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.


Introduction and background to the report

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.


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