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Instructions for Institutions Providing Basic Arts Education

From 21 August 2018, these instructions apply to all educational institutions providing basic arts education and approved by the Culture Division of the City of Helsinki’s Culture and Leisure Committee. In addition to the Act on Basic Education in the Arts, other regulations, the Core Curriculum of the Finnish National Agency for Education, and their new curricula, all educational institutions must comply with these instructions. If the operations of an institution change significantly or the institution is not complying with the curricula, legislation or the instructions, the approval of its curriculum may be cancelled.

An institution of basic arts education must:

  • Notify the City of Helsinki of any significant changes in its operations that affect the institution’s ability to operate and/or the nature of its operations.
  • Respond to the City of Helsinki’s requests for information and queries regarding basic arts education.
  • Create an equality and parity plan for itself, accounting for the nature and scope of its activities. The students and their parents must be notified of these plans. More information is available for example here (in Finnish).
  • Upload its curriculum to the Finnish National Agency for Education’s ePerusteet service and publish it on its website, for example.
  • Safeguard the students’ interests so that the students and their guardians are always aware, without exception, of the syllabus that the students are studying and what their rights as students are. The approval of a curriculum only covers those subjects and syllabi specified in the decision, and students must not be provided with basic arts education in subjects or syllabi without an approved curriculum.

The institutions must follow the Basic Art Education Act 1998/633 (in Finnish). The Act states that:

  • Basic arts education is goal-oriented and progresses from one level to the next.
  • Education may not be provided for financial gain.
  • An education provider must evaluate the education it provides and participate in external assessments of its operations.
  • Student evaluations are intended to guide and motivate students and to improve the students’ self-evaluation skills. The students’ work should be assessed comprehensively.
  • The Finnish National Board for Education makes all decisions regarding student evaluation and information included in diplomas.
  • All educational institutions that provide education specified in the Act must have a principal in charge of the operations.
  • An educational institution must have a sufficient number of teaching posts or teachers working with employment contracts in relation to how the institution is arranging the education it provides. In addition to this, the education provider may have hourly-paid teachers and other staff.
  • Within two months of having received their assessment results, a student may request that the teacher or teachers who conducted the assessment perform it again. If a student is unsatisfied with their new assessment or the decision to reject their request for one, the student may file a complaint with the principal.
  • Students may be charged a reasonable fee.

The educational institution must comply with the Core Curriculum for Basic Arts Education drawn up by the Finnish National Board for Education (in Finnish).

The Core Curriculum states that:

  • Curricula created based on the new core curriculum must be implemented from 1 August 2018. Students beginning their studies after 31 July 2018 must follow the Core Curriculum.
  • Students who began their studies before 1 August 2018 may continue their studies based on the old curricula until 31 July 2021.
  • Education providers must plan the courses they offer and decide on the amount of teaching they provide in accordance with the Core Curriculum.
  • According to Section 5a of the Act on Equality Between Women and Men (609/1986, amended by the act 1329/2014), each educational institution must prepare a gender equality plan annually in cooperation with staff and pupils. Instead of the annual assessments, the plan may also be extended to cover three years at a time. The equality plan may be made part of an institution’s curriculum or other plan.
  • According to Section 6(2) of the Non-discrimination Act (1325/2014), the education provider must ensure that the educational institution has a plan for the necessary measures for promotion of equality. The equality plan may be included in the curriculum.

The competence requirements of principals and teachers are provided for in the Teaching Qualifications Decree (1998/986).

The operations of educational institutions are also governed by the Finnish tax Administration’s detailed instructions concerning VAT on education services (in Finnish).

The institutions are responsible for ensuring compliance with these instructions.


Basic Arts Education Grant main page

Grants for Culture main page


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