The most equitable and effective place to learn

Helsinki promotes equality in education in all residential areas. The goal is to ensure a smooth path from early childhood education to upper secondary education. The availability of qualified personnel is essential in ensuring equal quality in education.

Goal: All schools are good schools

Helsinki strengthens the appeal of local schools and especially targets support to areas where it is needed. The goal is monitored with an indicator that indicates the proportion of first grade pupils in the city’s schools who have chosen their local school. Currently, approximately 85 per cent of pupils in the first grade of comprehensive school choose a school in their own catchment area. 

Pupils in the first grade of comprehensive school having chosen a school in their own catchment area, the city's schools.

Goal: A smooth path from early childhood education to basic education and on to upper secondary education

Early childhood education, pre-primary and basic education and upper secondary education form a coherent study path. The goal is to further increase the participation rate in early childhood education, especially among foreign-language speakers. Currently, more than 93 per cent of children aged 3–6 in Helsinki participate in early childhood education. Regional differences in early childhood education participation rates are moderate, varying between about 90 per cent and 98 per cent. The participation rate varies according to the age of the children so that the participation rate of very young children aged 1–2 is clearly lower than that of children aged 3–6. Similarly, the participation rate of foreign-language children is somewhat lower than that of children of Finnish origin. 

Helsinki will implement the recent nationwide reform that extends compulsory education to the age of 18 by developing a coherent study path that continues seamlessly on to upper secondary studies after basic education. In the new model, compulsory education ends when the student turns 18, or earlier if the student completes upper secondary education. According to the most recent information available, approximately 84 per cent of upper secondary education graduates have taken up employment or are studying one year after graduation. Taking up employment or studying is slightly more common among matriculation examination graduates (86 per cent) than among vocational upper secondary qualification graduates (83 per cent). 

Regional differences in attending early childhood education.

Goal: Ensuring that the share of qualified personnel in early childhood education increases

Finding a sustainable solution to the personnel shortage is key to the implementation of high-quality early childhood education. Helsinki will draw up measures to improve the availability of personnel and start implementing these measures during the council term.  

The availability of new personnel and the well-being of existing personnel remain a significant risk factor at the division level. Personnel shortage and strain on personnel make it difficult to achieve strategic and operational goals. 

The chart shows the total shortfall in vacancies for early childhood education teachers in Finnish and Swedish-speaking early childhood education in the services of the city of Helsinki. The total gap refers to tasks that are handled either by a person who does not have the appropriate qualifications for the task, or the task is open and a substitute has been hired for it through Seure Human Resources Services.

Goal: We will meet the needs of international children and families by adjusting the operations of our daycare centres, schools, universities and leisure activities. 

The City of Helsinki strives to increase education in English. When increasing education, the aim is to ensure the learner’s language path from pre-primary education to basic education and the possibility to continue to upper secondary education. However, the lack of a national-level English-language matriculation examination makes it difficult to implement a functional language path. Nonetheless, flexible admission to basic education was implemented in January 2022 to cater to the needs of international families, allowing the assigning of a study place in the middle of the year.