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Estonia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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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

 


Definition of the Target Groups

The term "student with special educational needs" refers in Estonia to a student whose

  • talent,
  • learning difficulties,
  • health status,
  • disability,
  • behavioural  and emotional disorders,
  • longer-term absence from schooling or  
  •  insufficient proficiency in language of instruction of a school

bring about the need to make changes or adjustments in the subject matter, process, duration, workload or environment of study (e.g., teaching materials, school rooms, language of communication, including a sign language or other alternative means of communication, support staff, teachers who have received special training), in the expected learning outcomes or in the work plan drawn up by a teacher for working with a class.

Specific Support Measures

Organisation of study of students with special needs at an ordinary school is carried out according to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act and the Education Act. Every child has the right to study at a school of residence and according to a suitable curriculum as well as to receive supported or special education if so required due to the student's special educational needs. In general, children with special educational needs study in ordinary classes of ordinary schools to ensure educational and social involvement of all students. In case teaching of students with special needs requires, due to their disability or disorder, a very specific organisation of studies and implementation of resource intensive support measures, an ordinary school may open a class for students with special needs.    

Schools must implement the following support measures regardless whether the children with special educational needs are taught in ordinary classes or specialized classes:

  • supported education in groups or individually;
  • special education support and counselling;
  • psychological counselling;
  • social educator’s support and counselling;
  • implementation of an appropriate curriculum and adjusted teaching aids;
  • ensuring availability of technical facilities for disabled students;
  • adaptation of the physical learning environment according to the type of disability if required;
  • drawing up and implementing an individual curriculum if required;
  • ensuring availability of services provided for in the rehabilitation plan,
  • surveillance of students’ achievements and assessment which supports and directs the development of the students.

An individual curriculum with increased requirements, additional individual study or additional study in group and granting access to the study conducted in science schools are the measures used to support talented students. 

In vocational educational institutions the school, along with the manager of the school, ensures a student with special needs with an access to support services, remedial instruction, special education teacher, social educator and psychologist services, and applies, if required, the following support measures in support of the student: 

  • drawing up and implementing an individual curriculum;
  • studies in small groups; 
  • a moderate or deep pedagogical intervention;
  • use of a sign-language interpreter.

A school appoints an employee or a support group that is responsible for the identification of the special need of the student, assessment of the competencies and needs of the student, specifying and application of the required support measures, monitoring the effectiveness of such measures, and coordination of these activities.

Support services and support measures and the principles of their implementation will be established in the rules for the organisation of studies of the school. 

Legislative References

Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act

Education Act

Basis of organisation of teaching and education in classes and groups of students with special educational needs and the conditions of and procedure for admission to, transfer to and exclusion from a class or group, and the conditions of and procedure for teaching one single student

The conditions and procedure for the study of persons with special educational needs at vocational educational institutions.