Every year, at the beginning of a new school tern, the parents are asked for some information of their children for the purposes of making sure that the requirements of the Law of Finland and the pupils rights are fulfilled.

Gathering information about the pupil’s religious affiliation is one of the tasks of a school in order to make sure that pupils are given the option to choose Religious Education according to their own religious background.

Please consider fulling the form provided by the city/municipality to inform the school about your child’s religious affiliation with the Anglican Church. As far as I know, at least in Helsinki and Espoo there should be enough children to have Religious Education which would take note the children’s Anglican identity. Education would be in Finnish.

Please use the following forms:

Espoo (DOC, in English and Finnish): http://www.espoo.fi/download/noname/%7BAB21697C-E193-439C-9E44-2A6EF85AA66F%7D/73837

Helsinki (PDF, only in Finnish): http://www.hel.fi/static/opev/virasto/lomakkeet/125.pdf

Field “Oppilaan oma uskonto”: tick “muu” (other) and write: ‘anglikaaninen’ (Anglican)

If your child has been registered as an Anglican, please write to the next field: Suomen Anglikaaninen kirkko. (It is not compulsory to be registered as Anglican but it does make things easier, please contact the Anglican Church in Finland for further information.)

Other cities: Please write to the school, using the above mentioned forms as a template for information needed. You may also ask for a form from your child’s teacher/school office.

Please find below a quote from the Suomen Uskonnonopettajainliitto (Union of Teachers of Religion in Finland) website:

Religious Education in schools

Religious Education is a compulsory subject both in comprehensive schools (7 – 16 years) and in senior / upper secondary schools (16 – 18 / 19 years). Pupils who do not belong to any religious group can choose between Religious Education or secular Ethics.

– Religious Education in schools is non-confessional, informative education offered by the society, the objectives and contents of which differ clearly from the religious education offered by religious communities.

– The objective of Religious Education in schools is to obtain a broad and diverse general education regarding religions and world views.

– The objective is accomplished through getting familiar with ones own cultural heritage and other world views and by developing an ethically responsible attitude in life.

– Religious Education helps understand the meaning of religion to an individual, and to understand effects of religion in local, national and global communities.

– Living and working in a multicultural society requires knowledge of ones own context and of the diverse cultures and religions that coexist in the society. Religious Education provides the information and skills necessary for interreligious dialogue and understanding.

– According to studies, Finnish people appreciate unbiased Religious Education.

Religious Education in accordance with ones own religion

Religious Education (RE) in Finland is non-confessional. Pupils and students receive RE according to their own religion, if the denomination is registered in Finland. (A 15-year-old child can decide his or her own religion / denomination with the permission of parents.) It means that the contents of RE in each religion are based on that particular religion, but other religions and world views are studied as well. Teachers do not have to belong to any denomination and teacher education takes place in universities. In Finland 74% of the population are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (www.evl.fi). Education in other religions is organized when there is a minimum of three pupils who belong to that specific denomination.

– A child’s right to religious education is stated in many international declarations.

– The objectives and contents of teaching RE are described at national level in the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education and the National Core Curriculum for Upper Secondary Schools.

– In 2012 91,9% of pupils in comprehensive school took part in Evangelical-Lutheran RE, 1,4% in Orthodox, 1,5% in Islam, 0,5% in other religions ja 4% in secular Ethics.

– The Evangelical-Lutheran RE as the majority education is open to all pupils and students and many non-Lutheran pupils participate in Evangelical-Lutheran RE. It is sometimes called ”general RE”.

– National Framework Curricula for RE is written for Evangelical Lutheran, Orthodox, Catholic, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian Community, Latter Day Saint, Free Church, Adventist, Baha’ì, Hare Krishna and Herran kansa ry religious education. If there is no curriculum for some registered religion, the national board of education cooperates with the religion in order to compose it.

(Retrieved 17.8.2017 http://www.suol.fi/index.php/religious-education-in-finland)

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