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Responsible for the service: City of Helsinki

Comprehensive education

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service
Area: Helsinki
Service available in: Finnish, Swedish

Comprehensive education lasts for 9 years. All the children living in Finland are subject to compulsory comprehensive education. Children usually complete their compulsory education at comprehensive school, unless they receive instruction in some other way. In most cases comprehensive education starts in the year when the child becomes seven years of age.

In Helsinki there are comprehensive schools providing basic education in both primary and lower secondary levels (classes 1-9, primary level comprehensive schools(classes 1-4 or 1-6)and lower secondary level schools (classes 7-9). Every child is provided with a place in her/his own local school.

In Helsinki there are schools maintained by the city, private contracting schools, private schools and state owned schools.


To whom and on what terms

The service is free of charge.


Background information

Basic education is education delivered in accordance to a curriculum that supports the pupils’ growth as human beings and members of society and teaches them the knowledge and skills they need. It confers every pupil the same eligibility for upper secondary education.

Compulsory education applies to children who are permanent residents in Finland in the year in which they turn seven years old. Compulsory education ends when the children have completed the basic education syllabus or ten years have passed since they started in compulsory education. The period of compulsory education may be extended due to a disability or illness. Adults may complete the basic education syllabus for example at a general upper secondary school for adults, a folk high school or an adult education centre.


The service is provided by: 
City of Helsinki