Compulsory school attendance

All children are required to attend school as of the moment when they are 7 years of age before 1 October of the current year until they complete basic education or turn 17.

Compulsory school attendance can be deferred due to a child’s health condition and students can also fulfil their obligation by studying at home. No student shall be excused from fulfilment of compulsory schooling due to a disability or low aptitude.

Basic education can also be acquired on the basis of a simplified curriculum, depending on special needs and abilities. Children with a severe and moderate mental disability shall be taught and educated according to the national curriculum for students with moderate and severe learning disabilities. The Estonian compulsory school attendance requirement shall not apply to the children of foreign diplomats and representatives of foreign countries. However, the children of foreign nationals and stateless people living in Estonia do have compulsory school attendance.

Parents’ obligations

Parents have the obligation of creating favourable conditions for their child to study at home. Parents also must cooperate with the school, submit to the school its contact details and inform the school of any change thereof etc.

If a child is absent from school, the parent must notify the school thereof at the same day. If, by the second day of a child’s absence from school, the school has not been notified of the reason for the child’s absence, the school has an obligation to contact the parent. If the school is unable within the week to determine the reason for the child’s absence, the school must notify the municipal or city government of the location of the child’s residence, and the said authorities have the right to apply punitive or support measures.

Last amended: 12-12-2016 00:00 | Compiled by: Ministry of Education and Research