Concepts and definitions

Acceptances or transfers to special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, acceptances and transfers to special education in 1995 to 2010 refer to pupils who have been accepted or transferred to special education due to disability, illness, delayed development, emotional disorder or other reason. Decisions about acceptances or transfers have been made by municipal administrative bodies and have required hearing of experts and parents, and drawing up of plans concerning the organisation of personal teaching. If necessary, subject syllabuses can have been individualised and reduced from those in general education. Duration of compulsory education can also have been extended where the pupil has not been to able reach the targets set for comprehensive school education within nine years.

From 2011 onwards, comprehensive school pupils accepted and transferred to special education have been considered equal to comprehensive school pupils having received special support.

Additional education

In the statistics on comprehensive school education and special education and in the statistics on adult education of educational institutions, additional education in comprehensive school refers to the optional additional class (10th class) of one year's duration available for young people having completed the syllabus of comprehensive school education. Pupils in additional education also include special support receiving pupils that are in extended compulsory education.

Arrangement of teaching in special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, the arrangement of teaching for pupils accepted or transferred to special education was in 2001 to 2010 as follows:

1. Teaching is arranged as general teaching: pupils study the syllabus according to the curriculum of general teaching.

2. Part of the syllabus has been individualised: pupils study less extensive, indi-vidualised syllabuses in one or more subjects.

3. All syllabuses have been individualised: pupils study less extensive, individualised syllabuses in all subjects.

From 2011 onwards, the concept "subject syllabuses" corresponds to the concept "arrangement of teaching in special education".

Comprehensive school

In the statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive school education, subject choices of students, special education, and students and qualifications of educational institutions comprehensive schools refer to educational institutions providing basic, general knowledge teaching to an entire age cohort (basic comprehensive school education, compulsory education school). All children of the compulsory school age of 7 to 16 must complete the comprehensive school. Completion of the comprehensive school takes nine years.

Educational institutions of the following types classify as comprehensive schools:

Comprehensive schools

Comprehensive school level special schools

Comprehensive and upper secondary level schools

The full comprehensive school syllabus or subject studied within it can also be completed in upper secondary general schools and folk high schools but the basic teaching they provide is aimed at students over the compulsory school age (basic education of adults). These educational institutions and their students are not usually included in the statistics describing comprehensive schools.

Education

Education refers here to education leading to a qualification or degree.

Education leading to a qualification or degree (qualification or degree-oriented education)refers to education leading to the completion of the full syllabus of comprehensive school (school-leaving certificate), completion of the full syllabus of upper secondary general school (matriculation examination certificate), International Baccalaureate certificate, Reifeprüfung certificate, European Baccalaureate certificate, Gymnasieexamen certificate, initial vocational qualification, basic vocational qualification, specialist vocational qualification, polytechnic degree, higher polytechnic degree or university degree.

Education leading to a qualification or degree is classified by the classification of education.

Educational institution

An educational institution refers to an administrative unit with a principal or other head, which has teachers and other personnel in its service (role of employers), and which is liable to keep books and compile other documentation, in which students are registered, whose activities are regulated by a legal act or decree, which follows a national curriculum, and which is financed and controlled by a public authority. An educational institution does not refer to a school building or facility. A new educational institution is established, an educational institution is abolished or merged with another educational institution at the decision of the organiser of education (maintainer of the educational institution) or a public authority.

Statistics Finland has assigned an individualised educational institution ID to each educational institution. Educational institutions are classified according to a classification of types of educational institutions.

Educational system

The Finnish educational system is comprised of the following:

Pre-primary education is provided in Finland to children between the ages of three and six, usually at children's day care homes. Some 6-year-old children receive pre-primary education in comprehensive schools. Attendance of pre-primary education is voluntary.

Comprehensive school education is general knowledge education provided for entire age cohorts. All children permanently resident in Finland must attend compulsory education. Compulsory education starts in the year of the child's seventh birthday.

Compulsory education finishes when the syllabus of comprehensives school education has been completed (9-year comprehensive school), or 10 years from the start of compulsory education. In exceptional cases compulsory education may start already at the age of six and last 11 years due to a disability or illness. A student who has received a leaving certificate from comprehensive school in the same year or in the year before it may continue to attend optional additional education (10th grade).

