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Basic education

The objective of basic education in Finland is to support pupils’ growth towards humanity and ethically responsible membership of society and to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed in life.

Compulsory schooling lasts for 9 years and it is for all youngsters between 7 and 15 years. Compulsory pre-primary education starts one year before basic education at the age of 6. Municipalities are responsible for arranging education for all 6 – 15 years old living in a municipality.  

Compulsory schooling is provided in a single structure system called basic education. It includes grades 1-9.

Pre-primary and basic education is free for pupils. Pupils get also free learning materials, daily school meal, health and welfare services and transport from home to school if the way to school is long or dangerous.

Every pupil is allocated a place in a nearby school, but they can also choose another school with some restrictions.

All schools follow a national core curriculum, which includes objectives and core contents of different subjects. The education providers - most often municipalities as the local education authorities - and the schools themselves draw up their own curricula within the framework of the national core curriculum.

Interesting aspects of the Finnish education system