The stated aim of Finnish primary education is to promote ethical responsibility and equality whilst promoting the basis of skills and knowledge required for development in later life.
Primary schools in Finland
The 190-day school year begins in mid-August and ends at the beginning of June.
Although essentially a single institution, each primary school is split into two parts: one for children aged under-13 and one for the older students. Often the “two schools” are not in the same building.
At the lower level all classes are generally taught by one person, whereas at the upper level classes are taught by a variety of more specialised teachers.
At the end of the ninth grade, students who have fallen behind can enrol in a voluntary tenth grade before beginning their application for Upper Secondary Education or leaving the school system.
Costs and admission to schools in Finland
Healthcare, a daily meal, textbooks and other materials are all provided free, as is travel to and from school if the journey exceeds 5 km each way. As at pre-primary level, tuition is provided by the state as well.
Children generally go to their local school, and participate for the first two years in voluntary morning and afternoon classes organised by the local authorities.