizens.

As a result of the Fehmarn tunnel, many foreign employees will look to reside in Lolland and the public international school will ensure a high-quality school offer for their school-going children, e.g., by offering English language education. The school will also be an offer for children of foreign employees with employment in local companies and as a school for Danish students in Lolland Municipality, as long as spaces permit. 

The school will be established in Maribo. Since Spring, there has been a dialogue with Maribo Gymnasium about renting vacant rooms for the new school. Maribo Gymnasium is a favorable location due to professional collaboration with the international public school and for renting out rooms to the municipality. Maribo Gymnasium is located in the middle of Maribo in close connection with the Borgerskolen, a public, local school. If a final lease agreement continues, there will be a task of upgrading the rooms for educational use.

The school must be run in accordance with KIG-loven (kommunale internationale grundskoler) and not by the law guiding public schools in Denmark.  The school is organized as a bilingual program, which involves Cambridge certification. This means, among other things, that the school's teachers must be able to teach in English. Therefore, there is extensive recruitment, marketing, and expanded collaboration with stakeholders, associations, parents, etc.

The establishment of bilingual programs gives rise to a general focus on Danish society in a global perspective. More international companies and more citizens with a background other than Danish create a need for a more international environment where expats and Danes can meet and build relationships. Simultaneously, associations and sports life must be a front door to Danish society; the school is a significant asset in this regard. 

Further work with this perspective must take place in close collaboration between various stakeholders working with international recruitment, including several administrative sectors, Business Lolland-Falster, associations, and volunteers.

We also work with sponsorship opportunities. To establish and operate an international school, it is a relevant opportunity to enter into a partnership agreement with external stakeholders who can give financial support.

The school is part of the School and Day Care sector.


Background and Prerequisites

In the Spring of 2020, representatives behind the Fehmarn tunnel project approached the municipality's management and political leadership with the desire to discuss the possibilities of establishing a public, international school. The background was that in connection with the construction of the Fehmarnbelt, foreign employees will move to Lolland with families. Therefore, there is a need for schools for children of different nationalities (French, Dutch, German, Belgian). Staff with families, in particular, were assessed as wanting an international school offer for their children, and the focus is primarily on small and medium-sized children. The need was considered to arise from/with the school year 21/22 and gradually increase in the following years.

The consulting firm 'Globally Local' was then involved in the process and delivered a report, based on which the political decision was made. The report is attached to this profile.

Through the political process, the public, international school has been seen as a strategic investment that will contribute to realizing Lolland Municipality's Planning and Development Strategy and is a matter for the entire City Council. An international school must not be seen in isolation, but as part of a school system that broadly can support the other settlement and recruitment efforts. This aligns with the Planning and Development Strategy, including international recruitment and attraction of citizens who can help create a sustainable Lolland.

The City Council has created a financial basis for the school's start-up and operation, which involves DKK 3.075 million. Additionally, there is allocated 1.885 million annually to cover the costs associated with running a public, international school. Further, the school has allocated a budget corresponding to the municipality's primary and lower secondary schools.

The political decision-making process has been based on the following assumptions:

  • The school starts with five classes from grade 0.-9., Class: 0.-1., 2.-3., 4.-5., 6.-7. and 8.-9. 

  • The school runs a bilingual program – 50% of the teaching is in English and 50% in Danish 

  • The school operates within KIG-loven

  • The school is located in Maribo

  • The school must be ready for start-up in August 2021 

  • There will be a Summer School Program in July of 2021


The School Leader

As School Leader, you will be managing the school´s development leading up to August 2021 and beyond, as the school grows and develops. As part of this, you need to recruit skilled and English-speaking teachers. The school's establishment will take place in collaboration with sector management and the consulting firm 'Globally Local'. You will also be working with a Project Manager who will assist with collaborative relationships in the development phase. The school's operation and further development from August 2021 will happen in collaboration with the school's Executive Board.

You have to create something entirely new. The school has many external stakeholders and will receive significant attention from the outside world. Therefore, as the leader, you have to be outgoing and thrive on establishing and developing relationships outside the school. The school is international, and this must be reflected in the school's management and staff. 

Essential roles and tasks include:

  • Marketing of the international school

  • Cooperation with parents

  • Cooperation with local communities, including businesses, associations, and nearby primary and lower secondary schools

  • Interpret and implement KIG-loven

  • Ensure that the school complies with the Cambridge certification

  • Participate in CLIL-Training

  • Lead Summer School in July 2021


The School Leader reports to the Sector Manager for School and Day Care and is part of a management group with 12 other decentralized leaders.


