Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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How decentralised are education systems, and what does it mean for schools?

School autonomy is popular but also complex and sometimes contentious. Many education systems have increased schools’ autonomy in the hope of achieving greater efficiency and closer adaptation to local needs. In some countries, however, increased autonomy has led to greater pressure on schools and local stakeholders. To be successful, school autonomy needs to be built on a set of key ingredients: a strong national framework and a clear strategic vision, well-adapted school head and teacher training programmes, solid accountability mechanisms, and the creation of a collaborative environment – between and within schools.

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