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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EE-2022-23/2895 – measures in Estonia

Freedom School opened for Ukrainian pupils in Estonia

Ukraina õpilastele avati Eestis Vabaduse Kool

Country Estonia , applies locally

    • – EE001 Põhja-Eesti
Time period Open ended, started on 01 June 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Access to childcare and education
Author Ingel Kadarik (Praxis Center for Policy Studies) and Eurofound
Measure added 15 September 2022 (updated 21 September 2022)

Background information

Due to the Russian war against Ukraine, thousand of Ukrainian children have arrived to Estonia. Most families are located in the capital, where there is a heavy burden on providing educational opportunities for children. To relieve the burden and ensure access to education, the Ministry of Education and Research opened a new school in Tallinn for the war refugees.

Content of measure

The Freedom School was created as a separate study site at the Tallinn Tõnismäe State Gymnasium in the capital of Estonia. Altogether 800 children in grades 7-12 (aged 13-19) can study in the school. 300 places meant for grades 7-9 should cover an half of the actual need of study places of these grades in Tallinn. The school will follow the Estonian national study curriculum and at least 60% of the lessons at the school will be taught in Estonian. It is expected the school will support the integration of Ukrainian children into Estonian society while still ensuring they will keep their national identity. Applications were accepted as of 1 June 2022 and the school launched on 1 September 2022. The staff consists of 73 employees, of whom 29 are teachers and support specialists from Ukraine.

The school's team consists of 73 people, 29 of whom are teachers and support specialists from Ukraine.

Use of measure

As of 1 September 2022, altogether 560 children, of whom 320 in lower secondary education (grades 7-9) and 240 in upper secondary education (grades 10-12), started their studies in the school. Each class has a total of 20 to 22 students.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


There is no information available.

Views and reactions

The regional branch in Viljandi of the Estonian Educational Personnel Union has proposed to use similar approach in other regions in Estonia as well. They stated that it is difficult for all parties to teach Ukrainian children if they are scattered across different schools and classes while the teachers have low or no preparation. They suggested that in other regions, there could also be specific schools opened for Ukrainian children.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      P - Education P85 Education

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 25 May 2022: Riik loob Ukraina sõjapõgenikele Vabaduse Kooli ja avab haridusalase nõustamisteenuse (The state is creating a School of Freedom for Ukrainian war refugees and opening an educational counselling service) (
  • 01 June 2022: Tänasest algab avalduste vastuvõtt Ukraina sõjapõgenikele mõeldud Vabaduse Kooli (As of today, the reception of applications to the School of Freedom for Ukrainian war refugees begins) (
  • 01 September 2022: 560 Ukraina noort alustavad õpinguid Vabaduse Koolis (560 Young Ukrainians start their studies at the School of Freedom) (
  • 07 September 2022: Haridustöötajad suunaks ukraina noored sulgemisohus maakoolidesse (Educators would direct ukrainian youth to rural schools at risk of closure) (


Eurofound (2022), Freedom School opened for Ukrainian pupils in Estonia, measure EE-2022-23/2895 (measures in Estonia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.