Post-comprehensive school education, or upper secondary general education and vocational education represent secondary level of education. Upper secondary general school education is education leading to a matriculation examination. Its scope is three years and it gives general eligibility to further education. Vocational education can be either educational institution-based or apprenticeship training. In apprenticeship training, most of the studying is comprised of learning through practical work tasks at a workplace. The qualifications are initial vocational qualifications attained in three years, which also give general eligibility to further polytechnic or university studies.

Further and specialist vocational qualifications represent further vocational education. They, as well as initial vocational qualifications can be attained in a skills examination that can be taken irrespective of the way of acquisition of professional skills, and in which skills can be proven on the basis of preparatory education for a skills examination or work experience.

Attainment of polytechnic degrees takes 3.5 to 4.5 years and higher polytechnic degrees requiring work practice 1-1.5 years. Attainment of lower university degrees takes three years while higher university degrees take two years longer. Attainers of higher level university degrees may continue their studies to licentiate and doctorate level degrees.

Grade

In the statistics on comprehensive school education, subject choices of students and special education, comprehensive school education is divided into nine grades from one to nine. In addition to these, pre-primary education of pupils of pre-primary education registered in comprehensive schools and additional education (10th class) of comprehensive school education are included in comprehensive school education.

Statistics on pupils are compiled by grade. If pupils cannot be allocated to a certain grade, e.g. in special education, they are included in the statistics of the grade that corresponds their age.

Grounds for special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, the grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education were in 2001 to 2010 as follows:

1. Severely delayed development

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are moderate, severe or very severe delay of development. Pupils' syllabuses are always partly or com-pletely individualised.

2. Slightly delayed development

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are slight delay in the pupil's development.

3. Varying degrees of cerebral dysfunction, physical disability or similar

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are the pupil's neurological disability or developmental disorder, such as ADHD, or physical disability, such as the CP syndrome.

4. Emotional disturbance or social maladjustment

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are the pupil's emo-tional disturbance or social maladjustment.

5. Learning difficulties related to autism or the Asperger's syndrome

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are the pupil's autism or Asperger's syndrome.

6. Learning difficulties caused by impaired linguistic development (dysphasia)

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are the pupil's im-paired linguistic development (dysphasia).

7. Visual impairment

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are the pupil's visual impairment.

8. Hearing impairment

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are the pupil's hear-ing impairment.

9. Other than reasons listed above

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are some other reasons not listed above.

The grounds for special education were based on the decision concerning acceptance or transfer to special education.

In the statistics on special education in vocational education, the grounds for special education were in 1999 to 2003 as follows:

1. Auditory impairment

2. Visual impairment

3. Muscular-skeletal impairment

4. Chronic illness

5. Delayed development

6. Severe delay of development

7. Emotional disturbance, and

8. Other reason.

In the statistics on special education in vocational education, the grounds for special education are starting from 2004 as follows:

01. Perception, attention and concentration difficulty, such as AD/HD or ADD

02. Linguistic difficulties, such as severe reading difficulty, dysphasia, dyslexia

03. Interactive and behavioural disorders, such a social maladjustment

04.Slightly delayed development, student has extensive learning difficulties

05. Severely delayed development, medium or severe mental handicap

06. Chronic psychological illnesses, mental health problems, rehabilitating drug abusers

07. Chronic somatic chronic illnesses, such as allergy, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, cancer

08. Learning difficulties related to autism or the Asperger's syndrome

09. Difficulties of mobility and motoric functions, such as musculo-skeletal disor-ders, the CP syndrome, dwarfism

10. Auditory impairment

11. Visual impairment

12. Other reason necessitating special teaching.

The grounds for acceptance or transfer to special education are determined by the primary reason for needing special education.

Intensified support

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools and in the statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive school education, intensified support refers to support to pupils on which a learning plan for intensified support has been drawn up. Intensified support is provided to pupils who need for their learning or school attendance regular support or simultaneously several forms of support (e.g. remedial teaching, part-time special education, school assistant or interpretation services) The support arranged for the pupil is recorded in the learning plan that is drawn up based on pedagogical assessment in co-operation with the pupil and his or her guardian.

Part-time special education

n the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, part-time special education refers to teaching pupils can have beside other teaching if they have difficulties in learning or school attendance. Pupils can receive part-time special education also during intensified or special support.

Place of implementation of special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, for pupils with a decision on special support the places of implementation of teaching are from 2011 as follows:

1. All teaching is provided in a general education group.

2. 51 to 99 per cent of teaching is provided in a general education group.

