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Support for learning

Many children need support in their learning. Under the Basic Education Act, in addition to teaching provided within the framework of the curriculum, a pupil has the right to receive guidance counselling and sufficient support for learning and school attendance for the entire period of their comprehensive studies. Support must be provided as soon as the need for it is observed.

The pupil may need support for learning and studying only temporarily or for a longer period. The need for support may vary from minor to major needs, or the pupil may need many forms of support at the same time. The support provided by the school depends on the scope and quality of the pupil’s difficulties.

  • General support is the first method for responding to a pupil’s need for support. This generally means individual pedagogical solutions as well as guidance and early intervention support measures provided as part of daily school life. General support shall be provided immediately when the need for support becomes apparent, and no special tests or decisions are needed for this. If the need for support increases, the pupil must be offered enhanced support.

  • Enhanced support refers to more consistent, stronger and more personal support of the pupil’s learning and school attendance. In such case, the pupil may require multiple forms of support. The decisions to initiate and organise enhanced support and, when necessary, return to general support, are made on the basis of a pedagogical evaluation and in multi-professional cooperation with pupil welfare professionals. Enhanced support is given in accordance with an individual learning plan drawn up for the pupil. The provision of enhanced support requires cooperation and a systematic approach.

  • If the enhanced support offered to a pupil is not sufficient to help the pupil cope with their schoolwork, an administrative decision is made, based on a pedagogical evaluation, on the provision of special needs support. A plan for individual teaching arrangements is drawn up for the pupil, and the plan must include the provision of teaching and other forms of support stipulated in the special needs support decision. Special-needs support consists of special-needs education and other forms of support needed by the pupil and provided under the Basic Education Act. The special-needs education and other support forms form a consistent entity. In addition, support from the child’s guardian, multi-professional cooperation and individual guidance are all important.

  • Consultative special education offers flexible support for the needs identified by the school community, the child or guardians. The consultative special education promotes, in a preventive manner and through pedagogical means, children’s ability to cope in school and creates the necessary network cooperation to support the child, the family and the school community.

    More information: consultative special needs teachers Mirja Heinonen (tel. 040 489 2100) and Malena Rovio (tel. 040 806 6022)

  • Flexible basic education is intended for pupils in grades 8–9 who underperform and have poor study motivation, as well as for pupils who are in danger of being excluded from further education and working life.

    Flexible basic education is aimed at strengthening the pupils’ study motivation and life management skills. In addition to completing the compulsory comprehensive education, the pupils are supported in the transition to the next educational stage, and their readiness to succeed in future studies is promoted. The teaching is implemented as contact learning at school and guided studies at a workplace or in other learning environments.

    Flexible basic education is organised in Finnish in Kiviniitty school and in Swedish in Donnerska school. For more information, please contact the schools.

  • Hospital schooling is organised for children and young people in specialist medical care. The hospital school is open to all schools and pupils in the hospital district. Hospital schooling is organised in Finnish and Swedish.

    The provision of hospital schooling is governed by law. There is great variety in the pupils’ ability to operate and attend school, which means that in order to organise teaching, a decision on special teaching arrangements referred to in section 18 of the Basic Education Act is often also needed. The pupils remain registered in their local schools throughout the hospital schooling period.

    The pupils can study in accordance with the general curriculum. They may also have an individual learning plan or a plan on individual teaching arrangements, or they may proceed according to a study programme that is not tied to grades. Additional information is provided by Mariankatu school.