Student welfare

Kaksi alakouluikäistä oppilasta kahden alakouluikäisen oppilaan "reppuselässä" viettämässä välitunnilla.

Student welfare primarily consists of preventive activities and communal student welfare work that support the entire school community. The pupils additionally have a statutory right to individual pupil welfare. The guiding principles of student welfare work are confidentiality, a respectful attitude towards pupils and guardians, and promoting their participation.

Communal student welfare

Each school has a school welfare group led by the principal. In addition to the principal, this multidisciplinary communal student welfare group includes, depending on the size of the school, a public health nurse, school physician, school social worker, psychologist, part-time special needs education teacher, guidance counsellor and representatives of teaching staff, pupils and guardians. The student welfare group only addresses issues at the general and community level. The school welfare group meets at least twice each academic year as planned.

Individual student welfare

Individual student welfare means school health care services, services of a school psychologist and a school social worker, and cross-sectoral student welfare pertaining to an individual pupil. Extensive health examinations carried out by school health care services and other regular examinations are part of individual student welfare, and summaries of extensive health examinations also produce information that supports the implementation of communal student welfare.

The objective of individual pupil welfare is monitoring and promoting the pupil’s holistic development, health, well-being and learning. Safeguarding the provision of early support and preventing problems are also vital. The pupils’ individual capabilities, resources and needs are taken into account both when putting together the support offered by pupil welfare and in the everyday life of the school.

Individual student welfare is always based on the consent of the pupil and, if necessary, the guardian. The pupil’s participation, personal preferences and opinions on measures and solutions that concern them are taken into account in accordance with the pupil’s age, developmental level and other personal capabilities. Interaction should be open, respectful and confidential. The work should be organised so that it allows the pupil to experience the situation as unhurried and feel that they are heard. Provisions on disclosure of data and confidentiality are complied with in student welfare work.

Discussing a matter in an expert group put together to support an individual pupil and the group’s composition are also based on the consent of the pupil or, if necessary, the guardian. Subject to the individual written consent of the pupil or the guardian, the requisite partners of student welfare work, or the pupil’s family members or other adults close to the pupil, may take part in the discussion. The group members are also entitled to consult experts as they find necessary about the pupil’s situation.

As necessary, the multidisciplinary communal student welfare group referred to in the Basic Education Act includes the principal of the school, a public health nurse, school physician, school social worker, psychologist, special education teacher and guidance counsellor. Should this be required, class teachers, class instructors or other special employees who work to promote the pupil’s well-being and rehabilitation may participate in the group’s work. The issues discussed are three-tiered support, disciplinary matters or failure to attend school.

The pupil’s guardian must be informed in advance of the processing of the matter, and both the pupil’s and the guardian’s participation in discussing the matter concerning the pupil must be facilitated.

Psychologist’s and social worker’s services

Psychologist’s and school social worker’s services are part of the student welfare work carried out in pre-primary education and schools. The purpose of the psychologist’s and social worker’s services is to help and support students in different matters related to school attendance, growth and development in cooperation with guardians. The psychologist and school social worker are members of the school’s student welfare group and they also work together with other parties that help children and young people. Psychologists and social workers engage in both individual and communal work in schools.

The psychologist represents psychological expertise in the school community. The aim of the psychologist’s work is to promote the learning of children and young people, support their balanced growth and development, and promote the well-being of the school community. The psychologist’s work includes conducting psychological assessments and examinations, providing guidance and advice as well as organising the necessary support in cooperation with guardians, school staff and other authorities.

The school social worker is an expert in social work at the school. The social worker supports pupils, parents and teachers through discussions, by providing advice and, if necessary, by organising various support measures relating to the pupil’s school attendance, friendships or family situation as well as changes in the life situation in cooperation with guardians, the school and other services for children, young people and families. Social workers also work with groups and classes to promote the well-being of the school community.

Parents can also contact a psychologist or school social worker about their child’s issues, or children and young people can request a meeting with the social worker. An appointment can also be made through such persons as a teacher or a public health nurse. The work of psychologists and school social workers is guided by confidentiality as well as provisions on access to information by different parties and secrecy.

Student welfare psychologist’s services in North Savo wellbeing services county

Student welfare social worker’s services in North Savo wellbeing services county

School health care

School health care is part of the multiprofessional student welfare team. The parties involved are a school nurse, physician, psychologist and school social worker. The school nurse is an expert in promoting the health of schoolchildren and the school community as well as a provider of support for pupils and parents who observes the need for support together with the client and refers them to further examinations and treatment. The physician is a medical expert in school health care.

A child who is starting grade 1 is invited to a start-of-school examination. A letter containing the appointment is sent to the pupil’s home in May. The start-of-school examination is an extensive health check which both parents are welcome to attend. It is conducted at the public health nurse’s clinic in summer or early autumn. In addition to the child’s state of health, the health examination looks into the entire family’s well-being and resources and takes into account issues related to the child’s school attendance and friendships.

The public health nurse examines the pupils every year. In addition to the start-of-school examination, the parents are invited to attend extensive health examinations together with the pupil in grades 5 and 8. Extensive health examinations also include a meeting with a physician, however on a different day than the examination by the public health nurse.

Student health care services in North Savo wellbeing services county