This is archive content that is no longer updated.

Go to the up-to-date statistics page.

Concepts and definitions

Acceptances or transfers to special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, acceptances and transfers to special education in 1995 to 2010 refer to pupils who have been accepted or transferred to special education due to disability, illness, delayed development, emotional disorder or other reason. Decisions about acceptances or transfers have been made by municipal administrative bodies and have required hearing of experts and parents, and drawing up of plans concerning the organisation of personal teaching. If necessary, subject syllabuses can have been individualised and reduced from those in general education. Duration of compulsory education can also have been extended where the pupil has not been to able reach the targets set for comprehensive school education within nine years.

From 2011 onwards, comprehensive school pupils accepted and transferred to special education have been considered equal to comprehensive school pupils having received special support.

Arrangement of teaching in special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, the arrangement of teaching for pupils accepted or transferred to special education was in 2001 to 2010 as follows:

1. Teaching is arranged as general teaching: pupils study the syllabus according to the curriculum of general teaching.

2. Part of the syllabus has been individualised: pupils study less extensive, indi-vidualised syllabuses in one or more subjects.

3. All syllabuses have been individualised: pupils study less extensive, individualised syllabuses in all subjects.

From 2011 onwards, the concept "subject syllabuses" corresponds to the concept "arrangement of teaching in special education".

Education

Education refers here to education leading to a qualification or degree.

Education leading to a qualification or degree (qualification or degree-oriented education) refers to education leading to the completion of the full syllabus of comprehensive school (school-leaving certificate), completion of the full syllabus of upper secondary general school (matriculation examination certificate), International Baccalaureate certificate, Reifeprüfung certificate, European Baccalaureate certificate, Gymnasieexamen certificate, initial vocational qualification, basic vocational qualification, specialist vocational qualification, university of applied sciences degree, higher university of applied sciences degree or university degree.

Education leading to a qualification or degree is classified by the classification of education.

Education

An organised activity, the aim of which is to produce competence based on teaching.

Comment:

Education can be divided into education and training leading to a qualification or degree and non-qualification studies.

Educational system

The Finnish educational system is comprised of the following:

Pre-primary education is provided in Finland to 6-year-old children, usually at children's day care homes. Some 6-year-old children receive pre-primary education in comprehensive schools. Attendance of pre-primary education has been compulsory since 2015.

Comprehensive school education is general knowledge education provided for entire age cohorts. All children permanently resident in Finland must attend compulsory education. Compulsory education starts in the year of the child's seventh birthday.

Compulsory education finishes when the syllabus of comprehensives school education has been completed (9-year comprehensive school), or 10 years from the start of compulsory education. In exceptional cases compulsory education may start already at the age of six and last 11 years due to a disability or illness. A student who has received a leaving certificate from comprehensive school in the same year or in the year before it may continue to attend optional additional education (10th grade).

Post-comprehensive school education, or upper secondary general education and vocational education represent secondary level of education. Upper secondary general school education is education leading to a matriculation examination. Its scope is three years and it gives general eligibility to further education. Vocational education can be either educational institution-based or apprenticeship training. In apprenticeship training, most of the studying is comprised of learning through practical work tasks at a workplace. The qualifications are initial vocational qualifications attained in three years, which also give general eligibility to further polytechnic or university studies.

Further and specialist vocational qualifications represent further vocational education. They, as well as initial vocational qualifications can be attained in a skills examination that can be taken irrespective of the way of acquisition of professional skills, and in which skills can be proven on the basis of preparatory education for a skills examination or work experience.

Attainment of university of applied sciences degrees takes 3.5 to 4.5 years and higher university of applied sciences degrees requiring work practice 1-1.5 years. Attainment of lower university degrees takes three years while higher university degrees take two years longer. Attainers of higher level university degrees may continue their studies to licentiate and doctorate level degrees.

General education

Education intended to provide information and skills which facilitate functioning and influencing in society.

Comment:

General education comprises pre-primary education, comprehensive education, general upper secondary education and other non-vocational studies, for example, at liberal adult education institutions.

Intensified support

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools and in the statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive school education, intensified support refers to support to pupils on which a learning plan for intensified support has been drawn up. Intensified support is provided to pupils who need for their learning or school attendance regular support or simultaneously several forms of support (e.g. remedial teaching, part-time special education, school assistant or interpretation services) The support arranged for the pupil is recorded in the learning plan that is drawn up based on pedagogical assessment in co-operation with the pupil and his or her guardian.

Level of education

Category into which programmes leading to a qualification or degree are divided on the basis of the requirement level.

Comment:

Selection to education on a particular level of education often requires completion of a lower level of education.

The level of education is measured on the basis of both the overall duration or target time of the education and the requirement level.

