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Frequently asked questions

How do I enrol my child in a school/apply for preparatory education for them?

A child who has moved to Finland but does not speak Finnish will begin their studies with preparatory education. 

Once the pupil has arrived in Finland, fill in the registration form for preparatory education. In the form, you must provide information about the following

  • the child’s date of birth or Finnish personal identity code, if they already have one;
  • home address in Finland;
  • the date when the child arrived in Finland;
  • guardian’s contact information.

This information is required for the child to be enrolled in a school.

Send the filled in form via email to valmistavaopetus@hel.fi or by post to Preparatory Education, Education Division, PO BOX 51300. The planning officer will send your application to a school that has a place available for your child in a preparatory education group. The school will contact you.

Which school will my child be enrolled in?

1st and 2nd grade pupils, i.e. children who are 7–8 years old, are enrolled in their local school. Your local school is determined by your home address. You can find your local school at palvelukartta.hel.fi. Enter your address in the search field. A list indicating your local school will be displayed below.

3rd–9th grade pupils are placed in preparatory education groups. Not every school has these groups. The planning officer will find a place for each pupil as close to their home as possible and with good transport connections. Sometimes, the nearest group is full, and if this is the case new pupils must be placed elsewhere. Therefore, a child’s future school cannot be known for certain in advance.

What documents will I need?

The only requirement for enrolling a child in a school in Helsinki is that the child has a permanent address within the city. There is no need to show a residence permit or proof of a parent’s employment. Where possible, it is helpful for the school to see the pupil’s latest school report, though. However, there is no need to have it translated into Finnish.

Do we need to arrange for a meeting with someone when enrolling?

No, you do not. All you need to do is to send the filled in form via email to valmistavaopetus@hel.fi or by post to Preparatory Education, Education Division, PO BOX 51300.

When will we hear back from the school?

It depends. Usually, you can expect to be contacted within a few weeks. If a large number of registrations arrive at the same time, the processing may take more time. During the summer, registrations are still submitted to the schools, but the schools are not likely to contact new pupils until early August.

When can my child start attending school?

The school will let you know the start date as soon as possible once they have been notified of the new pupil.

Is it possible for a child to study in English?

A few schools offer education in English. These schools select their pupils based on an aptitude test. The exam tests the applicants’ knowledge of English. Registration for the aptitude test takes place in December (admission for 7th grade) and January (admission for 1st grade), and the exam is held between January and February. People who have moved to Helsinki after January can apply for free places in grades 1-9 if they meet the admission criteria, but a study place can't be guaranteed. More information is available from a school’s vice-principal and education coordinator (email: eduguidance@hel.fi).

Grades 1–6
Maunula Comprehensive School, Lower Stage

Grades 1–9
Ressu Comprehensive School

Grades 7–9
Maunula Secondary School
Kulosaari Secondary School

There are also private schools in Helsinki that teach in English. Some of them charge tuition fees. More information is available from a school’s principal.

The English School
International School of Helsinki
European School of Helsinki

What other study language options are available at comprehensive schools?

Some schools provide bilingual education. These schools select their pupils based on an aptitude test. The exam tests the applicants’ language skills. Applicants applying for 1st grade don't need previous Finnish skills. Registration for the test for 1st-graders takes place in January, and the exam is held in February. People who have moved to Helsinki after January can register for the entrance exam held in August instead, or if they meet admission criteria, can apply to free places in 2-9 grade. More information is available from a school’s principals and education coordinator (email: eduguidance@hel.fi).  

Finnish and English, grades 1–6

Finnish and English, grades 7–9

Finnish and English, grades 1–9

Finnish and Spanish, grades 1–9
Käpylä Comprehensive School

Finnish and Chinese, grades 1–9
Meilahti Comprehensive School, Lower Stage and Meilahti Comprehensive School, Upper Stage

Finnish and Northern Sami, grades 1–6
Pasila Comprehensive School

Finnish and Estonian, grades 1–9
Latokartano Comprehensive School

Finnish and Russian, grades 1–9
Myllypuro Comprehensive School

Can I attain a document proving that my child is attending school in Finland?

Once your child has started school, you can request this document directly from the school.




20.12.2021 10:13