Mental health in Finnish schools: so close to perfection

Cassandra Coburn:

Finland’s educational system is routinely praised as among the best in the world, achieving superb results through methods regarded by other scholastic systems as unorthodox. Among the differences that single it out for praise is the delayed start to education, with compulsory schooling beginning with a pre-primary education for children at 6 years old, and full-time schooling only starting at age 7. In contrast to the battery of tests faced by children elsewhere in the world, there is only one mandatory standardised test, taken at age 16. Commentators coo over the low amount of homework pupils are given, and the high regard in which teachers are held. But one of the most surprising—and important—aspects of schooling in Finland doesn’t make it to the headlines: the provision of social and health care for students from within schools themselves. Nowhere is this more crucial than in increasing capacity to help children with mental health disorders.