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Extensive programme for guidance counselling — additional resources for guidance as part of the extension of compulsory education

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 18.6.2020 9.37 | Published in English on 2.9.2020 at 11.38
Press release

The Ministry of Education and Culture is launching an extensive programme for guidance counselling to support guidance counselling in primary education, lower secondary education, general upper secondary education and vocational education and training. The programme is part of the extension of compulsory education. Approximately EUR 19 million per year will be allocated from 2021 onwards to support guidance counselling. In addition, EUR 6.3 million will be allocated for developing guidance counselling over the course of the programme. The project will continue until the end of 2022.

The programme for guidance counselling includes three main objectives:

  • Improving and reinforcing the implementation and practices of guidance counselling and ensuring a continuation from the lower secondary to the upper secondary level
  • Ensuring personal guidance that is tailored to the learners’ needs
  • Increasing educational equality by making opportunities in working life and in further studies visible to all.

- Investing in education and competence is critical for Finland so we can recover from the financial and social crisis caused by COVID-19. Finland really needs competent people and we must raise the level of education and competence,” says Minister of Education Li Andersson.

- By boosting guidance counselling we can better reach our goals and support students who need support in applying for further studies and in managing their studies. With counselling, we can make sure students continue their studies and complete a secondary qualification, Minister Andersson adds.

The programme introduces a completely new, more intensive and personal approach to guidance counselling. Each year, it enables tailored guidance counselling for 10,000 students who need more intensive guidance counselling in the 8th and 9th grade of lower secondary education.

More intensive and personal guidance counselling means personal guidance counselling and support that guidance counsellors, teachers and special needs teachers can provide. It can be provided on the grounds of an observed need, such as to motivate students to study, to provide additional support for career planning and planning for further studies, or to meet other needs.

The programme improves the quality and increases the amount of counselling in vocational education and training. The aim is to provide all students in vocational education and training the guidance and support they need at the right time and in all learning environments, so that there are fewer school dropouts and learning outcomes improve.

Above all, the programme reinforces support and guidance for those who need it the most, such as students with learning difficulties or other learning challenges, students with mental health issues and students who are from an immigrant background and whose mother tongue is a foreign language.

In general upper secondary education, the aim is to ensure well-timed guidance and career counselling that meets the students' needs. Most importantly, the programme strengthens support and guidance for students who need it the most, such as those with learning difficulties, other learning challenges or mental health issues and students who are from an immigrant background and whose mother tongue is a foreign language.

The National Network for Developing General Upper Secondary Schools is used in improving guidance counselling.

The programme for guidance counselling is carried out in close cooperation with other projects and measures currently being implemented under the Government Programme. These include the preparation of the extension of compulsory education, the “Right to Learn” programme, the development programme for the quality and equality of vocational education and training, and the quality programme for general upper secondary education. The implementation of the programme for guidance counselling also takes into account the strategic objectives of lifelong guidance.

Primary and lower secondary education: Minna Polvinen, tel. +358 295 330 262
General upper secondary education: Heikki Blom, tel. +358 295 330 074
Vocational education and training: Seija Rasku, tel. +358 295 330 270