Welfare and words make Finland great

29th October 2010 at 01:00

Having spent considerable periods of my life living, travelling and working in the Nordic countries, Ed Dutton's article "Teacher tourist flood sees Finns try to stem tide" (October 22) couldn't help but grab my attention.

As with many other Nordic countries, Finland has one of the world's most developed welfare systems. Yes, taxation is high but the social benefits are felt across Finnish society, not least in education. Is it any wonder that Finland's top graduates become teachers when rates of pay for public sector employees are relatively higher than elsewhere?

Likewise, on the social level, the teaching profession is seen to be as good as any. All this in a nation where socio-economic inequalities between students in the cities and across the regions are far less pronounced than in most others. Finland's success in secondary education is also the success of years and years of social democracy.

Jason Nicholls, Monkston Park, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

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