Levels of education: early childhood education and care and pre-primary education (duration varies), primary education (6 years), lower secondary education (3 years, in total 9 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), upper secondary education (3 years, in total 12 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), post-secondary non-tertiary education (1-2 years, in total 13-14 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), lowest tertiary education (2-3 years, in total 14-15 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), bachelor's or equivalent level (3-4 years, in total 15-16 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), master's or equivalent level (5-6 years, in total 17-18 years from the beginning of comprehensive education) and second stage of tertiary education (2-4 years, in total 19-22 years from the beginning of comprehensive education).

The level of education indicator cannot be calculated directly on the basis of the duration presented in this concept.

Part-time special education

n the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, part-time special education refers to teaching pupils can have beside other teaching if they have difficulties in learning or school attendance. Pupils can receive part-time special education also during intensified or special support.

Place of implementation of special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, for pupils with a decision on special support the places of implementation of teaching are from 2011 as follows:

1. All teaching is provided in a general education group.

2. 51 to 99 per cent of teaching is provided in a general education group.

3. 21 to 50 per cent of teaching is provided in a general education group.

4. 1 to 20 per cent of teaching is provided in a general education group.

5. All teaching is provided in special groups or classes.

In 2001 to 2010, the concept "place of provision of special education" corresponds to the concept "place of implementation of special education".

Place of provision of special education

In the statistics on special education, the places of provision of special education were in 2001 to 2010 as follows:

1. All teaching is provided in a general education group: pupils are fully integrated into groups attending general education.

2. Teaching is partially provided in a general education group: pupils study partly in special classes or groups and partly in groups attending general education.

3. Special groups, special classes: pupils study in special groups or classes.

From 2011 onwards, the concept "place of implementation of special education" corresponds to the concept "place of provision of special education".

Reason for part-time special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, the reasons for part-time special education were in the academic years 2001/2002 to 2009/2010 as follows:

1) Speech disorder

2) Reading or writing disorder or difficulty

3) Learning difficulty in mathematics

4) Learning difficulty in foreign languages

5) Difficulties in adjustment or emotional disorder, or

6) Other learning difficulties.

The reason for part-time special education was determined by the primary reason for needing special education.

Sector of education

Comprehensive education, general upper secondary education, vocational education, university of applied sciences education, university education.

Special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools and in the statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive school education, special education refers to teaching arranged from 1995 to 2010 for those accepted and transferred to special education and starting from 2011 that arranged for pupils receiving special support because of disability, illness, delayed development, emotional disturbance or some other comparable special reason. Part-time special education is also special education that pupils can have besides other teaching if they have difficulties in learning or school attendance.

In the statistics on special education in vocational education, special education refers (since 1999) to teaching that is organised because of disability, illness, de-layed development or some other reason for students requiring special teaching or student services. The law on vocational education obliges that an individual plan concerning the arrangement of teaching must be drawn up for the student.

Special support

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools and in the statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive school education, special support refers to support to pupils on which a written decision has been made concerning provision of special support. Special support is provided to pupils for whom the attainment of the objectives of growth, development and learning is not sufficiently realised with other supporting measures. Special support is arranged either in the scope of general or extended compulsory education and it is formed of special education and other support.

Before the decision on special support, the pupil and his or her guardian are heard and a pedagogical survey is made, including an assessment of the need for special support. The decision is checked at least after the second grade and before the transition to the seventh grade. An individual plan on the arrangement of teaching is made for special support pupils.

Support to learning and school attendance can be divided into general, intensified and special support. If general support is not enough, intensified support is provided. If intensified support is not enough, special support is provided. Comprehensive school pupils accepted and transferred to special education in previous years (1995-2010) are considered equal to special support pupils.

Student

A learner studying in other than pre-primary or comprehensive education.

Comment

Students include persons studying in general upper secondary school, vocational upper secondary education and training, tertiary education and liberal adult education.

Adults studying in comprehensive education are also referred to as students.

In Statistics Finland's statistics the concept refers to upper secondary and tertiary level students.

In Statistics Finland's statistics students are required to be registered at an educational institution.

Student

Students in vocational education refer to students who are registered at the educational institution during the calendar year studying in initial vocational education, further vocational education and specialist vocational education.

Subject syllabuses

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, for pupils with a decision on special support the subject syllabuses are from 2011 as follows:

1. Syllabuses of all subjects are taught according to the general syllabus (no indi-vidualised syllabuses)

2. The syllabus of one subject is individualised

3. The syllabus of two to three subjects is individualised

4. The syllabus of at least four subjects is individualised

5. The pupil is studying according to functional skill areas.

In 2001 to 2010, the concept "place of provision of special education" corresponds to the concept "subject syllabuses".

Syllabus

Scope and content of studies included in education or teaching.

Comment:

In comprehensive and general upper secondary education, it can also refer to the subject syllabus.

Vocational education and training

Education and training completed after the comprehensive education syllabus, aimed at producing vocational competence.

Comment:

Initial, further and specialist vocational qualifications can be obtained in vocational education and training.

In addition to completing a qualification, parts of a qualification can also be completed in vocational education and training.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Support for learning [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1617. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 20.5.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/erop/kas_en.html