Förbundet Hem och Skola is an umbrella organisation for more than 280 local parents’ organisations in Swedish schools and kindergartens in Finland. A parents’ association brings parents together in order to support children’s learning and wellbeing in various ways.
About 5 % of the population in Finland, 300.000 persons, speak Swedish as their mother tongue. The educational path in the Swedish schools is equivalent to the Finnish one. However, the language of both teaching and administration is Swedish. Most Swedish schools and some kindergartens have their own parents’ associations, often called “Hem och Skola” (Home and School). It is not an organisation for home-schooling, as one might expect, but an organisation that welcomes co-operation between professional educators and staff in schools and daycare and the homes.
Co-operation with parents is included in educational legislation and guidelines of every kindergarten and school. The exact manner of co-operation between home and school varies. Parent meetings are held in all schools. These meetings have become more discussion-oriented and interactive in recent years. An extra bonus is that parents will meet other parents with children in the same school. There are some parent meetings in which the children are involved as well. Schools and kindergartens also organize various events to which parents are invited.
For parents it is always worthwhile to participate in the co-operation between home and school. You will get to know the teachers and school activities, which makes it easier to support your child’s education. Getting to know other parents at school and in your child’s class enables you to network and discuss common issues.
If anything about your child’s education and school is bothering you, don’t hesitate to contact the class teacher or other members of the school staff. The services of school nurses, doctors, social workers and psychologists are available in schools. As a parent you can contact them directly.
Förbundet Hem och Skola has produced information leaflets for parents about the Finnish educational system in cooperation with Suomen Vanhempainliitto – The Finnish Parents´ League.