Last year more than 100 foreign delegations and governments visited Helsinki, hoping to learn the secret of their schools’ success.
In 2006, Finland’s pupils scored the highest average results in science and reading in the whole of the developed world. In the OECD’s exams for 15 year-olds, known as PISA, they also came second in maths, beaten only by teenagers in South Korea.
This isn’t a one-off: in previous PISA tests Finland also came out top.
The Finnish philosophy with education is that everyone has something to contribute and those who struggle in certain subjects should not be left behind.