Children living in Helsinki who reach the age of compulsory education (7 years) during 2014 must officially enroll in school. Each child has been reserved a place in their own local school corresponding to the home address.
The local school of a child who is subject to compulsory education is indicated in the compulsory education notification that will be mailed to guardians at the beginning of 2014.
Guardians enroll their child in school on Wednesday 29 January 2014 between 8:00-10:00 a.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m. The enrolment takes place at the child’s local school which is indicated in the compulsory education notification. In a case of wanting to enroll the child in another school than his/her local school, enrolment takes place at the school that the child wishes to enter. Guardians must bring the compulsory education notification with them to the enrolment.
In conjunction with the enrolment, the school will provide guardians with necessary forms and give them advice on matters such as applying for special needs education and assistance for school journeys.
It is also possible for guardians to enroll their child in the local school electronically. Only those children who will enter their local school and who will not apply for special needs education or for a weighted curriculum class may be enrolled electronically.
Electronic enrolment is carried out between 7 – 29 January 2014 at wilma.edu.hel.fi. The user ID and password required for electronic enrolment are given on the child's compulsory education notification. Electronic enrolment can be carried out using the Wilma link on the right-hand side of this page.
The Education Department's Information Desk at Hämeentie 11 A will provide guidance on electronic enrolment between 7 and 29 January 2014 during office hours (8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m).
Electronic enrolment is not possible if
- the child is applying for special needs education
- the child is applying for a class with a weighted curriculum
- the child wishes to enroll in another school than his/her local school
- the child is applying for permission to start basic education one year later or one year earlier than prescribed (the application must be supported by a statement by an expert)
- the child wishes to change from the Swedish-speaking local school marked in the compulsory education notification to a Finnish-speaking school, or vice versa
Children to whom any of the above apply can only be enrolled in school in person on Wednesday, 29 January 2014. Enrolment takes place at the child’s local school which is indicated in the compulsory education notification, or, in the case of wanting to change to another school, at the school that the child wishes to enter. At the school guardians will receive more detailed instructions on the required procedure.
For enquiries about the child’s local school with regard to Finnish-speaking schools, call 09 310 86241 or 09 310 29771. Information on Swedish-speaking schools is available from 09 310 81193 and 09 310 86224.
Starting school one year later or one year earlier
Guardians may request permission for their child to start school one year later than normal. The decision is made before the school year starts and it will be based on a statement by a psychologist and, where necessary, by a doctor. If the request is accepted, it is possible for the child to attend a one-year preparatory class that operates in conjunction with a school or a day-care centre.
If guardians feel that their child should start school one year earlier than normal, they must submit an application to this effect to the head of the school. A statement by a psychologist and, where necessary, by a doctor must be appended to the application. Guardians are required to cover the costs of psychological examinations.
Applying for schools with weighted curricula
In Helsinki, courses that are based on weighted curricula and that start in the first school year are available in languages and music. Language teaching based on weighted curricula can be bilingual or solely in the foreign language. Children wishing to enroll in schools with weighted curricula must take an aptitude test.
Applying to schools other than the child’s local school and entering the child for aptitude tests is not possible to do electronically; guardians must enroll their child in school in person on 29 January 2014 at the school into which they wish their child to enter. They will get further instructions at the school.
Children who are accepted to another school will no longer have the unconditional right to be accepted to the local school that corresponds to their home address.
Applying for special needs education
Guardians whose children require special needs education must enroll their child in school in person on 29 January 2014 at the local school that is indicated in the compulsory education notification. More information on how to apply to special needs education is provided at the local school during the enrolment. In conjunction with the enrolment, guardians are provided with application forms and with instructions for filling them. The filled application must then be submitted to the school into which the child has been enrolled. It is not possible to enroll the child straight away in a special needs school.
More information about special needs education is available from the local school.
Pupils domiciled outside Helsinki
Basic education organised by the City of Helsinki is also available to pupils who are domiciled in another municipality but who currently reside in Helsinki.
Pupils who are domiciled in another municipality and also reside outside of Helsinki may enroll in schools in Helsinki if there are free places after local intake. In this case, the principles of secondary intake are applied. Acceptance to schools with weighted curricula (classes with aptitude tests) requires that the pupil has also passed the aptitude test in the subject in question.
Instruction preparing for basic education
Instruction preparing for basic education is provided for children and youngsters with immigrant background who cannot join Finnish-speaking teaching groups because of inadequate Finnish skills. Some teaching groups that give preparatory instruction also accept children in pre-primary education age.
The teaching groups have a maximum of 12 pupils who study Finnish and central concepts contained in other subjects. A learning plan is prepared for each pupil. The aim is to allow pupils to join Finnish-speaking teaching groups as early as possible so that they can study subjects in which they can manage even if they have only insufficient language skills.
As a rule, preparatory instruction lasts for one year. When pupils have acquired sufficient language skills, they can enter basic education groups that are in accordance with their age and skills.
For more information about instruction preparing for basic education, go to Multicultural education.