3. 21 to 50 per cent of teaching is provided in a general education group.

4. 1 to 20 per cent of teaching is provided in a general education group.

5. All teaching is provided in special groups or classes.

In 2001 to 2010, the concept "place of provision of special education" corresponds to the concept "place of implementation of special education".

Place of provision of special education

In the statistics on special education, the places of provision of special education were in 2001 to 2010 as follows:

1. All teaching is provided in a general education group: pupils are fully integrated into groups attending general education.

2. Teaching is partially provided in a general education group: pupils study partly in special classes or groups and partly in groups attending general education.

3. Special groups, special classes: pupils study in special groups or classes.

From 2011 onwards, the concept "place of implementation of special education" corresponds to the concept "place of provision of special education".

Pre-primary education

In the statistics on comprehensive school education and special education, pre-primary education refers to the education of pupils enrolled as pre-primary school pupils in comprehensive schools. Pre-primary education is education intended for children aged six who will be starting comprehensive education in the following year. In addition to pre-primary classes of comprehensive schools, pre-primary education is also provided in children's day care centres. Attendance of pre-primary education is voluntary. Pre-primary pupils also include special support receiving pupils that are in extended compulsory education.

Pupil

In the statistics on comprehensive school education, on subject choices of students and on special education, comprehensive school pupils refer to all pupils registered at comprehensive schools: pupils of pre-primary education, pupils of grades 1 to 9 and pupils of additional education (10th class).

Data on the number of comprehensive school pupils describe the situation on 20 September.

Reason for part-time special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, the reasons for part-time special education were in the academic years 2001/2002 to 2009/2010 as follows:

1) Speech disorder

2) Reading or writing disorder or difficulty

3) Learning difficulty in mathematics

4) Learning difficulty in foreign languages

5) Difficulties in adjustment or emotional disorder, or

6) Other learning difficulties.

The reason for part-time special education was determined by the primary reason for needing special education.

Sector of education

In the statistics on educational institutions, education is divided into the following sectors of education:

  • Comprehensive school education
  • Upper secondary general education
  • Vocational education
  • Polytechnic education
  • University education.

Special education

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools and in the statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive school education, special education refers to teaching arranged from 1995 to 2010 for those accepted and transferred to special education and starting from 2011 that arranged for pupils receiving special support because of disability, illness, delayed development, emotional disturbance or some other comparable special reason. Part-time special education is also special education that pupils can have besides other teaching if they have difficulties in learning or school attendance.

In the statistics on special education in vocational education, special education refers (since 1999) to teaching that is organised because of disability, illness, de-layed development or some other reason for students requiring special teaching or student services. The law on vocational education obliges that an individual plan concerning the arrangement of teaching must be drawn up for the student.

Special support

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools and in the statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive school education, special support refers to support to pupils on which a written decision has been made concerning provision of special support. Special support is provided to pupils for whom the attainment of the objectives of growth, development and learning is not sufficiently realised with other supporting measures. Special support is arranged either in the scope of general or extended compulsory education and it is formed of special education and other support.

Before the decision on special support, the pupil and his or her guardian are heard and a pedagogical survey is made, including an assessment of the need for special support. The decision is checked at least after the second grade and before the transition to the seventh grade. An individual plan on the arrangement of teaching is made for special support pupils.

Support to learning and school attendance can be divided into general, intensified and special support. If general support is not enough, intensified support is provided. If intensified support is not enough, special support is provided. Comprehensive school pupils accepted and transferred to special education in previous years (1995-2010) are considered equal to special support pupils.

Student

Vocational education students refer to the students of curriculum-based vocational education who are registered at an educational institution on 20 September and to the students of preparatory education for a skills examination who are registered at an educational institution during the calendar year.

Subject syllabuses

In the statistics on special education in comprehensive schools, for pupils with a decision on special support the subject syllabuses are from 2011 as follows:

1. Syllabuses of all subjects are taught according to the general syllabus (no indi-vidualised syllabuses)

2. The syllabus of one subject is individualised

3. The syllabus of two to three subjects is individualised

4. The syllabus of at least four subjects is individualised

5. The pupil is studying according to functional skill areas.

In 2001 to 2010, the concept "place of provision of special education" corresponds to the concept "subject syllabuses".

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Special education [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1617. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.9.2014].
Access method: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/erop/kas_en.html.

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