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Responsive School Systems

Connecting Facilities, Sectors and Programmes for Student Success

image of Responsive School Systems

This report on Responsive School Systems is the second in a series of thematic comparative reports bringing together findings from the OECD’s School Resources Review. Evolving educational objectives, changing student needs and demographic developments require school systems to be highly responsive to new patterns of demand and adapt their provision accordingly. The organisation of school facilities, sectors and programmes plays a key role in doing so and in providing students with a high-quality education where they need it. The report aims to assist governments in organising school infrastructures and services to achieve their education policy objectives and to ensure that resources are used effectively and equitably. It offers a systematic analysis of the governance of school networks, their adaption to demographic changes and student needs in urban, rural and remote areas, as well as the vertical and horizontal co-ordination of education services to improve students’ transitions.

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Adapting the school network to changing needs in urban, rural and remote areas

This chapter analyses strategies to enhance the efficiency of school networks by adapting or restructuring them in response to changing patterns of educational demand. It provides an overview of contextual trends affecting the organisation of school networks as well as the regional heterogeneities in their structure, the populations they serve, and their socio‑economic context. Since rural and urban school networks tend to face different challenges and opportunities related to demographic and social trends, the chapter takes a territorial perspective and describes strategies that countries have used in both contexts in turn. First, it discusses challenges and policy options for schools in rural and remote areas, many of which are confronted with declining student populations. Then, it turns to challenges and policy options for urban school networks, which are often faced with rising student numbers and increasing student diversity.

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