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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Support measures for learners in early childhood and school education


12.Educational support and guidance

12.3Support measures for learners in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Definition of the Target Groups

Students in threat of being excluded from education include students with socio-economic difficulties, behavioural disorders and problems, health-related problems, students whose mother language is other than the language of instruction, new immigrants.

Specific Support Measures

The following support measures are implemented in preschool child care institutions:

  • individual development plan;
  • speech therapeutic and special educational support;
  • social pedagogical counselling;
  • occupational therapy;
  • remedial teaching of Estonian as a second language.

The following possibilities for support measures are implemented at schools:

  • individual curriculum;
  • study aid for offering special educational or speech therapeutic aid;
  • studying in a longday group;
  • home schooling for health reasons;
  • boarding school facilities for students with social problems;
  • help from a special education teacher;
  • help from a psychologist.

The National Curriculum for Basic Schools establishes the exceptions that may be applied to students with special educational needs.

The following possibilities exist as additional possibilities and measures for the organisation of education of children whose mother tongue is other than Estonian:

  • possibility to acquire basic education in the English language in two schools and in the Finnish language also in two schools;
  • possibility to study mother tongue two hours per week if the mother tongue (home language) of a student is different than the language of instruction of the school and if there are more than 10 students wishing to study the language;
  • possibility to study mother tongue as foreign language;
  • implementation of individual curriculum (incl. teaching of Estonian individually or in a small group);
  • teaching of Estonian (the official language), incl. in case the student studies at a school with Estonian as the language of instruction;
  • studying Estonian free of charge for asylum seekers and refugees;
  • a student whose mother tongue is other than Estonian or a student who has arrived from a foreign country and whose experience of learning in Estonian in basic schools is less than six academic years, may study Estonian as second language;
  • a student who has lived in Estonia for less than three years has the right to give up studies of foreign language B;
  • a student who has lived in Estonia up to three years and who is studying at an Estonian school in a class with Estonian as language of instruction or in a language immersion class, has the right for four Estonian language lessons per week;

Vocational educational institutions provide, if required, additional Estonian language training to the students whose mother tongue is other than Estonian.

Legislative References

National curriculum for preschool child care institutions

National curriculum for basic schools