Changing school in the middle of the academic year
If you are planning to move to another locality, contact your child’s current school. Also contact education authorities in your new municipality of residence. Schools see to the transfer of information on pupils in comprehensive and secondary schools.
Your child can change schools in the middle of a school year also within the same municipality. First contact the principal of your child’s current school.
Your child can change school within the same municipality during the school year. First contact the principal of your child’s current school. You will have to fill out a written application for a school transfer.
In the application, the pupil’s parent must give grounds for why their child want to attend a different school. Possible reasons can include, a substantially longer school journey due to a move. Another acceptable reason can be the different range of courses offered at another school, language studies and your child being unhappy at their school, for example, due to bullying.
Once the principal has approved the application, the decision is sent to the school officials. If the principal of the school the pupil has applied to attend or an official is not in favour of the transfer, they must be able to give grounds for their decision.
A change of schools is not always a quick process, as teaching groups can be full in the new school. A higher comprehensive school pupil may have to choose new optional subjects, if the schools offer a different selection of subjects.
The best time to change schools might be August, when the new school year begins. In this case, it is a good idea to begin making preparations the previous spring.
If your family moves within the same municipality or city from one village or suburb to another during the school year, your child can attend the same school until the end of the school year. In this case, the child’s parents will be responsible for covering the arrangement and cost of school journeys.
You should contact your child’s school immediately when you know the timing of the move. Notify the head teacher of the school, and the class teacher or supervisor about the move.
The head teacher will inform the local council’s department of education or school office. They will contact the education officials at your new home municipality and send them information about the pupil.
Pupils will be given a leaving certificate from their old school and should give this to their new school once they have arrived there. The certificate may be an intermediate report or it may be like a school year report.
Once you know that you are moving, contact the department of education in your new municipality. The education authority will find out which school has a suitable class and also which school a child should go to if, in their previous school, they had special classes in languages, music or sport.
The officials at the education authority will decide on a place for the child at comprehensive school and send the information about the pupil to their new school. If everything is looked after in time, then in spite of the move the pupil should not have to miss a single day of school.
The arrangements for a change of municipality and school for pupils at Upper Secondary School or those taking a vocational education course are similar until the child is 18 i.e. reaches the age of majority. From that age, their parents/guardian can no longer make decisions about a pupil’s education.
Naturally there are fewer Upper Secondary Schools and vocational education institutions than there are comprehensive schools, so finding a place at a new Upper Secondary School or vocational education institution may require more effort from parents/guardians, officials and schools.
Schools are responsible for transferring information about a pupil from the previous school to the new one. The head teachers will discuss it between themselves if necessary and the official document will be transferred between the schools by letter.
Even though the Wilma application is in general use at schools in different parts of Finland, information systems are different. That is why pupils’ information on Wilma cannot be automatically transferred from one municipality to another.
The new school’s class teach or supervisor and director of studies can talk with pupils and their parents to monitor their progress at school. The support services the school provides, such as school curator and school psychologist services, will be explained to the parents.
No, it is not. The pupil’s parents/guardian must give permission in writing for their child’s medical information to be transferred from their old home municipality to the school health care service in the new municipality.
A pupil who is a minor has the right to prevent their medical records or the rights of decision making relating to their health care being given to their parents/guardians if a doctor or similar professional has assessed that the child is sufficiently able to decide on their care for themselves.
Medical records are transferred on paper. A public health nurse will print out all the pupil’s medical records and send them by post to the new home municipality. The school nurse at the new home municipality will enter the pupil’s medical records into the municipality’s patient records system.
Children and young people's dental care is part of a school’s health care and will continue in the new home municipality. However, orthodontic care practices, for example, can vary between municipalities.
If your child has an illness that requires regular care or has food allergies or the child is allergic to bee stings for example, then contact the nurse at the new school before your move or as soon as possible after it.
If you are able to, you should tell the new school about food allergies and special diets before the child starts at the school.
If a child’s journey to your new home municipality’s comprehensive school is over five kilometres each way, they are entitled to free school transport or to a subsidy for getting to school. School transport may also be free if the journey is too difficult for a child, too tiring or too dangerous.
If your child had the right to school transport at their previous school, for example because of a disability, they will probably have the right to transport in their new home municipality too.
You can apply for a school transport subsidy from the education department or the school office in your home municipality.