Lessons from the Finns

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Parklands School’s deputy principal Joanna Thiel and principal Marg Ponitn.
Camera IconParklands School’s deputy principal Joanna Thiel and principal Marg Ponitn. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

School leaders at an Albany primary school will take part in an independent schools group study tour next month.

Parklands School principal Marg Pontin and deputy principal Joanne Thiel will travel to Finland, the world’s best-performing education nation, to explore their polices and systems.

After travelling to the Baltics and Scandinavia last year, Ms Pontin discussed her findings with the Association of Independent Schools WA, which proposed a study tour of the Finnish education system. The tour has a focus on early childhood education.

Principals and teachers from independent schools in Perth and regional areas have registered for the study tour.

Among the group are five school leaders participating from the Great Southern.

Ms Pontin said her investigations into Finnish education had revealed many similar education policies at Parklands School.

“I was pleased to find that Parklands follows many practices that are highly recommended in the Finnish system,” she said.

“However, there is sure to be a lot to learn from the world leader in education. Some Finnish policies might be challenging in the Australian context, such as minimal standardised testing, but we will be working hard to draw from Finland’s educational success for the benefit of Australian schools.”

Ms Pontin said she would be going over armed with questions for Finnish school leaders, to learn and bring knowledge back.

“The questions for us is what is Finland doing that works so well, in particular how Finland implements its philosophy — and which parts of that we can bring back to Australia to improve our education systems,” Ms Pontin said.

The two-week tour starts in April.

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