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Helsinki to cut back on schools' teaching assistants

The city of Helsinki has decided on deep cuts to the number of teaching assistants it employs.  However the spending reductions won’t affect students’ personal assistants.

Koululainen lukee oppikirjaa.
Schools' teaching assistants may soon feel the pinch of Helsinki city spending cuts. Image: Yle Uutisluokka

The city of Helsinki currently employs some 600 teaching assistants. The administration is looking to send home all of assistants assigned to specific schools, retaining only students’ personal helpers.

The decision to send home the teaching assistants is part of a savings programme agreed back in the spring.

“These cuts will save 2.7 million euros,” said Rauno Jarnila, Helsinki’s director of education.

The education chief said that now would be a good time to give up the assistants previously assigned to schools on the basis of need.  

Jarnila said he was not yet able to say how many would be affected by the plan. However if the cuts are implemented they will come into force at the beginning of 2015, mid-way through the academic year.

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