Published: 19 June 2019

Nearly one in five comprehensive school pupils received intensified or special support

Intensified or special support was received by 18.8 per cent of comprehensive school pupils in autumn 2018. Intensified support was received by 59,700, or 10.6 per cent of comprehensive school pupils and special support by 45,400, or 8.1 per cent of comprehensive school pupils. The share of pupils in intensified support grew from the previous year by 0.9 percentage points and in special support by 0.4 percentage points. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s education statistics.

Share of comprehensive school pupils having received intensified or special support among all comprehensive school pupils 1995–2018, % 1)

Share of comprehensive school pupils having received intensified or special support among all comprehensive school pupils 1995–2018, % 1)
1) Pupils accepted or transferred to special education before 2011 have been regarded as equal to pupils having received special support.

Among the recipients of intensified support, 64 per cent were boys and 36 per cent girls. Among the recipients of special support, 71 per cent were boys and 29 per cent girls. In autumn 2018, a total of 560,500 comprehensive school pupils were in pre-primary, basic and post-basic education of the comprehensive school, 51 per cent of whom were boys and 49 per cent girls.

The three levels of the support system for learning and schooling are general, intensified and special support. Of these, a pupil can receive only one level of support at a time. The statistics on special education in comprehensive schools contain data primarily on intensified and special support. In addition, the statistics include information on part-time special education arranged as general support.

The database tables connected to the statistics on special education and the database tables related to statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive education allow examination of support received by pupils by area and place of implementation of teaching, for example. Data on special education in vocational education are collected at the end of the text section of this release and in Appendix table 10.

Share of those receiving all education in special education groups falling further

Among the recipients of special support, 8.6 per cent received all education in special education groups in special schools in autumn 2018. The share of those receiving all education in a special education group in a special school has fallen yearly; its share was 4.7 percentage points lower in 2018 than in 2011. The share of those receiving all education in other than a special education group in a special school was 27 per cent in 2018, which was one percentage point lower than in 2017.

Among the recipients of special support, 35 per cent received all education in a special education group and 21 per cent received all education in a general education group in 2018. The remaining 43 per cent received part of the education in a general education group and part in a special education group.

Comprehensive school pupils having received special support by place of provision of teaching, 2011–2018, %

Place of provision of teaching 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Teaching fully in a general education group 21,1 19,4 18,7 19,1 18,9 19,7 20,7 21,3
51-99% of teaching in a general education group 18,0 18,9 18,7 18,3 19,4 19,1 18,4 20,2
21-50% of teaching in a general education group 8,7 9,2 9,0 10,4 9,4 10,2 10,3 9,8
1-20% of teaching in a general education group 10,7 11,7 11,6 12,1 12,5 13,1 13,2 13,3
Teaching fully in a special group, other than special school 28,2 28,1 29,2 27,8 28,7 28,3 27,9 26,9
Teaching fully in a special group, special school 13,3 12,6 12,8 12,2 11,0 9,6 9,5 8,6
Total 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0

Of the pupils receiving special support, 22.8 per cent had extended duration of compulsory education. The shares of extended compulsory education have decreased in recent years; the share was 27.5 per cent in 2013, in 2015 it was 26.5 per cent, and 24.2 per cent in 2017.

Individualisation of subjects decreases, general syllabus increasingly common

Fifty-five per cent of the pupils having received special support in basic and post-basic education of the comprehensive school studied general education syllabuses in all subjects in autumn 2018. The share of those studying according to the general syllabus has grown yearly; the share was 44 per cent in 2011, it was 47 per cent in 2014, and 53 per cent in 2017.

Twelve per cent of the pupils having received special support in 2018 had individualised syllabuses for one subject, 12 per cent for two to three subjects, and 16 per cent for four or more subjects. Five per cent of the pupils receiving special support studied according to functional skill areas. The teaching can be arranged according to functional skill areas if it cannot be arranged by subject syllabuses due to the pupil's severe disability or illness.

