Comprehensive education lasts for 9 years. All the children living in Finland are subject to compulsory comprehensive education. Children usually complete their compulsory education at comprehensive school, unless they receive instruction in some other way. In most cases comprehensive education starts in the year when the child becomes seven years of age.
In Helsinki there are comprehensive schools providing basic education in both primary and lower secondary levels (classes 1-9, primary level comprehensive schools(classes 1-4 or 1-6)and lower secondary level schools (classes 7-9). Every child is provided with a place in her/his own local school.
In Helsinki there are schools maintained by the city, private contracting schools, private schools and state owned schools.