Improving School Quality in Norway

The New Competence Development Model

image of Improving School Quality in Norway

Norway is committed to a high quality and equitable education system, as demonstrated by its high level of public expenditure on education and the dynamic policy activity targeting education quality. Despite progress made in enhancing average student performance in recent years, there still are significant differences between schools in municipalities and between municipalities and regions. In response, Norway has started to implement the new competence development model that sets out to develop teacher professionalism with in-service professional development. With this new policy, the Government of Norway aims to provide municipalities and schools with greater freedom of action and empower them to carry out systematic school improvements at the local level. This decentralised approach would respond to local context and the diversity of needs between Norwegian schools.

This report aims to support Norway in this effort, analysing the features of the new model, the engagement of the different stakeholders and the policy context for its introduction. Building on the OECD implementation framework, the report proposes concrete actions to adapt the implementation strategy for impact.

The report will be valuable not only for Norway, but also to the many countries that are looking to promote school-based professional development and bridge the gap between policy design and effective implementation.



Context matters: conditions for the success of the model

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.


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