Integration of families with children in the Education Division

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Objective of the assessment

The main question in the assessment was whether the division has promoted the measures related to immigrant families that are set out in the Development Plan for Immigrant Education 2018–2021. The development plan’s implementation was at the halfway point, so the implementation of the measures was assessed relative to this situation. With the help electronic surveys, the assessment investigated whether suitable conditions and support for learning have been organised for children, families, stay-at-home parents and guardians with an immigrant background in accordance with the development plan; whether pupils and families with an immigrant background have been provided with study guidance, advice and transfers in accordance with the development plan; and whether the skills of the Education Division’s staff have been developed so that they are more language aware and take the needs of immigrants better into account.

Conclusions

The division had promoted almost all the measures related to immigrant families that are set out in the Development Plan for Immigrant Education 20182021. The development is off to a good start. Different levels are at different stages in the implementation of the measures. The measures related to the conditions and support for learning were realised well in early childhood education and care (ECEC). For example, the ECEC premises had made services visible in multiple languages. In basic education, measures related to guidance, advice and transfers were implemented; the development of pedagogy and tools to support functional language instruction was realised particularly well in basic education premises. All in all, the number of measures taken was lower at general upper secondary schools and Helsinki Vocational College. The measures related to the development of skills and recruitment were not realised particularly well in the division. It was also noted that there were too few study places in Finnish-language training for stay-at-home parents. Several measures of the development plan are still waiting to be launched.

The Audit Committee concludes that

the Education Division must

  • promote the skills of staff with training modules according to the Development Plan for Immigrant Education;
  • increase language training for stay-at-home parents (Kotiva courses), i.e. Finnish-language courses for the stay-at-home parents of young children.

in ECEC, the Education Division must

  • implement the multi-language instruction model more widely to support children with a foreign background.

in basic education, the Education Division must

  • increase use of the homework group model for guardians and children, which strengthens the opportunities of immigrant parents to support pupils with school work at home in their own language;
  • ensure that pupil and student welfare assembles a development working group consisting of multiple administrative branches to collect current information on the particular issues hindering the learning of people in the process of integrating, such as honour-based violence and traumatic experiences.

at general upper secondary school, the Education Division must

  • implement the multi-language instruction model more widely to support students with a foreign background;
  • utilise positive discrimination in the recruitment process, meaning that out of two applicants with equal merits, the one belonging in an underrepresented group will be selected.

at Helsinki Vocational College and Adult Institute, the Education Division must

  • plan and develop the services together with foreign learners and their guardians;
  • specify the premises-specific objectives for different staff groups and a change in the operating culture in the annual action plan.

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In Assessment Report: