Published: 5 June 2020

One in five comprehensive school pupils received intensified or special support

Intensified or special support was received by 20.1 per cent of comprehensive school pupils in autumn 2019. Intensified support was received by 65,200, or 11.6 per cent of comprehensive school pupils and special support by 48,200, or 8.5 per cent of comprehensive school pupils. The share of pupils in intensified support grew from the previous year by 0.9 percentage points and in special support by 0.4 percentage points. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s education statistics.

Share of comprehensive school pupils having received intensified or special support among all comprehensive school pupils 1995–2019, % 1)

Share of comprehensive school pupils having received intensified or special support among all comprehensive school pupils 1995–2019, % 1)
1) Pupils accepted or transferred to special education before 2011 have been regarded as equal to pupils having received special support.

Among the recipients of intensified support, 66 per cent were boys and 37 per cent girls. Among the recipients of special support, 71 per cent were boys and 29 per cent girls. In autumn 2019, a total of 564,100 comprehensive school pupils were in pre-primary, basic and post-basic education of the comprehensive school, 51 per cent of whom were boys and 49 per cent girls.

The three levels of the support system for learning and schooling are general, intensified and special support. Of these, a pupil can receive only one level of support at a time. The statistics on special education in comprehensive schools contain data primarily on intensified and special support. In addition, the statistics include information on part-time special education arranged as general support.

The database tables connected to the statistics on special education and the database tables related to statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive education allow examination of support received by pupils by area and place of implementation of teaching, for example. Data on special education in vocational education are collected at the end of the text section of this release and in Appendix table 10.

Fewer students than before in a special education group

Among the recipients of special support, 6.9 per cent received all education in special education groups in special schools in autumn 2019. The share of those receiving all education in a special education group in a special school has fallen yearly; its share was 6.4 percentage points lower in 2019 than in 2011. The share of those receiving all education in other than a special education group in a special school has remained in 2019 on level with the previous year, at 27 per cent.

Among the recipients of special support, 34 per cent received all education in a special education group and 23 per cent received all education in a general education group in 2019. The remaining 44 per cent received part of the education in a general education group and part in a special education group.

Comprehensive school pupils having received special support by place of provision of teaching, 2011–2019, %

Place of provision of teaching 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Teaching fully in a general education group 21,1 19,4 18,7 19,1 18,9 19,7 20,7 21,3 22,5
51-99% of teaching in a general education group 18,0 18,9 18,7 18,3 19,4 19,1 18,4 20,2 20,5
21-50% of teaching in a general education group 8,7 9,2 9,0 10,4 9,4 10,2 10,3 9,8 9,8
1-20% of teaching in a general education group 10,7 11,7 11,6 12,1 12,5 13,1 13,2 13,3 13,4
Teaching fully in a special group, other than special school 28,2 28,1 29,2 27,8 28,7 28,3 27,9 26,9 26,9
Teaching fully in a special group, special school 13,3 12,6 12,8 12,2 11,0 9,6 9,5 8,6 6,9
Total 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0

Of the pupils receiving special support, 21.5 per cent had extended duration of compulsory education. The shares of extended compulsory education have decreased in recent years; the share was 27.5 per cent in 2013, in 2016 it was 25.6 per cent, and 22.8 per cent in 2018.

More and more had general education syllabus in all subjects

Fifty-seven per cent of the pupils having received special support in basic and post-basic education of the comprehensive school studied general education syllabuses in all subjects in autumn 2019. The share of those studying according to the general syllabus has grown yearly; the share was 44 per cent in 2011, it was 49 per cent in 2015 and 55 per cent in 2018.

Eleven per cent of the pupils having received special support in 2019 had individualised syllabuses for one subject, 12 per cent for two to three subjects, and 16 per cent for four or more subjects. Four per cent of the pupils receiving special support studied according to functional skill areas. The teaching can be arranged according to functional skill areas if it cannot be arranged by subject syllabuses due to the pupil's severe disability or illness.

Differences in support forms

Seventy-three per cent of the pupils who received intensified support in autumn 2019 received part-time special education, 54 per cent remedial teaching, and 38 per cent special needs assistance and/or interpretation services. Forty-one per cent of the pupils who received special support received part-time special education, 36 per cent received remedial teaching, and 59 per cent special needs assistance and/or interpretation services.

Twenty-two per cent of comprehensive school pupils received part-time special education

In the school year 2018 to 2019, altogether 124,700 comprehensive school pupils received part-time special education, which was 22 per cent of comprehensive school pupils in autumn 2018. The share was 0.2 percentage points higher than in the previous school year.

Share of comprehensive school pupils having received part-time special education among all comprehensive school pupils in academic years 2002/2003 to 2018/2019, %

Share of comprehensive school pupils having received part-time special education among all comprehensive school pupils in academic years 2002/2003 to 2018/2019, %

In autumn 2018, part-time special education was included in intensified support for 44,100 pupils and in special support for 18,500 pupils. By subtracting, we can conclude that around 62,100, or 50 per cent, of the 124,700 pupils having received part-time special education in the school year 2018 to 2019 received part-time special education as general support.

At least 30 per cent of comprehensive school pupils received some support for learning

According to the available statistics, at least 29.8 per cent of comprehensive school pupils in autumn 2018 received some kind of support in the school year 2018 to 2019. The share was 0.6 percentage points cent higher than in the previous year and 1.2 percentage points cent higher than two years earlier.

A total of 167,242 students received intensified support, special support or part-time special education as general support in the school year 2018 to 2019. In addition to part-time special education, general support could also be given in some other form, but these other general support forms are not included in Statistics Finland’s statistics on special education.

Bigger share than before receive support in all regions

In 2019, intensified support was arranged for more pupils than in the year before in all regions. The development has been similar in all Mainland Finland regions since 2011, when the three-step support system was introduced. The share of pupils having received intensified support was highest Åland and lowest in Kainuu. The share of pupils having received intensified support in all pupils was 10 to 14 per cent in different regions.

The share of pupils having received special support in all comprehensive school pupils varied between 4 and 13 per cent by region. The share of pupils having received special support in Mainland Finland regions was lowest in Central and North Ostrobothnia and highest in Kymenlaakso. In Åland, the share of pupils receiving special support was four per cent.

Of the Mainland Finland regions, the combined share of those receiving intensified support was biggest in Kymenlaakso, where 26 per cent of comprehensive school pupils received intensified or special support. The combined share of those receiving support was lowest in North Ostrobothnia, 16 per cent.

Number of special education students in vocational education 23,500

After the amendment to the legislation concerning vocational education, the data from 2018 onwards are no longer comparable with data for earlier years due to break in time series. Further information in the Quality description (in Finnish only).

During 2018, a total of 23,500 students in vocational education leading to a qualification received special education. The share of special education students in vocational education leading to a qualification was 10.2 per cent.

In 2018, the number of vocational education students in curriculum-based vocational education provided by educational institutions was 172,300, of which 13 per cent received special teaching. Fourteen per cent of male students and 12 per cent of female students were special education students. In all, 55 per cent of special education students were men.

The majority of special education students (84%) in curriculum-based vocational education provided by educational institutions were studying in vocational education institutions. Fourteen per cent of special education students attended special vocational education institutions and two per cent other educational institutions providing vocational education.

Eighty-three per cent of special education students in vocational education were studying in the same group (integrated) with other students.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Heli Hiltunen 029 551 3314, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 05.06.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Special education [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1617. 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 15.5.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/erop/2019/erop_2019_2020-06-05_tie_001_en.html