Human Capital: The Formula That Makes Finland's schools so good. Teachers have absolute freedom. "I choose the textbooks and the methodology. Nobody controls what I do." All students follow the same course from seven to 16 years of age. And virtually no one fails. Students who encounter persistent difficulties are allowed to work with special assistants who helps them through the lessons step-by-step or in small groups outside of classes. Because of this it is almost of unheard of in Finland for students to repeat grades, and 93% of students complete their obligatory studies successfully, compared to 80% in countries that are OECD members.