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School admission

Helsinki is divided into school admission areas. The City of Helsinki assigns a local school for child according to the child's home address. This school is the so-called local school. The local school may not be the nearest school to a child’s home. The local school can be found on the Service Map or requested from the Education Division’s advisory services.

All children permanently residing in Finland must attend school. If a child does not know any Finnish or Swedish, the guardian should enrol the pupil in preparatory education, which helps them gain the adequate language skills. You can enrol a pupil in preparatory education throughout the year. 

The local school primarily admits pupils from its own area. In case of vacancies, the school can admit pupils from other areas. If a pupil is placed in a school other than the local school, the child's guardians are responsible for the school transportation costs.

A child can apply to a school other than the local school for language studies, Swedish-language immersion programme, and health-related reasons and for special education.

Weighted-curriculum and bilingual education

Schools can offer weighted-curriculum and bilingual education. Pupils are selected via aptitude tests, and the school does not have to be the pupil's local school. 

If a pupil in these types of education wishes to go back to the local school, they can only be admitted to the local school if the school has free places left.  

School admission criteria

English translation of the school admission criteria in Finnish-language basic education: Determination of a pupil’s school and criteria for school admission in Finnish-language basic education (PDF)

Education Division's advisory services

Service map

17.08.2022 10:59