Education Governance in Action

Lessons from Case Studies

image of Education Governance in Action

Governing multi-level education systems requires governance models that balance responsiveness to local diversity with the ability to ensure national objectives. This delicate equilibrium is difficult to achieve given the complexity of many education systems. Countries are therefore increasingly looking for examples of good practice and models of effective modern governance that they can adapt to their own needs.

Education Governance in Action: Lessons from Case Studies bridges theory and practice by connecting major themes in education governance to real-life reform efforts in a variety of countries. It builds upon in-depth case studies of education reform efforts in Flanders (Belgium), Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden. The case studies are complemented by country examples of efforts to restore and sustain trust in their education systems. Together they provide a rich illustration of modern governance challenges - and successes.

The volume highlights the importance of the interdependence between knowledge and governance and focuses on essential components for modern education governance: accountability, capacity building and strategic thinking. It sets the agenda for thinking about the flexible and adaptive systems necessary for governing education in today's complex world. This publication will be of interest to policy makers, education leaders, teachers, the education research community and all those interested in education governance and complexity.



Ensuring accountability in education

While many OECD education systems have been decentralised – giving schools and local school authorities greater autonomy to accommodate citizens’ needs – ministries of education remain responsible for ensuring high-quality education for all. Setting up a system of accountability that productively reconciles tensions and conflicts in this environment is a challenge for many education systems, as they must simultaneously integrate diverse stakeholder demands and make evidence informed decisions. This chapter describes the various forms accountability can take and discusses deficits and tensions regarding accountability in education systems. Based on examples from the GCES case studies, the chapter addresses the crucial importance of capacity building for actors facing multiple accountability demands and emphasises the need to align accountability mechanisms to serve the purpose of systemic learning and improvement.


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