Every year, the ranking of Estonian schools based on the results of state examination is published. However, interested parties (school representatives, parents etc.) are annoyed that only one factor – the exams results – is taken into account when compiling the list, as they feel it does not give an objective overview of how the schools really stand. To amend this, the study searches for other indicators to compare schools.

The study reveals that pleasant, free, and unified school climate, good relationships between students and teachers, and security are considered as the most important factors of a good school. It is important that the teachers are helpful, care for their students and find enough time for the latter, also that they know how to pass on their knowledge and motivate students. Other motivations for learning are well-equipped school facilities and the possibility to choose a class with suitable number of fellow students.

An important school quality indicator is the number of students continuing in higher education levels. No less important is the school’s way to ensure its students grow up to become versatile individuals and capable members of community, offering various possibilities for the students to develop themselves beyond the official curricula.

Major factors affecting students’ choices when picking a secondary school are also subject fields in which they can major, so it would be advisable for the schools to give a clear overview of their possibilities. In addition to that, the schools could publish previous grades and exam results of the students continuing their secondary education there, as well as the number of students applying for available places and their division according to the language spoken in the students’ homes.

Based on this data, list and tables could be compiled enabling to compare the schools more objectively.