Special-needs education and special-needs support in basic education

It is possible to make a decision on special-needs support for a pupil once the enhanced support provided has not been sufficient. The teacher and special-needs teacher will compile a pedagogical report as a basis for the decision. The pupil and guardian play a key role in this. The decision on the need for special-needs support is made by the school’s headmaster. The decision determines the child’s teaching group and other matters related to the organisation of teaching, among other things. The necessity of special-needs support is checked after grade 2 and before transitioning to grade 7. It will also be checked when the need for support changes. To check the need, the teacher and special-needs teacher will compile a new pedagogical report.

In some situations, the decision on special-needs support can be made on the basis of a physician’s or psychologist’s evaluation without the decision being preceded by a period of enhanced support. Such cases include e.g. injury, illness, delay in development or emotional problems.

The pupil will receive special-needs support at their school whenever possible. However, sometimes the support available at the pupil’s school may not be sufficient. In such a case, it is possible for the pupil to study either in regional small groups with special-needs support or in centralised special-needs education.

The following schools have regional small groups with special-needs support:

  • Joutseno local government collaboration area: Joutsenon koulu comprehensive school
  • Kesämäki local government collaboration area: Lönnrotin koulu ja Kesämäen koulu comprehensive schools
  • Kimpinen local government collaboration area: Kimpisen koulu ja Myllymäen koulu comprehensive schools
  • Lauritsala local government collaboration area: Lauritsalan koulu, Pontuksen koulu comprehensive schools
  • Sammonlahti area: Lappeen koulu, Skinnarilan koulu, Sammonlahden koulu comprehensive schools Centralised special-needs education:
  • Joutsenon koulu ja Voisalmen koulu comprehensive schools (for people with the most severe disabilities)
  • Myllymäen koulu comprehensive school (minor developmental delays, severe language development delays)

Use the service


A pupil may receive special needs education or other special support if this is required because of learning difficulties, an adaptation disorder, a disability or an illness.


For more information on regional small groups with special-needs support, visit the Links menu.

Payment information

The service is free of charge.

Service background and legislation

Special support comprises special needs education and the support required by the pupil. Special needs education is predominantly pedagogical meaning it provides help for learning. Other support can include school attendance support as well as pedagogical support. These form an entity that supports the pupil. If necessary, a pupil must receive support without delay. An administrative decision is needed to provide special support.

If the pupil has been temporarily left behind in his or studies or otherwise needs short-term support, he or she is entitled to remedial teaching.

In case of learning difficulties or an adjustment disorder, a pupil may receive special needs education, which may be provided in connection with other school work or, for example, in a special class. The learning outcomes and contents of basic education may be individualised if the pupil cannot cope with the basic education syllabus because of a disability, an illness, delayed development, an emotional disturbance or other similar reason. Individualisation should only be utilised if a pupil cannot acceptably complete the syllabus in the given subject. Before this, the subject's objectives and contents should be specified by area of focus.