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ECNAIS : European Council of National Associations of Independent Schools

Annual General Meeting | Conferences

Quality and Evaluation of Independent Schools

Helsinki, Finland | 14 - 17 April 2010

Introductory text of the ECNAIS conference

This year’s conference is a follow up to the conference on “Benchmarks and Values” held in Sofia in April 2009, which concluded that it is of outmost importance for the independent sector, as well as for the individual schools, that the following topics are clarified:

  • That the individual independent school is based on its own values.
  • That the values are clear and are visible in the everyday life of the school.
  • That the values are communicated to internal parties and external stakeholders
  • That clear, visible and communicated values are of utmost importance, as the most common assumptions made in the educational debate tend to focus on the measurable aspects of performance using available benchmarks.

This year we focus on values and quality as an addition to the ECNAIS Seminar “Values and Evaluation” held in Rome in November 2009. The conference will take as its starting point the idea that independent schools are based on their own values. It will touch upon and debate the thesis that the focus may be shifting from the value based part of the everyday life of schools towards those activities that are easier to measure. The concept of “self-evaluation” will be presented and will form part of the discussions about the development of independent schools.

The issues raised are expected to stimulate much discussion and debate on the future for independent schools, their social responsibilities, the sector’s opportunities in the future and perhaps, last but not least, ethical questions.

The issues raised are expected to stimulate much discussion and debate on the future for independent schools, their social responsibilities, the sector’s opportunities in the future and perhaps, last but not least, ethical questions.

Introductory text of the Hyry conference

Helsinki Private Schools Association (Hyry) has a long tradition in organizing seminars; this year’s seminar will be 57 th. The seminar 2010 is tailored for private school language teachers with their own program.

It is possible because of the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s scholarship.

The seminar will also have participants from private schools’ principals, managements, economic teams and secretariats. Some of the Helsinki City officials and elected officials have been invited to the seminar.
In addition to current educational issues it is important for Hyry seminar to give new opportunities for cooperation between various school managements and teacher colleagues.



  • Because of the special programme there will be no pre-conference this year
  • Parts the ECNAIS programme will be shared with the programme of the HYRY seminar. These parts are stated in italic and bold
Wednesday 14th April 2010 | Hotel Presidentti, Helsinki
11.15 – 12.00 lunch (open for members only)
12.00 – 15.00 Management Committee Meeting and Formal Annual General Meeting (open for members only)
16.30 Registration, music, welcoming drink
17.00 Opening of the conference
Welcome by

  • the Chairman of ECNAIS, Simon Steen
  • the Chairman of the Association of independent schools in Finland, Aki Holopainen

“The Cultural & Historical Development of Finland”
The History of Finland: Perspectives and Projections

Henrik Meinander (born 1960) is Professor of History at University of Helsinki. Apart from numerous scientific articles he has published eight monographs on Finnish and Nordic 19th and 20th century history.

“The Finnish Educational System. The place of Private Schools”
“School autonomy and curriculum”

Speaker: Adjunct Professor Jari Salminen
Adjunct Professor Jari Salminen has served as the University Lecturer at the Department of Teacher Education since 1998. He is a leading researcher of the school history. His specialist fields include the history of Finnish grammar schools and particularly private schools, on which he has published several works and articles. He is currently researching the development and innovations in Finnish general upper secondary education from 1872 to 2000.

20.00 Dinner
Thursday 15th April 2010
09.00 School visits including lunch at schools
13.00 Combined programme
Transfer to the Tallink-Silja ferry
13.40 Opening of the conference
13.45 SPAM-singing group
13.50 University reform in Finland from the perspective of autonomy
Policy and Foresight
Director Jari Jokinen, Aalto University

Jari Jokinen (b. 1967) is Director for Policy and Foresight and Secretary to the Board of Aalto University. (questions and debate included)
15.00 Coffee break and luggage to cabin
16.00 Values and self-evaluation of Independent Schools
Speaker is invited
(questions and debate included)
17.00 Ferry departs Helsinki
18.00 Closure of the meeting
20.00 Buffet dinner
Friday 16th April 2010 Swedish time (- 1 hour)
07.00 – 09.00 Breakfast
09.00 Introduction to programme in Stockholm
09.30 Ferry arrives in Stockholm
Transfer to city centreDevelopment of the Independent Schools
Swedish speaker is invited
(questions and debate included)
12.00 Lunch
13.00 Visit Gamla Stan (old city centre of Stockholm)
16.00 Return to ferry
17.00 Ferry departs Stockholm
19.45 Conclusion, feedback and closure of the conference
21.30 Official dinner à la Carte
Saturday 17th April 2010
07.30 – 09.55 Breakfast
09.55 Ferry arrives to Helsinki
Flights back home or
return to Hotel Presidentti, Helsinki for optional one night stay in Helsinki


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