Support for learning and school-going
Support for learning and school-going aims at strengthening pupil's basic skills and preventing difficulties. Taking care of the pupil's growth and wellbeing is an essential part of the support.
Three-level model for support
Support for learning and school-going is grounded in a three-level model for support, in which support forms and structures intensify gradually. The three forms are general, intensified and special support. Support is arranged in the context of general instruction as often as it promotes the pupil's best interest.
General support is a part of the daily school work and is based on every pupil’s right to receive high-quality tuition, guidance and support during every school day. The various support forms for learning and studying include, among others, remedial education, part-time special needs education, guidance, assistant services, differentiation of tuition, co-teaching and flexible grouping of study groups. These support forms are used flexibly. A personal learning plan may be prepared for a pupil.
Intensive support is more comprehensive and long-term than general support. The support forms provided are the same as in general support. Before intensive support is launched, a pedagogical evaluation is prepared for the pupil together with his/her guardians. The primary goal of intensive support is to guide and teach the pupil so that he/she may return back to general support after receiving intensive support. Intensive support is deployed to prevent an increase in and diversification and accumulation of problems.
After the decision of providing intensive support has been made, a personal learning plan based on the pedagogical evaluation is prepared for the pupil. Such a learning plan can also be prepared for a pupil receiving general support. The learning plan describes the support given to the pupil as a whole. The learning plan promotes the systematic planning of studies and support measures and furthers the pupil’s learning, growth and development as well as their monitoring.
The learning plan is prepared in cooperation with the pupil and his/her guardians. At the same time, ways for the guardians to help the pupil meet his/her goals are discussed. Higher grade pupils participate in the preparation of the plan more than younger pupils.
Special support is granted to pupils who are unable to meet the goals set for their growth, development and learning with the help of the other support measures. The goal of special support is to support the pupil comprehensively and systematically so that he/she is able to complete compulsory education and become eligible for further studies.
A pupil receiving special support has usually first been given general and intensive support. Before making a special support decision, a pedagogical report is prepared regarding the progress of the pupil’s studies. Based on this pedagogical report, an individual education plan (IEP) is prepared in cooperation with the pupil and his/her guardians. This plan guides the tuition and other support given to the pupil.
Tuition and support measures provided to a pupil in need of special support can be organised either as normal classroom tuition or in a special class or special school. The pupil’s best interest, learning abilities and special requirements set for his/her study location are considered when organising and implementing special support. There are different kinds of special classes available in Espoo. A special class may operate in the pupil’s own local school, in another school in the same school catchment area or in a school in a different school catchment area. Special support teaching arrangements are listed in the special support decision made for the pupil.
Personalising the syllabus of a certain subject
If a pupil is unable to reach the learning goals related to the core content of a certain subject (or subjects) despite the support he/she has received, the syllabus of the subject in question can be personalised. Personalising the syllabus requires a pedagogical, psychological and, when necessary, also a medical examination. In connection with the personalising, individual goals and key contents are defined for the subjects in which the pupil has a personalised syllabus. These are registered in the pupil’s personal individual education plan (IEP).
Extended compulsory education
Extended compulsory education concerns children who are unable to meet the goals set for comprehensive education in the customary nine years due to disability or illness. The administrative decision on extending compulsory education is primarily made before the beginning of compulsory education.
Pre-primary education of a child with extended compulsory education may last for 1–2 years. A child with extended compulsory education will also receive a special support decision. The guardian decides whether the child will participate in pre-primary education before compulsory education at the age of five. At the age of six, the child is subject to compulsory education. The pre-primary education that is part of the extended compulsory education is organised in cooperation with Finnish Early Education and comprehensive education. The pupil’s tuition is organised in accordance with the individual education plan (IEP). The plan is prepared by the kindergarten teacher providing pre-primary education together with a special teacher from the education unit.
Studies by areas of activity
Tuition can be organised according to areas of activity when it cannot be organised subject-specifically or according to a personalised syllabus, due to the pupil’s difficult disability or illness.
The areas of activity may include the content and goals of a single subject in accordance with the pupil’s strengths. The same study group may contain pupils from various grades.
Areas of activity in the curriculum include motor skills, language and communication, social skills, daily functioning skills and cognitive skills.
The central goal of remedial teaching is to prevent difficulties in learning and school-going so that the pupil will not fall behind in one's studies. Remedial teaching can the given to help the pupil advance in subjects or subject groups, or to strengthen one's working skills. Remedial teaching can be provided outside lessons or during lessons directly related to the need of support.
Part-time special education supports the pupil's growth, development and learning. Each pupil is entitled to the support when needed. Part-time special education strengthens the basic school-going skills and prevents difficulties.
Part-time special education is planned and the pupil's learning is assessed as teacher cooperation. The guardian's support in carrying out the education is central, and cooperation with the guardian thereby important.
Forms of part-time special education include simultaneous, small group and one-on-one teaching as well as support in which other teachers of the school are consulted . Different forms of teaching and activities are alternated so that the different needs of support of the pupil and his/her teaching group are accounted for.
Regional special education classes
Regional special education classes are meant for pupils who have wide-scale learning difficulties. The classes are situated in comprehensive schools in each of the city's seven regions. Each class has maximum 10 pupils. Instruction primarily follows the general syllabus.
City-level special education classes
City-level special education classes are meant for pupils whose teaching arrangements requires expertise in certain fields. Pupil catchment covers all city regions. The aim is to arrange special education classes as close to the pupil's homes as possible, and/or within a reasonable commute so that the pupil's day with possible morning and afternoon care forms a purposeful, supportive whole.
City-level education includes:
• Wide-ranging learning disabilities
• Difficulties in adjustment and in the emotional sphere
• Autism spectrum education
• Teaching of mildly disabled pupils
• Teaching of deeply disabled pupils
• Teaching of pupils with wide-ranging linguistic special needs and hearing impairment
Interpretation and assistant services
Pupils are entitled to free-of-charge interpretation and assistant services required to participating in education, as well as other education services in all forms of support.
Under the principal's leadership, the school's communal pupil welfare group is responsible for allocating to different teaching groups the assistant services given to the school.
The need for aid equipment can relate to the pupil's special needs concerning learning, seeing, hearing, moving or other physical need. Those working with the pupil plan together how the aid equipment are used in instruction.
If needed, other experts, eg. speech therapists, functional or physiotherapists, participate in assessing the pupil's need for aid equipment. The need for aid equipment of pupils receiving general and intensified support is assessed in a pedagogical assessment (arvionti). As for those receiving special support, the need is assessed in a pedagogical investigation (selvitys). The use of aid equipment which the pupil has received is described in the pupil's learning plan or individual educational plan (IEP) depending on the level of support.
The application for aid equipment, which the guardians and school fill in together, can be printed from the website forms and applications. Either the pedagogical assessment or investigation and the speech therapists, functional or physiotherapists statement must be attached to the application. The application shall be submitted to the Finnish Education Unit's Student Support Services.
Erityisen tuen hakeminen
Support for learning and school-going, applying for special support, decision-making, advice.
Please contact primarily the principal of the school in matters of special education.
For information on special education services, you can contact our education planners via email email@example.com and during the application period by phone from Tuesday to Thursday between 13:00 and 15:00, tel. 040 634 3332.
Guidance in special education services is currently congested, so responses may take longer than usual. Please contact us primarily by email.