They come from the north-east. On competition between schools, and student identity in Swedish as a Second Language. Current educational policy in Sweden is characterized by individual choice. Many students who opt for city-centre schools are students with a first language other than Swedish, choosing a school where the majority of students speak Swedish as their first language. Our aim is to analyse the discursive practices discernible in the discourse about students of Swedish as a Second Language (SSL) in a city-centre school. The data are collected from an ethnographic inquiry undertaken in a compulsory school attended by children aged 10–12. The results show how a child’s identity as an SSL student is linked to a market view of education. The SSL student is not just one who has recently immigrated, as is stated in descriptions of the subject. Nor are all students offered education in SSL, since teachers and school leaders claim a lack of resources. In this discourse, SSL students are described as belonging to a category separate from the supposedly normal student. Students from suburban schools are described as substitutes for those living nearby. This has created a dilemma for the school, which risks losing its symbolic value as a “Swedish” school.