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Sad news to share

November 27 2018

To the families at Birralee,

It is with heavy heart that I must inform everyone of our departure from Birralee. We have made so many wonderful friends in our short time at the school, and we are incredibly sad that we’ve had to leave.

The dishonesty, disorganization, dysfunction and incompetence of the senior administration at Birralee is beyond comprehension. What I have experienced at Birralee, is an environment where foreign families may find themselves lied to and bullied by the administration, if they make the mistake of pointing out problems and requesting that they be remedied (as examples: a complete lack of information about the school and policies, filthy conditions at the school, safety hazards, some staff members that seem to lack proper training, unauthorized and illegal mishandling of personal data, old-world racist attitudes demonstrated by a few members of the Parents’ Committee). There is willful disregard of serious issues, and zero accountability – even all the way up to the Board of Directors and the County Governor. And while these particular problems are specific to Birralee, we’ve realized that many of these problems (and some even more serious problems) exist at other schools in Norway, and are fully enabled by the agencies and entities that are meant to provide oversight. As such, our children have returned to North America, where, in our experience, there are functioning and transparent systems and standards in place to ensure that schools are run properly.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting more detailed accounts of what we’ve experienced at Birralee, and the various things that are sorely lacking at the school, along with suggestions for improvement. I encourage other families to use this website to do the same. All families at Birralee deserve to be respected, and to have a competent and motivated school administration that truly strives for excellence. Together, we can make Birralee a truly great school.


n.b. – This website is transitioning towards being run by current Birralee families, but I will continue to provide support and encouragement.


  1. Susheel

    Hi Sonja,

    What you said is very serious if they are true which would need our attention.

    What kind of proofs do you have to support your claims? Please provide them so that we can take this seriously. And please do privide some proof for each issue you listed.

    • Sonja

      Hi Susheel – I responded to your email, but will reply here as well. Yes,the issues are very serious. I wouldn’t move my family away from their new friends, and out of a country, if the problems weren’t serious. As I post about the different situations I’ve encountered at Birralee, I will of course provide documentation.

      • Sonja

        Oh – and I just noticed that I have been removed as a y1a class rep – I can no longer email the class. It seems that y1a currently does NOT have a class rep. Hopefully two new parents will volunteer to fill those spots!

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