Schools and daycare
Institutions of upper secondary education (upper secondary schools and vocational schools) will move to distance learning. The needs for necessary contact teaching will still be secured. Contact teaching will be offered, among other groups, to disabled students receiving special needs education and to students who need individual support for any reason. Distance learning will begin at the start of the new evaluation period on 3 December 2020 and continue until 31 December 2020.
Daycare centre staff are encouraged to wear masks indoors whenever possible. Early childhood education employees who travel to several locations in their work, for example, daycare assistants, replacements, directors, trainees and interns are in particular asked to observe this mask recommendation.
A mask recommendation has also been issued for the area’s lower secondary schools (grades 7-9). The cities will provide masks for this purpose, but students are also free to use their own.
- Helsinki still takes coronavirus infections at daycare centres and schools seriously (29 November)
- New restrictions and recommendations set by the metropolitan area’s coronavirus coordination group (27 November)
- Helsinki Metropolitan Area declares community transmission phase, introduces tighter recommendations and restrictions (20 November)
- Mask recommendation expands to upper secondary schools in the capital city area (29 September)
Education Helpline re-opened in Helsinki
In questions concerning pupils and students in Helsinki in Finnish and English, call 09 310 10025 on Monday–Friday 9 am–5 pm. Education Helpline re-opened in Helsinki
School year begins with face-to-face classroom instruction
The terms begun with face-to-face classroom instruction, but with careful consideration for keeping safe distances and limiting close contact. Good hand and respiratory hygiene will also be emphasized.
Check the websites of Helsinki's international schools for indiviudal starting dates and arrangements.
Hybrid teaching alternatives possible, if necessary
On 10 August 2020, Helsinki's City Board decided to allow exceptional teaching arrangements, if it proves necessary to ensure the safe use of basic education facilities run by the city. The new arrangements would likely be a combination of distance learning and face-to-face classroom instruction, allowing some older children to alternate between remote and contact teaching for a short period.
If a worsening coronavirus situation prompts the introduction of hybrid teaching, teaching will nevertheless continue in classrooms for children in grades 1-3 and students with special needs. Normal face-to-face classroom instruction will also continue for students attending preparatory education or extended compulsory education.
Helsinki shares guidelines for coronavirus testing of children
The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) released guidelines on what to do if a child becomes ill with a respiratory tract infection. Among other things, the guidelines explain when it is appropriate to bring a child to a coronavirus test and when it is okay for children to return to schools and daycares. The City of Helsinki will adhere to the new THL instructions. It has informed parents and guardians of Helsinki students of the guidelines. The new guidelines for coronavirus testing of children can be found at the THL website
Helsinki postpones Mayor’s Independence Day Reception for fourth graders
The annual mayor-hosted Independence Day celebration for fourth graders in Helsinki has been moved to the spring of 2021 because of the coronavirus situation. Under normal circumstances, the reception would have taken place on Thursday, 3 December in Finlandia Hall. Helsinki postpones Mayor's Indepencence Day Reception for fourth graders
No infection increase during brief school reopening last spring
Helsinki's municipal schools closed down in mid-March 2020 and almost all of the over 40,000 students in city's schools switched to distance learning. As coronavirus infection rates slowed, a decision was made to return to the classrooms on 14 May for two and a half weeks of contact teaching before the summer holidays.
Coronavirus infections were identified in eight schools across Helsinki during this time, with all but one of the infections originating from outside the school. Overall, it was determined that the reopening of schools did not cause an increase in the number of infections in Helsinki.