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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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Responsive school systems: Main findings and policy pointers

A number of demographic trends, economic and social changes, as well as new and evolving educational objectives have required countries to respond and adjust the way they organise their school infrastructure and the education services it delivers to meet their students’ needs. Demographic shifts, regional and international migration have caused a drastic decline in some countries’ school-age population, reinforced regional variations in the demand for school places and led to greater student diversity. Changing family patterns and increased female labour market participation have raised the demand for early childhood education and care, while changing labour market needs have created pressures for vocational education and training (VET) and other sectors to adapt their educational offer. Finally, evolving educational objectives, including a strong commitment to inclusion as part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, require the adaptation of school services and new forms of collaboration across sectorial lines. These trends make the organisation of school facilities and their educational offer a central issue for the effective use of school resources.

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