Student representative councils
The law states that students at all levels of education have the right to make their voice heard when their school decides on matters that concern them. All high schools and vocational schools are required to have a student representative council. These student-led councils are also the main forums for students to get their opinions heard in comprehensive schools, that is, primary and lower secondary schools.
Student representative councils can work in many different ways. They organise social events and other fun activities and raise concerns with, e.g. the School Board. Representatives of the council are often chosen through an election.
You can also aim to sit on your student representative council – all you need is to be interested in how things are done at your school! If you don’t know whether there is a council of this sort at your school or how to join it, ask one of your teachers.
High school and vocational school students also have their own national interest groups who support student-led councils and promote their interests on a national political level. The Union of Finnish Upper Secondary School Students acts as an interest organisation for high school students and Suomen Opiskelija-Allianssi OSKU (Finnish Student Alliance) and Suomen Ammattiin Opiskelevien Liitto – SAKKI ry (Finnish Vocational Students’ Association) are the interest organisations for students in upper secondary vocational schools. The interest organisation for Swedish-speaking students is the Swedish-speaking School Student Union of Finland (FSS).