Table of Contents

  • Norway is deeply committed to education, as demonstrated by its high level of public expenditure and the dynamic policy activity targeting education quality in the country. This has been translated into noteworthy successes. For example, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) that gauges how well the students master key subjects in order to be prepared for real-life situations in the adult world, has shown a positive development in the average performance of Norwegian students, which is now above the OECD average in all three disciplines (science, mathematics, and reading).

  • Norway, as part of the White Paper n.21 “Desire to learn - early intervention and quality in schools” (2017), introduced a new competence development model for schools in which national funding for sustainable capacity and continuous professional development at all levels of the system is based on local analysis and decision making in networks of municipalities. OECD has engaged with Norway to support the implementation of this new model, as part of its Implementing Policies: Supporting Effective Change in Education programme. This report presents OECD’s main findings and recommendations to support Norway towards the further development of its implementation strategy for the new competence development model. It has been developed based on research and a number of visits and exchanges with a range of education stakeholders in Norway.

  • This chapter introduces the report, with a brief description of Norway’s context in terms of educational policy reforms to raise school quality. It shortly describes the new model for competence development that aims to provide municipalities and schools with greater freedom of action and empower them to carry out systematic school improvements. The model calls for carefully thought out implementation strategy to ensure it results in effective changes in teaching practices across schools in Norway.The chapter then describes the methodology for this assessment and tailored support to Norway, which is part of OECD’s new programme to support countries and jurisdictions in their education implementation processes. The assessment has been undertaken following an analytical framework on effective education policy implementation and through mixed methods analysis, which includes data and research analysis combined with a range of visits and meetings in Norway, and builds on Norwegian stakeholder engagement and contributions.

  • The design of a policy plays a determinant role in the implementation process, as the nature of a policy solution, and the way it is formulated, influence how the policy plays out across an education system. In particular, the justification, logic and feasibility of the policy, key components of the design, can enable or hinder the reform process. In Norway, the new competence development model for schools is a policy that allocates public funding to enhance education competence development at the local level for teachers, schools and municipalities. It does so by allocating financing through the governor’s offices for municipalities to participate in collaboration forums at the county level and encourage schools to reflect on their training needs and increase teacher training participation. This chapter reviews the design of this policy, and explores how it can best support its successful implementation.

  • Stakeholder engagement is a crucial element of implementation, as policies are to be implemented by people who should be convinced of the value of a given policy. Norway has a strong consultative tradition, which has played a role in the preparation and first steps of the implementation of the competence development model for schools. This chapter focuses on how stakeholders can be effectively involved to enhance the implementation of the model: promoting clear and active communication, through careful selection of relevant actors to be involved, with capacity building to equip them with the necessary competences and by developing facilitative leadership to make the collaboration forums and networks run and deliver high quality competence development.

  • This chapter analyses the context surrounding the competence development model for schools. The model has been designed recognising the highly complex policy environment in Norwegian education, supporting political legitimacy and democratic values as it aims to boost local development processes. It builds on experience with municipal and school networks, but also recognises that capacities vary among different municipalities and schools; and can be aligned with broader policies and strategies to develop the teaching profession and promote partnerships between schools and teacher education providers.The chapter also introduces observations on how contextual factors may help or hinder an effective implementation of the model, including the need for sustained investment in effective governance processes that: foster conditions for a long-term perspective and strategic planning of continuing professional development; strengthen the whole-of-system approach in the county collaboration forum and relative to complementary policies ; and increase responsiveness to schools with identified capacity needs.

  • This chapter analyses and presents key actions to move forward with the implementation of the new competence development model for schools in Norway. More concretely, it brings together the main points for successful implementation in terms of policy design, stakeholder engagement and conducive context, and proposes concrete actions to move forward: clarifying objectives, reviewing policy tools, assigning roles and responsibilities, gathering data for monitoring, designing a communication strategy, and securing resources with a clear calendar. It ends with a table for Norwegian education stakeholders to reflect on how to plan the next steps of the implementation strategy.