The provision of special support in vocational education and training

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) assesses the provision of special support in vocational education and training (VET) between 2020 and 2021. The evaluation will particularly produce information about the arrangements made for special support and their functionality, including identifying needs for support, the forms of support and guidance, the availability and accessibility of support, and the practices for adapting assessment and making exemptions to qualification requirements.

The target group of the assessment consists of providers that in 2019 or 2020 have had students with an official decision concerning special support. Demanding special support is not covered by the evaluation.

An evaluation team consisting of the following members will support FINEEC’s experts in the implementation of the evaluation

  • Seija Eskola, Senior Lecturer, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education
  • Seija Karvonen, Director of education, Ammattiopisto Luovi
  • Kristina Kullas-Norrgård, Team leader, Optima
  • Tuomo Lahtinen, Teacher, Special needs teacher, Ylä-Savo Vocational College
  • Anneli Majanen, Coordinating special needs teacher, Tampere Vocational College Tredu
  • Jaakko Ristolainen, Head of sector, Keuda

The evaluation of special support in VET is part of a wider evaluation of individual study pathways, which will provide information for individualisation and the identification and recognition of prior learning as well as information on the functionality of guidance practices and the realisation of students’ opportunities to make choices.

Obtaining data for the evaluation and the evaluation timetable

The data for the evaluation will primarily be collected from students who have received an official decision concerning special support and from VET providers and staff. In addition, existing statistics will be used (e.g. Education Statistics Finland Vipunen and the Koski data repository). Where applicable, information produced by FINEEC’s other evaluations will be also used in the evaluation.

Students’ experiences of special support, studies, teaching and guidance will be investigated through interviews in November and December 2020. The interviews will be implemented in vocational institutions of 12 providers in different parts of Finland. The providers whose students will be interviewed have been notified.

Information will be collected from VET providers and staff through electronic surveys in January and February 2021. If necessary, the information obtained from the interviews and surveys will be discussed in more depth in webinars in spring 2021.

The evaluation report will be published in autumn 2021.


For further information, please contact

  • Counsellor of Evaluation Jani Goman,, tel: +358 29 533 5505
  • Senior Evaluation Advisor Raisa Hievanen,, tel: +358 29 533 5542
  • Senior Evaluation Advisor Johanna Kiesi,, tel: +358 29 533 5545


Other FINEEC evaluations in which the support received by learners is reviewed