Golden Oldies

2012 – How the Finns emptied their prisons

Tapio Lappi-Seppälä, Director, National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Finland. MAY 2012  The open prison on the island of Suomenlimma near Helsinki is an astonishing place. The 100 prisoners living there learn stonemasonry and other skills to help keep the 19th century stone fortress intact. They’re paid a wage and the tiny municipality of 400 people voted to have them there. Some of the astonishing facts that confronted members of the Scottish Prisons Commission on a visit in 2008 – after which the Finnish Penal system formed the basis of the Community Payback system recommended by Commission Chair Henry McLeish and adopted by the Scottish Government. Finland had one of the highest prison populations in western Europe until the 1970s. Since then, the imprisonment rate ha...Read More

2012 – How does Finnish education stay streets ahead?

This event in May 2012 was hosted by the Convenor of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, Stewart Maxwell MSP and sponsored by the Finnish Embassy with Nordic Horizons ‘The story of Finland’s extraordinary educational reforms is one that should inform policymakers and educators around the world. This book is a must read.’ Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University. The book in question is Pasi Sahlberg’s Finnish Lessons which helps explains why Finland’s education system regularly tops world league tables for results, happiness of children, levels of literacy and esteem of teachers. The Finnish education system is so often cited as a blueprint that one Scottish union leader said he was fed up hearing about it! Most educationists, policy-makers and pa...Read More

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