Getting excited about the Finnish school system

Yes, excellent, let\’s do it, eh?

Finnish schools are the inspiration behind some of the Conservatives’ planned education reforms to raise the qualifications and status of teaching in England, turning it in David Cameron’s words into a “noble profession”.

So, what are the distinctive bits of the Finnish school structure?

Education after primary school is divided into vocational and academic systems, according to the old German model. Traditionally, the systems do not interoperate, although some of the de jure restrictions have recently been lifted. In particular, an important difference compared other systems is that there is no common \”youth school\” — ages 15–19 are spent either in a trade school, or in an academic-oriented upper secondary school. Trade school graduates may enter the workforce directly after graduation. Upper secondary school graduates are taught no vocational skills and are expected to continue to tertiary education. A national speciality in contrast to some foreign systems is the academic matriculation diploma (Abitur) received after successful completion of upper secondary school, which holds a high prestige.

School leaving age is 15/16 and after that it works on roughly the grammar/secondary modern system.

Hey, works for me, let\’s get on with it then.

5 thoughts on “Getting excited about the Finnish school system”

  1. I’d make a few mods. In particular, “Upper secondary school graduates are taught no vocational skills” seems a pity. Nor can it be literally true – science labs undoubtedly involve “vocational skills”, so does any IT that’s taught. An option or two should be available, though perhaps as an after-school class. (Put otherwise: I’d rather have done a bit of metalwork than bloody Latin.)

  2. Even better, leave it to each school to decide whether it’ll offer some “vocational skills”, and when. They can compete.

  3. Yes , and lets bring back Polytechnics , apprenticeships and Grammars (Academies ?), lets stream pupils so they never meet in their supposedly Comprehensive school and ,…. get back to where we were

    Oh we are

  4. Also a much later start:
    * Preschool education for 6 year- olds
    * Basic education (compulsory ) 7-16 year- olds

  5. have never really understood why people get so exited by Unity. The articles are so boring…an d the ideas are so B-grade and tailored to the prevailing orthodoxy

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