Preschool child care institutions, basic schools, upper secondary schools and vocational schools are managed by a director or a head.
The task of a director or a head is to guarantee the efficient work of the institution and to manage the institution’s activities. The head is responsible, within the limits of his or her competence, for the teaching and education and other activities carried out in the school, for the general condition and development of the institution and for the lawful and efficient use of financial resources.
In larger schools and preschool child care institutions a head teacher or a leading employee of teaching and education is also employed as the head of studies.
Requirements for Appointment
The qualification requirements for directors of preschool child care institutions are higher education and teaching and management skills.
The qualification requirements for a head teacher in a child care institution include higher education and teaching and management skills.
The qualification requirements for heads of basic schools and upper secondary schools include Master’s degree or a qualification equal thereto and management skills.
The qualification requirements for head teachers of basic schools and upper secondary schools include Master’s degree or qualification equal thereto, completed teacher training and management skills.
An employer, mainly a local authority, shall assess compliance with the qualification requirements, the required competencies and the readiness of an employee to work in the respective position. In case of heads of schools, also management skills are evaluated at least in the following areas: organisation development management, teaching environment creation, human resources management, resource management and self-management.
Teacher’s profession is acquired in a university after completing teacher training curriculum or from an authority granting the profession after certifying the competencies required for working as a teacher. Competencies of teachers are specified in the professional standards for teachers (professional level 7).
The qualification requirements for heads of vocational educational institutions include Master’s degree or qualification equal thereto, management skills and experience, and teaching skills.
The qualification requirements for leading employees of teaching and education of vocational educational institutions include Master’s degree or qualification equal thereto and at least three years of teaching experience and teaching and management skills.
State-owned educational institutions are employed by the Ministry of Education and Research. Most of the vocational schools and an increasing number of state upper secondary schools are owned by the state.
Conditions of Service
The heads of municipal general education and vocational schools are hired by local governments on the basis of public competitions. In case of state-owned general education schools, the same process is carried out by the Ministry of Education and Research.
The procedure, pursuant to which a public competition for filling the position of the head of a state general education school or a vocational educational institution is conducted, is established by the regulations of the Minister of Education and Research.
Employment contracts with heads of municipal schools or directors of preschool child care institutions shall be concluded by the rural municipality or city mayor or an official authorised by him or her; in case of state educational institutions, by the Minister of Education and Research.
Employment contracts with directors of preschool child care institutions and heads of schools have no fixed end-date.
The duration of annual holidays of directors of preschool child care institutions is 42 calendar days, and that of heads of general education schools and vocational educational institutions, 56 days.
Since 2018, the heads of schools and preschool childcare institutions have had an opportunity to apply for the title of the Head of an Educational Institution of the Year accompanied by a monetary award of 10,000 Euros, or for the Lifetime Achievement Award in Education of 65,000 Euros.
Conformity of the qualifications of the Republic of Estonia and the qualifications of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics awarded before 20 August 1991