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Tallinn changes procedure for determining school of residence

The Tallinn City government has changed the procedure for determining the school of residence so that the parent's wish to place the child in a school that teaches only in Estonian, or in a school that is only transitioning to Estonian education so that some grades are still taught in Russian, becomes an important factor.

From September 1 next year, schools that previously taught in Russian or a combination of Estonian and Russian will begin a gradual transition to teaching only in Estonian, starting with the first and fourth grades.

Deputy Mayor Andrei Kante said that the proximity of the school to the residence, the presence of other children from the same family enrolled at the same school, and, if possible, parental preferences are the most important factors when determining the school of residence.

"Until the full transition to Estonian language education in 2030, parents will have the opportunity to apply for a place for their child in a school that teaches in Estonian or in a school that will transition to teaching in Estonian," Kante said.

"A parent's application is the only way for the city to know the family's preference, and it gives parents the assurance that if they express the wish to enroll their child in an Estonian school (so not the public Russian or so-called "transitioning school", which may be located closer to their place of residence, but where the language of instruction will be mixed until 2030 - ed.), the city will designate the Estonian school (that teachers only in Estonian -ed.) as the school of residence," he explained.

If there are more applicants for a school than places available, the date on which the child's place of residence was registered in the population register will be taken into account and preference will be given to those with an earlier registration number.

At present, in 18 schools in Tallinn the language of instruction is mixed (Estonian and Russian) and in two schools it is Russian only; all schools will be designated as schools transitioning to teaching in Estonian only from 2024/2025.

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Editor: Karin Koppel, Kristina Kersa

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