All children living permanently in Finland are legally obligated to complete the compulsory education syllabus. The syllabus can be completed by either participating in basic education or by acquiring a corresponding education through some other Means.
Compulsory education starts during the year when the child turns seven years old, and ends when the basic education syllabus is completed or when ten years have elapsed from the start of compulsory education
Generally, local authorities are responsible for providing basic education. Local authorities assign pupils a place in a local school, but pupils are free to enroll in some other school if it has places available
In 2007, there were a total of about 3,300 comprehensive schools, and this network covers the whole country. The smallest schools have less than ten students, while the largest have over 900. In addition to public schools, there are also some private schools.
Basic education is governed by the Basic Education Act (628/1998) and Basic Education Decree (852/1998) and the Government Decree on the General National Objectives and Distribution of Lesson Hours in Basic Education (1435/2001).
The core subjects taught to all pupils in the basic education syllabus are:
the mother tongue and literature (Finnish or Swedish),
the other official language
one foreign language
environmental studies, health education,
religion or ethics
Education in Finland Academic degrees Vocational degrees Age doctor employment licentiate master Polytechnic (new) 2-3 y bachelor Polytechnic 3-4 y upper secondary school vocational school 18-19 17 16 comprehensive school 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 pre-school 6
Pre-school education is intended for six-year-olds, who will start their compulsory education in the following year
Participation in pre-school education is voluntary, and it is provided in day care centres and in pre-school classes operating in connection with comprehensive schools
The objective of pre-school education is to create a playing and learning environment offering inspiring activities and providing children with opportunities to develop holistically together with their peers