Guidelines concerning absences from basic education during the coronavirus pandemic

Published: 20.1.2022 13.40

The City of Espoo has issued the following guidelines concerning absences from basic education during the coronavirus pandemic.

If a pupil gets a positive test result through a home test or an official test or if they have symptoms and are therefore unable to attend contact teaching, it is considered a temporary, permitted absence due to health reasons. The standard practices concerning absences will be followed in these situations.  

An asymptomatic pupil who has not tested positive can go to school. An asymptomatic pupil can go to school even if their family member has been diagnosed with coronavirus based on an official test or a home test. If the pupil later develops symptoms, they cannot attend contact teaching and must avoid contact with people outside their home for at least five days. 

If a pupil has symptoms but is able to do schoolwork, the school will decide how the pupil’s work at home is guided and supported during this period. The school will mainly be in contact with the pupil through Wilma and may, for example, give assignments to do at home. The school is responsible for giving assignments and related guidance to the pupil. Teachers may, within their competences, make various pedagogically justified decisions concerning the guidance of the pupil. 

In case of absence due to health reasons, notify absence in Wilma. For longer absences or absences that are not due to health reasons, you will need to fill in an application on Wilma under ‘Applications and decisions’. When determining the duration of absence, it is important to take account of the City of Espoo’s current recommendations and instructions(extrernal link). The school does not require medical certificates. 

When returning to school, pupils have the right to remedial teaching, if necessary. 

Pupils have the right to contact the school’s pupil welfare staff during their absence. In this case, they can contact the staff by phone or email. 

Basic education is, as a rule, organised as contact teaching 

More extensive distance learning for a group, class or school is possible if the education provider has made a decision on exceptional teaching arrangements. Such decisions do not apply to pupils in grades 1–3, pupils who have received a special support decision or pupils attending extended compulsory education or instruction preparing for basic education (Basic Education Act, section 20a). These decisions are made by the Deputy Mayor for Growth and Learning. 

Distance learning is also possible if an individual pupil is placed in isolation by the infectious disease authority. 

Guardians can submit an application for special teaching arrangements for reasons related to a pupil’s health (Basic Education Act, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph 3). The application must include a doctor’s assessment of the pupil’s situation. During the coronavirus epidemic, it has also been possible to submit this application for reasons related to a family member’s health (serious illness). The school’s principal will provide further information on how to apply. Decisions on teaching arrangements are made by the Superintendent of Schools for Finnish Basic Education and by the Superintendent of Education for Swedish Education and Cultural Services. 

The school’s food package is only available to pupils who have received a distance learning decision. 

Distribution of coronavirus home tests at school 

We will inform guardians and pupils after national decisions have been made concerning the distribution of home tests to pupils through schools. 

Pupils who are ill or have symptoms must stay at home 

As the number of coronavirus infections is on the rise, we want to remind families that it is important for everyone to stay at home if they are ill or have symptoms. Exposed but asymptomatic pupils can only attend teaching. They should not participate in recreational activities or visit places such as shopping centres in their leisure time. Read more about the City of Espoo’s instructions.(extrernal link)  

  • Covid
  • Growth and Learning
  • Basic Education