population 5,5 million

Population density

GDP per capita

Education expenditures


41,200 $ (2015)

6,1 % of GDP (2013)

Hospital bed density

Physician density

Health expenditures

5,5 beds/1.000 people (2011)

2,9 /1.000 people (2009)

9,7 % of GDP (2014)



Following here you will find information about Hospital and Home Education (HHE) in those countries where HOPE has members.
The information has been researched and compiled by the HOPE Committee Member/s(CM) of the specific country; the information sources are listed at the end of this document.
We’ll be glad to get your feedback, please contact the CM of your country, or else – if your feedback is of a more general character – please contact the Board of HOPE.
You will find the e-mail addresses on this website under ‘Who We Are’.


Overview of topics; click on one of them and you will jump directly to the information:

1. HHE as part of the Education System

2. HHE Operation

3. Teaching Staff

4. Pupils

5. Some Thoughts about the Future

6. Sources and further Links



1. HHE as part of the Education System

The hospital schools are part of the public education sector run by local education authorities in Finland. The municipality where the hospital is situated is required by law (Basic Education Act) to organize hospital education for sick pupils in hospital for inpatient pupils. According to the new Basic Education Act of Hospital Education (2014) a child or adolescent has right for hospital education as an outpatient pupil if needed, when special needs support (three step support model of special needs) is not enough.
There are differences in practice how to organize hospital education for inpatient and outpatient pupils and how to organize consultation with the home schools of the pupils in different part of Finland.
Basic education is free of charge for pupils. Learning materials, equipment and computer devices are free of charge for pupils in hospital education as in basic education in Finland.
Responsibility for educational funding is divided between the State and the local authorities. Funding for basic education forms part of statutory government transfers to local authority basic services, which are managed by the Ministry of Finance. The education provider makes the decisions on the use of central Government transfers. The funding is not earmarked. Resources and staff of hospital education are paid by local authorities.


2. HHE Operation

The hospital schools are run by local education authorities. The municipality where the hospital is situated has to organize hospital education.
All subjects are taught in hospital schools in hospital school building or as bed side teaching in the wards. In most hospital schools there are principal, hospital teachers and school assistants. The learning methods are chosen by hospital teachers by themselves.
The local or school curriculum is based on a national core curriculum.
Hospital schools follow the national curriculum. All subjects of basic school are taught in hospital school.
Teaching takes place mainly in classrooms in hospital school building but also in the ward as bed side teaching especially for pediatric pupils.
The school days of psychiatric pupils are the same as in basic education in Finland and the municipality where the hospital school is situated. Circa 21-30 hours/week. The health condition of the child and adolescent will be taken in consideration.
Pediatric pupils get bed side teaching or group teaching from 1-3 hours/day. It varies in different hospital schools.
The school day is counted as a school day whether the child has got education one or six hours. The municipalities of the pupils pay for the hospital education.
In Finland the own school authorities are responsible of home tuition. Hospital teacher consult the pupil´s own school and help the parents to apply and organize the home education. Mostly pupils can get home tuition 2-4 hours in a week. Hospital teacher advices the teacher of pupil´s own school to use also distance learning when needed.
The aim of continuity of unbroken school path of a sick child or adolescent.


3. Teaching Staff

There is no specific pre-service or in-service training for hospital teachers when they begin their work in hospital school. Hospital teachers have annual and regional in-service training and meetings together about actual topics. There have been in-service training for consultation, leadership of hospital school and other actual topics supported by ministry of education and culture and national board of education.
Most teacher training universities have courses or study visits in hospital education.
Hospital teachers are qualified as special needs teachers or special class teachers and/or subject teachers. All teachers have a Master´s-level university Degree.
The recruitment process is very important also in hospital education. The decisions are made by local authorities of basic education or the principal of hospital school.
The main roles of hospital teacher is teaching, consult the own schools of pupils, liaise/ co-operate with a multi professional group in hospital and with own schools and parents, participating in meetings, visiting the own schools of pupils and develop new learning methods and communication.


4. Pupils

Every sick child has the right to get education while in hospital. His/her health condition will be taken in consideration.
According to the new Basic school Act a child or adolescent who is enrolling in hospital school has to have contact to the hospital – as an inpatient or outpatient pupil.
Hospital education is provided for outpatient pupils In most of the hospital schools in Finland.
The home school of the pupil is the first place to get education and special needs support.
The municipally where the hospital is situated is responsible to arrange education for sick children and adolescents.
Both pediatric and psychiatric pupils are taught during treatments at hospital school. Psychiatric pupils are taught at hospital school and mostly they get education in all subjects according normal amount lessons as their own school.
Pediatric pupils get bed side teaching and distance learning.
The same age range as basic education in Finland – from preschool till secondary school – from 0-9 grades. The child begins the basic school in the year when she/he becomes seven years old. It ends after the basic education syllabus has been completed or after ten years. 
Teacher/pupil ratio depends on the hospital school and hospital and the resource you get for education. The groups are 4-8 pupils.


5. the Future

Ministry of Culture and Education and Finnish National Board of Education have supported the developments of hospital education in Finland.
To develop hospital education on regional, national and international level
To develop hospital schools as resource centers; distance learning, consultation
To continue working for the rights for education for sick children and adolescent
The new curriculum of basic education (OPS2016) in Finland will start on the 1st of August 2016.
All the staff of hospital education has taken part in planning the new curriculum on regional or local level.
The new national curriculum gives new opportunities and challenges to hospital education.


6. Resources and further Links

The following sources were used for the data and information given in this document:
Wikipedia – Finland
The World Factbook – Finland
Go to Top