According to the Basic Education Act, comprehensive school students have the right to receive adequate support for learning and studying when they need it. Students receive support mainly in their own teaching groups and schools by means of various flexible arrangements, unless it is specifically in the interest of the student to be transferred to another learning group or school.
Goals of learning support
High-quality basic education provides the basis for learning and wellbeing. Difficulties in learning and going to school can be prevented in advance by means of, for example, differentiated teaching, mutual cooperation between teachers and other personnel, guidance, and flexibility in switching learning groups. Teaching is organised in a way that takes into account both the group and individual students.
Support measures are increased when a student moves from the category of general support to enhanced support or further to special support. The goal of basic education is to offer high-quality and equal services regarding support in teaching, growth, learning and studying in each student’s local school. The concept of the local school refers to the primary school placement assigned by the municipality to each student.
Standard support measures include differentiation, remedial learning and part-time special education, which are offered in all support categories. In local schools, educational support is also offered, for example, in the form of collaborative teaching, for example, where the support effort is organised in cooperation between the classroom teacher, a subject teacher and special education teacher. General learning support also includes Finnish as a second language (S2), flexible basic education (JOPO) and preparatory education for basic education (VALMO).
Finnish as a second language (S2)
In basic education, the language needs of students with a migrant background are taken into account by offering the students the opportunity to study Finnish as a second language. The aim is for all students to achieve such basic language skills that they are able to function and study in their surrounding language community in equal terms with the other students.
Flexible basic education (JOPO)
Older students have the opportunity to apply for flexible basic education in grades 7 - 9. In flexible basic education, teaching is carried out in a practical and work-oriented way in small general education groups. In addition to the classroom, learning takes place at workplaces, in camps as well as through various site visits, for example. Application for the groups takes place in the spring.
Preparatory education for basic education (VALMO)
Preparatory education for basic education is intended for all pre-primary and primary school-age children and young people with a migrant background who do not yet have the necessary linguistic skills to engage in standard pre-primary or primary education. The goal of preparatory education is to improve the Finnish or Swedish language skills of the student as well as to provide them with other study skills necessary for pre-primary or basic education.
Special education and shared municipal special education classes
Teaching in small groups is organised in a flexible manner as needed. All different forms of support are offered in all the support levels, with the exception of special education, when it is based on a special support decision. Full-time special education means that a student is assigned a special teacher who carries out all the teaching for a particular subject, meaning that the teacher might be in the classroom together with other teachers, or, alternatively, the student may be taught separately or in a small group. Students may receive specialised teaching for an entire subject or only some lessons. The City may organise centralised special education tuition by study area or in situations where a student needs strong psychiatric support.