The Estonian government has issued an education licence to the International School of Tallinn that will start providing English-language education based on the globally recognised International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.
The new school will be based at the Ülemiste City,
a business park on the territory of the former factory
complex in Ülemiste neighbourhood, and will
start this autumn.
The school was founded by Mainor, a private company that
started as a small but influential consultancy even before
Estonia regained independence in 1991, and later developed into
a substantial conglomerate with almost 20 subsidiaries and
interests in education, metal and wood industry, energetics and
real estate. The company is also the developer behind the
According to Kadi Pärnits, the chairwoman of Mainor, the
company established the international English-based school
because they saw “a clear need for it in the market”.
“People from more than 50 nationalities work at Ülemiste
City every day and in addition to that, Estonian
migration statistics have been positive in the last couple
of years and we expect a significant growth
in immigration,” she said in a statement.
The aim of the International School of Tallinn is to
provide education from primary classes until the end of
upper secondary school. According to the founders, the new
school has placed a lot of emphasis on multidisciplinary
integration, developing general competences, problem
solving skills and creative and science-based teaching.
“To create additional motivation for
studying, different digital solutions will be used.”
In 2017, the school will start with two composite classes
on the first floor of the
Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied
Sciences building. In 2018, two new classes will be opened
and the school will move to a new building at
Estonia needs more people from abroad
Pärnits said Estonia’s general policies on foreign
workforce play an important role in the successful
development of the school – a hint of the growing pressure by
the local entrepreneurs, who expect the government to be more
flexible in relaxing immigration laws and attracting foreign
talent. “Internal resources of Estonia’s labour market are
mostly exhausted and it is inevitable that people
from outside the country have to be involved,” she said.
According to her, right steps have been taken to
address the problem, but to achieve considerable
results, a more forceful and systematic approach has to
be adopted. “We need a smart and productive migration
policy, which would enable to involve people whose
expertise we are lacking; who would help to support
our country and who would carry on our culture here as well as
in the whole world.”
Pärnits noted that more attention should be given to how the
adaption of the new people has been organised, as there
are currently many shortcomings. “It is important to agree
on common purposes and to join forces in the public
and private sector, so that the foreign specialists
and their families would feel welcome in Estonia – only
this way they will stay with us for a longer
period of time and will contribute to the development
of our country.” She added the new international school is
a step towards this goal.
The only other English-language school offering
the IB Diploma in Tallinn is the International School of
Estonia, established in 1995.