Norway’s Assessment for Learning Programme (2010-18) aimed to support schools, municipalities, and training providers to embed formative assessment practices and cultures. The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training set the guiding principles for the programme, organised seminars and conferences for participating municipalities, and provided online training and resources for schools. Local school authorities were charged with establishing learning networks, with many building on existing network structures. According to an evaluation from 2018, the network model, which combined professional development activities, knowledge sharing, and reflection, was a crucial factor in the programme’s success. The evaluation also highlights the role of local authorities and school leaders in driving development processes. Pro-active local authorities maintained dialogue with training providers, school leaders, and teacher participants throughout the process, while observing what was happening in schools. There was also a particular focus on building expertise at the school and local authority level to ensure that the improvement process continued after the programme finished. As a result, in many cases, participation in the programme increased the use of formative assessment practices in classrooms, as well as strengthening a culture of research and development among schools (Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2018[6]).

Formative assessment is one of the core principles of Norway’s new core curriculum (2020). The Directorate for Education and Training has produced a bank of resources to support assessment for learning across the curriculum, including resources to support teachers’ collaborative learning. The reforms paved the way for Norway’s response to school closures in 2020, when formative assessment played a vital role in monitoring student learning.

Further reading: (OECD, 2020[7]) Education Policy Outlook: Norway,

Norway has strengthened elements of its skills strategy to protect individuals from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the country’s economic recovery. Key measures include the Education Promise (2020), which aims to prevent youth unemployment by expanding the offer of apprenticeships and study places in VET and higher education. In 2020, the government provided funding for 4 000 new higher education study places in fields with a high demand for skills, such as health, teacher education and ICT. The government also funded 1 500 additional VET places, based on counties’ and municipalities’ assessments of local needs. In addition, the government allocated NOK 110 million to expand its tripartite industry-based training initiative for sectors where jobs are at risk. Under this scheme, the government provides funding to support the expansion of training places, while industry partners determine the content of training and recruit participants. Other measures include increasing the offer of flexible skills courses and providing opportunities for individuals to complete upper secondary education. As well as responding to the short-term need for skill-development opportunities, the measures support the aims of Norway’s Skills Reform (2019), which aims to upgrade the labour market skills of the adult population.

Further reading: Skills Norway (2020[8]), Kompetansepolitikken sentral i statsbudsjettet for 2021 [The skills policy is central to the state budget for 2021], (accessed on 1 April 2021).


Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (2018), Observations on the National Assessment for Learning Programme (2010 - 2018), (accessed on 1 April 2021). [6]

OECD (2020), Education Policy Outlook: Norway, (accessed on 28 October 2021). [7]

OECD (2020), Learning remotely when schools close: How well are students and schools prepared? Insights from PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [2]

OECD (2020), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume II): Teachers and School Leaders as Valued Professionals, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris, [1]

OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume II): Where All Students Can Succeed, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [4]

OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume III): What School Life Means for Students’ Lives, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [5]

OECD (2019), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I): Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris, [3]

Skills Norway (2020), Kompetansepolitikken sentral i statsbudsjettet for 2021 [The skills policy is central to the state budget for 2021], (accessed on 1 April 2021). [8]

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