Competition for places at Tallinn's 'elite' schools is high ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The first day of school.
The first day of school. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Competition for "elite" schools in Tallinn is high with some schools now having up to 10 applicants for every classroom place in first grade.

This year, Tallinn English College (Tallinna inglise kolledž) is accepting 48 students in its grade 1 class, but 443 children were enrolled for the tests this weekend, meaning the competition is nine children to every place. 

The same number can also be seen at Tallinn Secondary School of Science (Tallinna reaalkool). However, school principal Ene Saar told ERR this does not necessarily mean everyone who has registered will be there on the day.

"Typically, about 10 to 15 percent, sometimes more, will not come. So the number of participants will become clear after the school readiness test," she added. The school puts those who wish to enter first grade to the test on February 15 and 16.

Alar Saar, the headmaster of the Old Town Education College (Vanalinna hariduskolleegium) said there will be one class for boys and one for girls, with 24 children in each. There were a total of 300 applications, so the competition is just over six children per place. The admission study took place last Saturday, but the school will organize the second part of the study this weekend.

There are several educational institutions where children are admitted according to their place of residence, but one class with a city-wide admission policy is being opened. One such school is Tallinn's School No. 21 (Tallinna 21. kool), where the city-wide reception is for English-language classes. There were 10 applications for one place.

School principal Meelis Kond said: "Given that there are many of them who are applying for other schools or classes with city-wide admission, the actual competition is not that big."

Another class with a city-wide admission will also be opened by the Tallinn German Gymnasium (Tallinna Saksa Gümnaasium), where competition saw four children for every place, and Kadriorg German Gymnasium (Kadrioru Saksa Gümnaasium), for which the number of aspiring pupils is not yet known as applications will be accepted until February 13.

Ristiku Basic School (Ristiku põhikool), which is mainly for students with learning difficulties or who need a small class, opened from 2019/2020. There is also one regular class for all children living in Tallinn. The school began accepting applications this Monday.

Among the schools with Russian as the language of instruction, there is a Jewish school with a city-wide admission and Tõnismägi Science School (Tõnismäe reaalkool), and one class with non-resident admission is also opened by Linnamäe Russian School (Linnamäe Vene lütseum) and Pae Gymnasium (Pae gümnaasium).

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Editor: Helen Wright

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