Finland takes great pride in its highly regarded education system. Finland consistently ranks very high in the PISA international student assessment programme, thanks to its high-quality, free and universal education.
Finland is a safe country and it is common for children to manage themselves to school without assistance from their parents. Generally parents are encouraged not to drive their kids to school, and instead let them walk, cycle or catch a bus. Even if you live in rural areas with no bus service, taxi service is provided.
In Finland schools feed the kids
All kids from kindergarten all the way up to high-school receive a free of charge hot lunch every single school day. Daycares even serve breakfast, which saves a ton of time in the mornings. In Finland, the school feeds the kids.
School runs from Monday to Friday, from mid-August to June, with some longer holiday periods in between. Tampere provides a number of options for international children of all ages. This means non-Finnish daycare options as well as basic education in various languages. Click here to read more about the general work-life balance in Finland.
Finnish Education in a nutshell
We have listed key points about the Finnish education system and international daycare and education options in Tampere. Additional information can be found from the InfoFinland’s education section by clicking here: Education in Tampere.
In Finland, basic education is provided free of charge for all, regardless of gender, origin or socioeconomic status.
Education is one of the cornerstones of the Finnish welfare society. The Finnish education system is ranked as one of the best in the world. Finland has universal compulsory education for children up to 17 years of age.
By law, all children permanently residing in Finland must receive basic education. Compulsory education is usually completed in comprehensive school, which starts on the year the child turns 7 years of age. Comprehensive school is free of charge for everyone. Comprehensive school consists of primary school (grades 1-6) and secondary school (grades 7-9). Comprehensive school normally lasts nine years: school begins in the first grade and ends in the ninth grade.
All comprehensive-school-age children, whose knowledge of the Finnish language is not adequate enough to participate in teaching in basic education are entitled to preparatory instruction. Preparatory instruction acquaints the pupils with the Finnish school, its customs and teaching methods and develops the pupil’s skills in Finnish.
After basic education, studies continue in high schools and vocational schools. Each pupil is free to apply to a school of their choosing. The schools accept students on the basis of their 9th grade grades and overall school success.
Finnish lukio, comparable to US high schools, provides 2-4 years of advanced general education, aiming toward a matriculation examination. While it does not prepare students to a specific vocation, lukio acts as a pathway to higher education, such as University studies.
On the vocational side, Tampere Vocational College Tredu also offers several programs in English. Click here to read more: TREDU
Schools up to the university level are almost exclusively funded and administered by the municipalities of Finland (local government). There are fairly few private schools. The Finnish education system guarantees equal education for all, regardless of the family’s residence and socio-economic status.
Finnish daycare supports the child’s growth, personal development and learning. High-quality care is based on the co-operation between the child, parents and the daycare teachers and nurses. In fact, childcare professionals from all over the world visit Tampere to find out how Finnish schools and kindergartens enable efficient and versatile learning.
You can apply to city-owned or private day-care centres or family day-care providers. Families can also utilise private care allowance to hire someone to care for their children at home. You can apply for private care allowance from Kela.
Most of the 80+ day care centres in Tampere operate in Finnish and you are free to apply your child to a Finnish-speaking unit. However, daycare nurses are typically fluent in at least English and daycare specifically in various languages is also available. Click here to read more about Tampere’s daycares
The Akonpuisto daycare offers daycare in German, Amuri daycare in French, Maljalanpuisto daycare in English and Svenska Barndaghemmet i Tammerfors in Swedish Private English daycares include Sunshine Early Learning Centre, for example. To learn more about the Swedish daycare, click here. To learn more about English daycares, click here
A variety of day-care services and club activities are available for the families of under-school-age children. The cost of daycare is subsidised by the city. For more information, click here: application and client fee page.
Preschool education is organised in the year preceding comprehensive school. In Tampere, preschool education is organised at city-owned day-care centres or schools and at some private day-care centres.
Tampere has numerous comprehensive schools that provide basic education. The schools are primarily maintained by the city. InfoFinland provides a lot of information about education in Tampere.
The Finnish International School of Tampere, FISTA, located in the Amuri city district, specialises in providing basic education for international pupils. For upper secondary school education, the IB programme at the Tampereen lyseon lukio high school provides education in English and provides the opportunity to complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Tampere offers basic education also in French in Wivi Lönn school. The site of the Filière Franco-Finlandaise de Tampere provides information on both the daycare and basic education in French in Tampere.
For Swedish-speaking pupils, Svenska samskolan i Tammerfors offers both basic education (grundskolan) and high school (gymnasiet) in the Swedish language. Click the following link for more information: basic education in Swedish in Tampere
If the child’s native language is not Finnish or Swedish, he or she is entitled to receive instruction in his or her mother tongue. Two weekly lessons in the mother tongue are provided through all basic education. These lessons are given usually after regular lessons either at the pupil’s own school or in another school. See the City of Tampere’s website for more information on daycare and schooling in different languages in Tampere.