For students who are not eligible for a national programme, there are five introductory programmes:
The introductory programmes should give students who are not eligible for a national programme an individually adapted education, which satisfies students’ different educational needs and provides clear educational routes. The introductory programmes should lead to establishment on the labour market and provide as good a foundation as possible for further education.
The main rule is that students eligible for other programmes should not attend an introductory programme. The school should make it easier for eligible students to continue studies in the national programme they started instead of changing to an introductory programme. Only if there are special reasons can a student who is eligible for a national programme be accepted in an introductory vocational programme or individual alternative. “Special reasons” refers to a situation where a student despite adaptation and vigorous measures from the school, is thinking about dropping out from studies in the upper secondary school. In such cases, the vocational introduction or individual alternative may be relevant.35 The organiser of the education should have considered all relevant support measures before examining whether special reasons are applicable.
Education in the introductory programme should be provided in the form of full-time studies. It should as a result be equivalent to education in the national programmes. However, its scope may be decreased at the request of a student and if the organiser considers that it is in line with the aims of the student’s education.
Education in an introductory programme should follow a plan for the education that is determined by the organiser. The plan for the education should contain the aims of the education, its length and main contents. A student who has started in the introductory programme has the right to complete this in accordance with the plan that existed when the education was started. The school should draw up an individual study plan for each student. The individual study plan should contain information on the subjects and courses which students will study, and also, where relevant, other measures favourable to the student’s development of knowledge. It should be based on students’ needs and interests, and also be followed up, evaluated and revised where necessary, in consultation with the student and in certain cases with the student’s guardian.
The individual study plan fulfils a particularly important function for students in an introductory programme since these programmes lack national programme structures and diploma goals.
The home municipality is responsible for providing preparatory education, the vocational introduction, individual alternatives and the language introduction. Students from the compulsory school for learning disabilities are offered a vocational introduction or individual alternative if the student wishes to study in the programme and the municipality considers that the student fulfils the conditions for managing this. If a student from the compulsory school for learning disabilities is admitted to either of these two introductory programmes, the student can not also be admitted to the upper secondary school for learning disabilities.
After an introductory programme has been completed, the headteacher issues an upper secondary school certificate specifying the education the student has received. All grades the student has received are stated in the certificate.