Compulsory Education Age
7-16 (for children who are 7 years old by October 1)
Estimated Number of Homeschoolers
Less than 100
Home schooling is allowed in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Ministry of Education and Research (Art. 23 BGS). According to the regulation (Koduōppe ja haiglaōppe tingimused ja kord) adopted on 11.08.2010 (in force 01.09.2010) there are
two types of home schooling: (1) home schooling resulting from a medical necessity and (2) home schooling resulting from parental wishes. In both cases a parent can apply for home schooling stating relevant reasons. In the first case, the counselling
committee makes a recommendation (Regulation, Art. 2 (3)). The decision itself is made by the head of the school. An ordinance issued by the Ministry of Education, Procedures for home schooling (21/12/2007, 83, RTL 2008, 3, 27), stipulates
the requirements for homeschooling. Parents are required to apply to homeschool annually at the school where their child is registered. The school is to give homeschooled students assessments at least once a semester; if a student's knowledge does
not meet requirements set out in the national curriculum, he will be required to return to school.
The school is responsible for arranging the home schooling in the case of the medical necessity. The schooling is publicly funded. The school, in cooperation with the parent, provides an individual work plan for the student. The work plan takes into account
the suggestions made by doctors and the counselling committee. This type of home schooling can take place at all school levels, including gymnasium.
In the second type of home schooling the parent needs to state the reasons for home schooling and name the person who is going to carry out the teaching (Regulation, Art. 5 (2)). The law does not specify what kind of reasons should be given. It also does
not say the reasons need to be substantial or backed up with evidence. The parent is responsible for managing and financing the home schooling. He or she is also responsible for the quality and results of teaching. The school provides books and other
materials needed to cover the school curriculum (Art. 6 (1)). Home schooling is conducted in co-operation with the relevant school. The emphasis seems to be not on the reasons for home schooling but on the quality of home schooling, which can be assured
in co-operation with the school, making sure that individual work plans and obligatory curriculum are followed. There have been no known cases in practice indicating a conflict of interest in this regard yet. The school’s teachers’ council
can terminate the home schooling if during the assessment (arranged by the school twice a year) it appears that the student has significant deficiencies in achieving results specified in his/her individual work plan/curriculum (Regulation, Art. 8).
MTU Eesti Koduõppe Keskus
The Estonian Centre for Home Education
POC: Ingrid Vooglaid