Tuettu-project is a research project carried out by a University of Helsinki and Tampere University consortium that investigates issues related to inclusion from the perspective of the placement of students with special educational needs. The main objective of the study is to investigate the outcomes of the different placement options and the effect of class composition on students with special educational needs as well as on their peers.

The study is implemented as a four-year longitudinal study in which the same pupils are followed from the 4th grade to the 6th grade as part of a national comprehensive sample (approximately 8600 students) for three years. In addition, the study examines factors at the municipal, school and class level that are related to pupil assignment processes. The first round of data collection is in November 2021. After that, data will be collected in Autumn 2022 and the last round of data collection will be in Autumn 2023. The results of the study will be published at different stages of the study.


The aim of the study is to find out how the placement of pupils with special educational needs – general education class or special class – is related to their performance in tasks that assess different cognitive skills. In addition, the effect of student placement is examined from the perspective of attitudes and beliefs related to pupils’ learning and schooling.

All pupils in the target age group of the sample schools will participate in the research so that the class-level effects on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes can be studied from the perspective of all pupils.

The research is funded by the Academy of Finland (01.09.2020– 31.08.2024).

Research group

PI: Professor Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen


Project manager Ninja Hienonen
Postdoctoral researcher Meri Lintuvuori
Postdoctoral researcher Sanna Oinas
Project coordinator Milja Saarnio
Programmer Mikko Asikainen
Technical assistant Esko Lindgren
Researcher Cristiana Mergianian

contact persons

Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen

Ninja Hienonen
+358 50 3182273

Partners (hy)

PI: Professor Markku
Jahnukainen, University of Helsinki

Postdoctoral researcher Ninja Hienonen
Postdoctoral researcher Meri Lintuvuori
Postdoctoral researcher Sanna Oinas
Programmer Mikko Asikainen
Research assistant Esko Lindgren