Differences in the support forms of intensified and special support

Seventy-four per cent of the pupils who received intensified support in autumn 2018 received part-time special education, 55 per cent remedial teaching, and 39 per cent special needs assistance and/or interpretation services. Forty-one per cent of the pupils who received special support received part-time special education, 37 per cent received remedial teaching, and 59 per cent special needs assistance and/or interpretation services.

Twenty-two per cent of comprehensive school pupils received part-time special education

In the school year 2017 to 2018, altogether 122,800 comprehensive school pupils received part-time special education, which was 22 per cent of comprehensive school pupils in autumn 2017. The share has grown slightly from the previous school year.

Share of comprehensive school pupils having received part-time special education among all comprehensive school pupils in academic years 2001/2002 to 2017/2018, %

Share of comprehensive school pupils having received part-time special education among all comprehensive school pupils in academic years 2001/2002 to 2017/2018, %

In autumn 2017, part-time special education was included in intensified support for 40,400 pupils and in special support for 17,200 pupils. By subtracting, we can conclude that around 65,200, or 53 per cent, of the 122,900 pupils having received part-time special education in the school year 2017 to 2018 received part-time special education as general support.

At least 29 per cent of comprehensive school pupils received some support for learning and schooling

According to the available statistics, at least 29.2 per cent of comprehensive school pupils in autumn 2017 received some kind of support in the school year 2017 to 2018. The share is 0.5 percentage points higher than in 2017 but, all in all, the number has been at a very similar level in the past five years. A total of 162,647 students received intensified support, special support or part-time special education as general support in the school year 2017 to 2018. In addition to part-time special education, general support could also be given in some other form, but these other general support forms are not included in Statistics Finland’s statistics on special education.

Nearly all regions arranged support for more pupils than in the year before

In 2018, intensified support was arranged for more pupils than in the year before in all regions except in Central Ostrobothnia. The development has been similar in all Mainland Finland regions since 2011, when the three-step support system was introduced. The share of pupils having received intensified support was highest in North Karelia and lowest in Kainuu. The share of pupils having received intensified support in all pupils was 8 to 13 per cent in different regions.

The share of pupils having received special support in all comprehensive school pupils varied between 4 and 12 per cent by region. The share of pupils having received special support in Mainland Finland regions was lowest in Central Ostrobothnia and highest in Kymenlaakso. In Åland, the share of pupils receiving special support was four per cent.

The share of comprehensive school pupils receiving intensified or special support varies by area. Of the Mainland Finland regions, the combined share of those receiving intensified and special support was biggest in Kymenlaakso, where nearly one in four pupils received intensified or special support. The combined shares of those receiving support were smallest in Central and North Ostrobothnia, Åland, Kainuu and Lapland, under 16 per cent in all.

Ever more students in vocational education received special education

The number of students in vocational education leading to a qualification having received special education has grown at least from 2004 onwards, when the production of these statistics started; 12,500 pupils received special education in 2004, altogether 20,100 pupils in 2011, and 25,600 pupils in 2017. The share of all students having received special education in all students in vocational education leading to a qualification was five, seven and nine per cent respectively in the above mentioned years.

In 2017, there were 116,166 students in vocational education for young people (curriculum-based basic vocational education provided by educational institutions), of whom 20 per cent were special education students. Twenty per cent of male students and 19 per cent of female students were special education students. In all, 55 per cent of special education students were men.

Most special education students (86%) in vocational education for young people were studying in vocational education institutions. Thirteen per cent of special education students attended special vocational education institutions and around one per cent other educational institutions providing vocational education.

Eighty-four per cent of special education students in vocational education for young people were studying in the same groups (integrated) with other students.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Heli Hiltunen 029 551 3314, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 19.6.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Special education [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1617. 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 13.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/erop/2018/erop_2018_2019-06-19_tie_001_en.html