According to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, offering of education in Estonia is under state and administrative supervision.
In formal education, the organisation and conduct of state supervision is regulated by the Preschool Child Care Institutions Act, the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, the Vocational Educational Institutions Act, the Private Schools Act, and the Higher Education Act. The aforementioned acts form the basis for supervision of both state and municipal (administrative supervision) educational institutions and private educational institutions (state supervision); hereinafter – state supervision.
In order to ensure the lawfulness and expediency of the activities of state and municipal educational institutions, supervisory control is conducted under the Government of the Republic Act and the Local Government Organisation Act.
The Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act establishes external evaluation of learning outcomes or, in other words, state level evaluation of learning outcomes defined in the national curriculum for basic schools and upper secondary schools. The external evaluationis carried out through upper secondary school state examinations, basic school harmonised final examinations and national standard-determining tests, the principles, organisation and other conditions of which are established by the regulation of the Minister of Education and Research.
Preschool child care institutions and schools are obliged to carry out internal evaluation.
Organisation of external evaluation and supervision of higher education institutions and higher education level is governed by the Higher Education Act and the Private Schools Act. According the the Higher Education Act, a higher education institution may organise studies at the level of higher education where it has been granted the right to organise such studies according to a specific curriculum group and level of education. The higher education quality assurance system differentiates between supervision and quality assessment.
According to the Vocational Educational Institutions Act, an educational institution shall be granted a right to conduct studies according to a specific curriculum group and the quality of study shall be assessed through accreditation of curriculum groups.
The Adult Education Act provides the Minister of Education and Research with the right to exercise state supervision also in adult education institutions and requires them to carry out quality assessment in the educational institution.
The Ministry of Education and Research annually prepares an overview of external evaluation of the education system. The overview includes a summary of results of state supervision in preschool child care institutions, general education schools, vocational schools and higher education institutions. Overview is given of the results of internal evaluations and counselling in educational institutions, national education surveys and other projects related to evaluation. The overviews are available on the website of the ministry.