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Orbis scholae is an academic journal published by Charles University, Prague. It features articles on school education in the wider socio-cultural context. It aims to contribute to our understanding and the development of school education, and to the reflection of teaching practice and educational policy.


Recording, Reporting and Utilising School Absenteeism Data in Finland: Work in Progress

Iines Palmu, Tuomo Virtanen, Eeva-Liisa Markkanen, Johanna Sergejeff

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14712/23363177.2023.10
published online: 12. 06. 2023


School attendance problems (SAPs) among young people in compulsory education appear to be increasing in Finland. A recent report showed that, according to school personnel, there are at minimum 4 thousand (2−3%) lower secondary students with SAPs, and the problem is perceived to be growing. To tackle SAPs, local action plans have been developed, most commonly by schools or education providers. Going forward, a key issue for schools and education providers is the way in which data on school attendance/absence is gathered and used. This paper provides and overview of the current approaches to recording, reporting, and utilizing school absenteeism data in Finland. In addition, we present the recent development work initiated to respond to identified challenges in these areas. Current challenges concerning SAPs are: (a) creating shared definitions/categories of problematic school absenteeism, (b) updating and clarifying national guidelines concerning the recording and reporting of absenteeism, (c) creating a shared systematic data collection procedure to collect local and national statistics, and (d) developing the utilisation of evidence-based practices at school and municipal levels.

keywords: school absenteeism data; data recording; data reporting; data utilising; Finland

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