The Estonian education system supports the integration of children with special needs and their participation in mainstream schools. Basic education (grades 1-9) is the obligatory general educational minimum for everyone.
Basic education can be acquired on the basis of three different state curricula:
- Basic school and upper secondary school state curriculum (students with normal intellect)
- Simplified (assistive studies) curriculum (for students with mild mental disabilities)
- Coping state curriculum (students with moderate and profound mental disabilities)
Pupils with special educational needs are pupils, whose learning difficulties or disabilities create a need to make changes or adaptations in the content or arrangements of their studies or in their learning environment. The basis for their graduation is achieving the learning outcomes specified in the individual curriculum and passing the basic school final examinations on special conditions.
If it becomes apparent that a student has special educational needs, the coordinator for specialized studies initiates the necessary educational and psychological research and additional supportive measures are implemented.
Support services are available for students with:
- General or special talents
- Learning difficulties
- Behavioural problems
- Health problems
- Long term absence from school