Comprehensive school education for children and young people
All children and young people living permanently in Finland must go to school, that is, they have the right and the duty to receive basic education. Compulsory education is provided by law.
The compulsory schooling starts the year when the child reaches the age of 7 (6). Preschool education from the age of 6 is part of the compulsory schooling. Compulsory education ends when the basic education is completed or at the latest after 10 years of compulsory education. Preschool education takes place in day care or primary schools.
In Finland, children and young people usually complete their compulsory education at a comprehensive school. It consists of primary education and lower secondary education. Primary education refers to years 1 to 6 and lower secondary education to years 7 to 9. Comprehensive school education usually takes 9 years: the school begins in year 1 and ends in year 9.
In comprehensive school, children and young people learn the knowledge and skills they need as adults in society. At school, children and young people develop as human beings and as members of society.
For more information about the comprehensive school day and studying at comprehensive schools, see here.
Basic education is free. After comprehensive school, young people have the opportunity to continue studying, for example at a vocational college or a general upper secondary school. Vocational school and high school education is also free, but you will have to pay for the necessary equipment and books.
Children and young people who move to Finland from abroad can start school in a class where they are given instruction preparing them for basic education.
To ask for more information about comprehensive school education, contact:
- Immigration Information, see here.
- Refugee reception, see here.
- Education and Welfare Service Counselling, see here.
Preparatory instruction for children and young people
Before a child or young person can begin basic education, he or she must have adequate knowledge of the Finnish language.
Preparatory instruction is intended for children and young people who have moved to Finland from abroad and are of compulsory education age. Compulsory education ends in the school year when the child or young person reaches the age of 17. Children and young people who participate in preparatory instruction learn basic Finnish language skills. Instruction lasts from 1 to 2 years or less, usually a year.
After this, the child or young person will move to the usual class at a school that is close to his or her home. The child or young person will start school in the year group that corresponds to his or her skills.
Comprehensive schools in Hämeenlinna
There are 22 comprehensive schools in Hämeenlinna. You can get school-specific information from each school’s website.
The schools in Hämeenlinna use Wilma, an online tool, for communication between home and school. You can find more information about Wilma here.