Location choices for state-owned secondary schools in Harju County

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Based on the procurement by the Ministry of Education and Research, Geomedia will conduct the analysis of Harju County school network for the establishment of state-owned secondary schools for the period 2015-2023. In the course of the analysis, the pros and cons of two scenarios will be evaluated. The first scenario takes into account only the arguments concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of education, and where it is assumed that the proposed schools should have at least 540 students. Several studies have shown that larger secondary schools are more effective (Ready, Lee & Werner 2004; Lee & Smith 1997) by ensuring students a wider choice, and a more efficient and effective organisation of studies. The ministry foresees that the planning of state-owned schools for smaller number of students (a miinimum of 252) is an exception in Harju County and it is possible only under the conditions whereby the access to other secondary schools is notably difficult, and the trends in migration statistics and the students' choices support it. Also, it would be required that the local authorities owning the secondary schools today jointly agree that only one secondary school will be remaining in the area. For the second scenario, regional policy arguments are added, including regional development and the avoidance of excessive transportation needs and burdens. As a result of the work, possible location choices for state-owned secondary schools will be recommended.

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