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Estonia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

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Overview Estonia

Contents

Estonia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Estonia:Historical Development

Estonia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Estonia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Estonia:Political and Economic Situation

Estonia:Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Estonia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Estonia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Estonia:Organisation of Private Education

Estonia:National Qualifications Framework

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Estonia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Funding in Education

Estonia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Estonia:Higher Education Funding

Estonia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Estonia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Organisation

Estonia:Teaching and Learning

Estonia:Assessment

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Estonia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Higher Education

Estonia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Estonia:First Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Bachelor

Estonia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Estonia:Second Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Estonia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Estonia:Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Estonia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Estonia:Main Providers

Estonia:Main Types of Provision

Estonia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Estonia:Teachers and Education Staff

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Management and Other Education Staff

Estonia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Estonia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Quality Assurance

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Educational Support and Guidance

Estonia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Estonia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Estonia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Estonia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Mobility in Higher Education

Estonia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Estonia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Estonia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:National Reforms in School Education

Estonia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Estonia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Estonia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Estonia:European Perspective

Estonia:Legislation

Estonia:Glossary

The term "local level" indicates a local government – a municipality or town. The Education Act, the acts on local authorities and other legislation determine the competence of local governments. Local governments are vested with the primary responsibility for the accessibility of general education (from preschool to upper secondary education), fulfilment of compulsory school attendance, maintenance of preschool child care institutions and schools. The important roles of local authorities include:

  • planning of education development programs within their administrative jurisdiction and their implementation;
  • establishing, reorganising and closing municipal educational institutions pursuant to the procedure prescribed by legislation and ensuring their economic support and financing;
  • appointing heads of  educational institutions under their jurisdiction to office and releasing them from office;
  • keeping records of children of compulsory school age and ensuring monitoring of compulsory school attendance, organising transport to the educational institution and back, and ensuring medical care and meals during school hours;
  • keeping records of persons with special needs and organising teaching for them.

With a view to preparing and implementing education development plans of the administration area, an education department of local government shall be founded or a corresponding employee appointed.

There are educational institutions belonging to a local authority or private sector, and also public law institutions. But the state has no preschool child care institutions and local governments do not own universities. Universities are public or private law institutions.

A preschool child care institution is managed by a director in co-operation with the teachers' council and the board of trustees. A school is managed by the head of the school in cooperation with the teachers' council and the board of trustees, and a vocational school by the head of the school in co-operation with the council. A rector manages a university as well as an institution of professional higher education. The highest collegial decision-making body for a university and for an institution of professional higher education is a council of a respective higher education institution.

 Heads of educational institutions are recruited through a competitive procedure. The authority announcing the competition and the procedure thereof differs depending on the institution and ownership.

The competition to fill a vacant position of the head of a preschool child care institution, school, of a vocational school and of an institution of professional higher education is organised by the owner of the institution. In case of a municipal school, it would be a rural municipality or city government. In case of state school, the minister, who directs the ministry under whose area of government the institution belongs, or a county governor, if the school is administered by a county government. The person who wins the competition shall be appointed to office by the same institution that is organising the competition. An employment contract with the head of a municipal educational institution shall be concluded, suspended, amended and terminated by the rural municipality or city mayor or an official authorised by him or her; in case of state educational institutions, by the minister, who directs the ministry under whose area of government the institution belongs. Employment contracts with the heads of educational institutions have no fixed end-date.

The Rector of a university shall be elected for five years pursuant to the procedure prescribed by the statute of the university. Fulfilling the post of a rector does not have time limits but elections are conducted every five years.

Schools have a teachers' council whose function is to deal with the issues related to teaching and education in the school. The teachers' council comprises the teachers of the school.

 A board of trustees of a preschool child care institution or municipal school is a permanent body whose function is to support the activities of the preschool child care institution or school and to submit proposals to the executive body of the local government in order to resolve the issues related to the preschool child care institution or school. The membership of the board of trustees is determined by the act that regulates the work of the corresponding institution (the Preschool Child Care Institutions Act, and the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, respectively).

Instead of a board of trustees, state school councils are formed in state schools, which consist of nine members and include specialists and parents. The rights and obligations established for boards of trustees extend also to the state school councils. A state school council shall submit proposals to the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Social Affairs in order to resolve the issues related to the school.

Vocational schools have a council that directs the school's activities and resolves issues related to the development, assets and budget of the school. The minister, who directs the ministry under whose area of government the institution belongs, forms the board in case of a state school. In case of a municipal vocational school, the school board is formed by the rural municipality or city government. A vocational school also has an advisory body, a body relating the vocational school and the society, the function of which is to advise the school on planning development and organising teaching and economic activities.

Institutions of professional higher education have a council of institution of professional higher education and an advisory body in their management structure. In universities, a council of university and a board of governors fulfil similar functions. Both, the council of an institution of professional higher education as well the council of a university comprise the Rector, the Vice Rector(s), representatives of the teaching staff, representatives of the student council and other persons prescribed by the statute. The council directs the activities of the institution and makes decisions on the issues related to its development, budget and assets. An advisory body and a board of governors are advisory bodies connecting the higher education institution and the society.

The source document for studies in preschool child care institutions, schools and vocational schools is the specific curriculum of the institution, which is based on the national curriculum. The institutions decide themselves on daily or weekly schedules but they have to take into account the restrictions prescribed by national curricula. The employment of the staff and the use of financial resources allocated to the institution can also be decided by the institutions. The head of the institution is accountable to the board of trustees (in case of vocational schools, to the school council).

Establishments offering formal education to adults are managed on the same grounds as formal education institutions for youth. The majority of educational institutions offering formal education are engaged both in youth and adult studies (e.g. vocational schools and higher education institutions). Since the requirement to create separate continuing education institutions is not provided for by the new Adult Education Act (continuing education may be provided by the existing educational institutions in addition to their other activities), the management of such institutions is not separately regulated. However, all institutions providing continuing education shall establish and make public the bases for the organisation of studies in continuing education and the bases for ensuring quality of the activities of the continuing education institutions.   

Legislative References

Education Act

Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act

Universities Act

Preschool Child Care Institutions Act

Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act

Vocational Educational Institutions Act

Adult Education Act

National curriculum for basic schools

National curriculum for preschool child care institutions

National curriculum for upper secondary schools

Number of members of a board of governors and their term of authority and the rules of procedure of a board of governors

Functions and rules of procedure of teachers' council

Rules of procedure of vocational school's council

Procedure for organising a competition for filling a vacant position of the head of state vocational school

Procedure for forming the board of trustees of state general education schools and rules of procedure

Procedure for electing a Rector of an institution of professional higher education

Procedure for organising a competition for filling a vacant position of the head of state general education school