The School Leader Personal and Professional Profile

You are innovative and have a pioneering spirit. You are outgoing and thrive on establishing and developing relationships inside and outside the school. You inspire others, have strong communicative skills, and can help give the school a distinctive profile. You have a global mindset and previous experience from the international school environment. Your level of English, both writing and speaking, is native.

You can lead in an international environment where culture and language play an essential role. It is an advantage if you have experience and knowledge of 'Cambridge Assessment International Education.'

Your educational background may be a teacher education or other relevant education. You already have management education or desire to acquire it.

You are aware of the school's position in the municipality's overall strategic direction and act with great insight into and understanding being part of a politically controlled organization.


Organizational Structure

The public, international school will be part of the same structure as the other local, public schools. 


Leadership Competencies and Expectations

As the public, international school leader, you have a different task compared to other school leaders. Among other things, you will be dealing with a different story, background, the school's strategic position, legislation, and a more significant financial framework.

As a leader, you will have to work in the same way as the other school leaders, namely with strong professionalism. This requires solid knowledge of the subject area/subject areas you are responsible for. As a decentralized leader, you take responsibility and excel in what you are responsible for. This applies to legislation, the latest developments, national trends, and opportunities, which applies to everyday life's various challenges.

You are result-oriented and have a continuous focus on improving the core task in collaboration with your management team, employees, and the board. You develop the organization's ability to solve the tasks – also in a changing future. You set the direction of the organization's development and you do it in a way that makes sense to the organization.

You have a significant task in "leading upwards" and using your professionalism in strategy development via meetings, projects, and groups. Here, you influence the prioritization and process planning that ensures that policies and strategies are implemented in depths. In return for this influence, you must loyally pursue the agreed goals and deliver results upon the strategy. You have to follow the agreed steps and communicate in harmony with the community.

As a decentralized leader, you are a team player, and you have an eye for both the players and stakeholders. As a leader, you are always the subject of observation, assessment, narratives, interpretations, and projections – that's part of the job. You understand that stakeholder management at all levels is essential. You are available for feedback, dialogue, and good advice to create a culture around you where others do the same.

You have budgetary responsibility and overall personnel responsibility, including dismissal and employment rights.

You are responsible for leading upwards towards the Sector Manager, outwards towards other decentralized leaders, and downwards to subordinate leaders. You are also are involved in developing the overall School and Day Care sector.

As a decentralized manager, you are also responsible for ensuring that your manager is up to date on the latest developments and challenges within your professional tasks to create a cohesive force between the management levels and the political level.

We expect you as a leader to:

  • Think about and consider solutions considering the bigger picture

  • Take part in interdisciplinary work groups/projects.

  • Focus on the development of core tasks

  • Demonstrates trust through delegation of responsibilities and tasks, and follows up on these in a constructive way

  • Clarifies frameworks for participation and invites collaboration and feedback—acts when there are problems and ensures ongoing dialogue with management

  • Is outgoing and can manage expectations, roles and responsibilities with management, budgets, and resource allocation

The overall responsibility for the unit is placed with you. You have the organization's overall responsibility for finances, professionalism, the board, MED committees, etc.


Management and Organizational Matters

Lolland Municipality has approx. 42,000 citizens and approx. 3,500 employees.

Lolland Municipality is managed by an executive board, which consists of a Municipal Director and three Directors.

Strategically, the executive board has the main focus on:

  • The strategic development

  • The overall service of the municipality's standing committee

  • The municipality's general organizational and management development

In addition to the executive board, Lolland Municipality's organization currently consists of 11 sectors, including approx. 30 decentralized units. The sectors are assisted by the cross-working units that support management, managers, and executives in their work with finance, development, HR, IT, Purchasing, and legal matters.

For more information, see Lolland Municipality's website 


More Information

You can read and learn more about Lolland Municipality’s political and administrative focus in:

  • The Lolland Model

  • The Planning and Strategic Development


Salary and Employment Conditions:

Salary and employment in accordance with the applicable collective agreement with the principles of local wage with the possibility of negotiating competitive, individual supplements based on your competencies.

This is a permanent position of 37 hours starting on 1 January 2021 or by appointment.


More Information

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sector Deputy Manager, Carsten Frigaard at 30 46 62 34 or 


Application Process

The application deadline is 12th of November 2020. The interview rounds will be held on 16 th and
25 th of November.

Between the two rounds of interviews, a 'Thomas profile analysis' (DISC profile) will be conducted, and references are obtained by agreement with the candidates.

The start will be 1 January 2021 or by appointment.