Parliamentary working group to reform comprehensive school - theses for the centenary of Finland's independence
The Ministry of Education and Culture is about to establish a comprehensive school forum to
participate in the work being carried out to improve and update the Finnish comprehensive school
system. As part of the reform of the comprehensive school, Minister of Education and Culture Sanni
Grahn-Laasonen has invited all political parties in the Parliament to attend a parliamentary
working group of the comprehensive school forum to draw up theses for the future comprehensive
The forum and the working group will carry out their work during the centenary year of Finland's independence. The theses will be published in August 2017 in the beginning of the school year.
The different stakeholders, teachers and experts in various fields are invited to take part in the work. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Board of Education will organise a series of events in different parts of Finland to provide these actors with opportunities to discuss, present ideas and strengthen their commitment to create a better future for the Finnish comprehensive school.
The work of the comprehensive school forum will be launched by arranging two workshops, one in Kuopio (on 28 November) and one in Seinäjoki (on 30 November). An event called Maailman suurin vanhempainilta (the world's largest parent-teacher meeting) will be held on 18 January to hear the thoughts and views of the pupils' parents on the future comprehensive school. The comprehensive school forum will also provide opportunities for online discussion and presentation of ideas.
The parliamentary working group of the comprehensive school forum is chaired by Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen. The group members are Members of Parliament Ulla Parviainen (Centre Party Parliamentary Group), Laura Huhtasaari (True Finns Party Parliamentary Group), Krista Kiuru (Social Democratic Parliamentary Group), Jani Toivola (Green Parliamentary Group), Li Andersson (Left Alliance Parliamentary Group), Mikaela Nylander (Swedish Parliamentary Group), and Sari Tanus (Christian Democratic Parliamentary Group).
"The Finnish comprehensive school has opened doors to higher education and lifelong learning for all children irrespective of their family background. In recent years, the decline in the learning outcomes and fractures in the equality of education have caused concern. The efforts to improve and update the comprehensive school require the support of the entire nation. The reform cannot be carried out successfully if only the education authorities, schools and teachers participate in the work. It is important that all political parties in the Parliament are involved in drawing up the key theses for the future comprehensive school and also commit themselves to them," says Grahn-Laasonen.
In addition to the parliamentary working group, the forum comprises a research and expert group and a task force. The purpose of the research and expert group is to ensure that the work of the comprehensive school forum will be based on the pilot results and the newest research data.
The task force will focus on the practical manners in which the different actors will commit themselves to the implementation of the common theses and measures. The task force will outline the means for steering, resource allocation, joint development, and provision of support services needed to implement the theses drawn up by the parliamentary working group in the entire country and to ensure that all actors are committed to the theses. The task force will be appointed by the end of 2016 and it will continue its work until the end of 2017. The task force will be chaired by the Director-General of the Finnish National Board of Education and the secretariat will come from the Finnish National Board of Education.
Olli Vesterinen, Project Manager (Ministry of Education and Culture), tel. 02953 30123
Matias Marttinen, Special Adviser (requests for interviews with the Minister of Education and Culture), tel. 044 269 3113
More information about the key project for reforming the comprehensive school