Basic education in the arts

Basic education in the arts is provided primarily for children and young people on an extracurricular basis. Basic arts education is provided at music institutes and schools, art schools, dance institutes and schools, handicrafts schools and other educational institutions.

Basic education in the different fields of art progresses in a goal-oriented manner from one level to the next and provides students with the skills to express themselves as well as the ability to apply for vocational training and education or higher education in this field.

A reasonable fee may be charged for participating in basic arts education. The education provider decides on whether a fee is charged. Under the Act on Basic Education in the Arts, basic arts education may not be provided for the purpose of making a profit.

National core curriculum: extended syllabus and general syllabus

The tuition complies with the curricula approved by the education provider, which must be based on the national core curriculum determined by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The curricula outline the objectives and key content of education, and they can include syllabuses of various scopes.

The syllabuses for basic education in the arts consist of a general syllabus and an extended syllabus. The core curriculum for the extended syllabus has been confirmed for music, dance, theatre arts and visual arts (architecture, painting and drawing, and handicrafts) as well as circus art. The core curriculum for the general syllabus has been confirmed for music, dance, literary art, performance arts (circus art and theatre) and visual arts (architecture, audiovisual arts, painting and drawing, and handicrafts).

Provision and financing of basic education in the arts

Local authorities make decisions on the provision of basic education in the arts. The state participates in the funding of it by granting municipalities central government transfers for basic education in the arts on the basis of the municipality's population and an imputed unit price per resident.

The Ministry of Education and Culture can grant a municipality the right to central government transfers also on the basis of the number of hours of instruction and an imputed unit price per hour of instruction.

For joint municipal authorities, registered organisations and foundations to become eligible for central government transfers based on the hours of instruction, they must have a licence to provide education granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Parties other than local authorities can be granted a licence to provide basic education in the arts, if such instruction is deemed necessary and the party applying for a licence has the professional skills and financial resources to provide the education appropriately. Licences can be granted within the scope of the quota for hours of instruction approved in the national Budget.

Additionally, the Ministry of Education and Culture as well as the Finnish National Agency for Education award grants each year to cover operating costs related to the provision of basic arts education and for the development of activities.

The qualifications of the principal and teaching staff are prescribed in the Teaching Qualifications Decree.