The state finances the accommodation of 700 basic school students in boarding school facilities of municipal or private schools to support the fulfilment of their duty to attend school.
A head of school can admit students who are acquiring basic education and come from families with financial difficulties to the state-funded place of the boarding school. The aim is to support the fulfilment of the duty to attend the school.
The state support does not cover all the expenses of the boarding school facilities. A price list of the cost of a place in the boarding school is established by each head of school. Accordingly, the school has a right to ask for cofinancing from the local authority of the place of residence of the student.
The support for boarding school facilities is allocated for students who need the services of the boarding school throughout the school year, not periodically. Financing is allocated from the state budget and the support is paid under the respective contracts. The decisions on financing during the next financial year are made on the basis of information of the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS), taking into account the data as of 10th November of the previous year.
Requirements for a boarding school with state-funded places
According to the regulation of the Minister of Education and Research, a boarding school must have at least one educator per 15 students round-the-clock. In addition, one more employee working in the field of teaching and education must be present during the daytime. While the size of a group of the boarding school may be up to 24 students, the size of the group of the state-funded places must be up to 15 students.
Admission of students to state-funded places
Pursuant to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, an application of the rural municipality or city government of the place of residence of the student serves as the basis for the admission of the student to a state-funded place in the boarding school facilities. In addition, the approval of the governor of the county of the place of residence of the student and the location of the boarding school facilities is required. Naturally, the consent of the student or a parent of the student who has limited active legal capacity must also be submitted.
Thus, a local authority must present an application to county government(s). The application is filed for each student at the moment the need to accommodate the student in the boarding school facilities arises. Prior to the request for the approval from the county governments, it is necessary to make a preliminary agreement with the school to be confident that there is a vacant place in the boarding school.
If a student needs a place in the boarding school for several school years, the local authority presents a new application at the beginning of each school year within reasonable time to the county governor(s) for approval. The local authority presents the approvals to the head of school.
Each school establishes requirements for which documents must be submitted to the head of school to admit a student. If the consents have been obtained, the head of school can provide a vacant state-funded place in the boarding school. The internal rules of the boarding school are available on the homepage of the school.