Skip to content

Preparatory education


The Finnish Basic Education Act (628/1998) lays down provisions on instruction preparing for basic education. Preparatory education is available for pupils of immigrant backgrounds who do not have adequate Finnish-language skills and/or other abilities to begin their basic education in Finnish-speaking groups. A minimum of 900 hours of teaching is given to 7–10-year-olds and a minimum of 1,000 hours to older children. Those participating in preparatory education have the right to move to basic education even before the hourly limits stated above have been reached, provided that they are able to follow the teaching at school.

In Salo, preparatory education is offered to children aged 7–16. The teaching units are decided upon separately and they may vary from year to year.

General objectives

The aim of preparatory education is to promote the pupils’ Finnish/Swedish language skills, help them grow and develop in a well-balanced manner, promote their integration into the Finnish society, and prepare them for the transition to basic education.

In preparatory education, the pupils receive instruction in the basic education subjects. The national core curriculum for basic education is followed, as applicable, in the teaching of the different subjects. The different ages, study skills, and backgrounds of the pupils are considered in the pedagogical arrangements and teaching at the school.

Has your child attended school abroad?

Additional information for families returning to Finland with children of basic education age.

The language proficiency of all pupils of basic education age returning to Finland from abroad is tested before they begin their basic education. In the language proficiency test, the child’s Finnish language proficiency is tested in different areas (writing, reading, reading comprehension, vocabulary, linguistic knowledge, speech production, and listening).

Language proficiency testing is carried out by the teachers of the preparatory class. Pupils aged 7–13 are tested at the Uskela school and pupils aged 13–16 at the Hermanni school. Arrangements for the language proficiency tests are made with the teachers of the preparatory classes.

Contact details of the teachers:

The test results will help to determine whether the pupil needs instruction preparing for basic education or if the pupil is ready to move straight to basic education. If necessary, pupils can strengthen their Finnish skills in preparatory education. Pupils in preparatory education study according to their personal learning plans. The pupils will transfer to basic education as soon as they have gained sufficient Finnish-language proficiency. In other words, the duration of preparatory education depends entirely on each pupil.

Enrolling in preparatory education

Preparatory education is aimed at pupils who do not yet speak Finnish. Registrations are processed within five working days after the electronic form is submitted.

Online enrolment for preparatory education