Despite increased funding and many reforms, most education systems are still seeking ways to better prepare their students for a world in which technological change and the digital revolution are changing the way we work, live and relate to one another. Education systems that have succeeded in improving student outcomes show that the way forward is by making teachers the top priority. The adaptability of education systems and their ability to evolve ultimately depends on enabling teachers to transform what and how students learn. This requires strong support and training for teachers, both before and after they enter the profession, with new forms of professional development to help teachers engage in more direct instruction and adapt it to the needs of their diverse classrooms. Education systems need to perform well in two dimensions: excellence and equity. Many high performers do well on both, demonstrating that they are not mutually exclusive. To do so requires specific measures to overcome factors that can hinder student performance, such as socio-economic background, immigrant status and gender.
- 24 Mar 2017
Ensuring appropriate national education structures and policy environment
In recent decades, many OECD countries have decentralised their education systems. Many have shifted responsibilities from the central government to different levels of governance, often with greater autonomy for regions, local authorities and schools. Success in granting this increased autonomy depends largely on whether much-needed capacity was built as these new responsibilities were being transferred, and to what extent the regions, local authorities and schools took on increased accountability for student outcomes to parents, communities and education authorities. With this increased complexity in governance arrangements, the efficiency of structures at the systemic level has a direct impact on the quality of the education system, and the increased number of stakeholders requires greater levels of collaboration in both design and implementation of reforms.