Promoting Education Decision Makers' Use of Evidence in Austria

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This report takes stock of processes that promote the systematic use of evidence in decision making in Austria’s education system. It builds on an online survey among over 6500 decision makers, drawing on responses from executives in the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research; regional education directorates; school supervision and school leaders. The report identifies what it takes to strengthen the opportunity, capability and motivation of decision makers at all levels of the education system to use evidence effectively for their respective practice – including teaching and quality assurance. It assesses respective strengths and weaknesses in current processes and in opportunities available to decision makers. The report develops possible next steps to inform further discussions.

The publication is part of OECD work on strategic education governance, which supports countries in identifying the best ways to achieve national objectives in a context of multi-level governance structures and complex environments. The work identifies and promotes effective governance processes in the domains of accountability, capacity, knowledge governance, stakeholder involvement, strategic thinking and adopting a whole-of-system perspective. This publication will be of interest to policy makers, education leaders, the education research community and all those interested in education governance.


Executive Summary

The 2017 Education Reform Act in Austria gives education governance a regional focus and moves key decisions closer to schools and students. An important aspect, therefore, is to strengthen the capacity to use evidence for decisions, including in teaching and quality assurance. In support of this, Austria worked with the OECD to conduct a self-assessment exercise on evidence use among key decision makers at the federal and provincial levels (federal ministry and education directorate executives), regional level (school quality managers) and school leaders. Decision makers completed an online survey covering five areas that promote the capability, motivation, and opportunity to use evidence in decision making:

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