A1 Journal article (refereed)
The 21st Century Reforms (Re)Shaping the Education Policy of Inclusive and Special Education in Finland (2021)

Ahtiainen, R., Pulkkinen, J., & Jahnukainen, M. (2021). The 21st Century Reforms (Re)Shaping the Education Policy of Inclusive and Special Education in Finland. Education Sciences, 11(11), Article 750. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11110750

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Ahtiainen, Raisa; Pulkkinen, Jonna; Jahnukainen, Markku

Journal or series: Education Sciences

eISSN: 2227-7102

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 11

Issue number: 11

Article number: 750

Publisher: MDPI AG

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11110750

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78777


In recent decades, an essential global aim of the reforms of special education has been the promotion of inclusive education. This article discusses the implementation of reforms with a focus on tiered support systems in the context of Finnish comprehensive school education. Based on earlier literature, legislation, and administrative documents, we provide a background for Finnish education policy and special education reforms. The focus of this article is on the description of parallel reforms targeting the re-structuring of the systems around support for students and funding of education in the 2010s. We discuss the processes leading to these reforms and the reforms themselves. In addition, we discuss their implications for the organization of the tiered support system. Finally, we highlight some challenges of reform implementation and the current education policy’s movements towards inclusive education.

Keywords: special education (teaching); special support; three-step support; inclusion; school reform; education policy

Free keywords: educational support; inclusive education; special education; reform; education policy; Finland

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-24-11 at 08:06