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Local Education Authorities´ Responsibility for Quality- and Improvement Work

Conference contribution
Authors Mette Liljenberg
Klas Andersson
Published in Paper presented in the symposium "Bridging the knowledge practice gap" at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, Stavanger, 8-12 January 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Language en
Keywords local education authorities, quality and improvement work
Subject categories Pedagogy

Abstract

School development is a shared responsibility for local education authorities (LEAs) and local schools. Yet, there are several reports showing that Swedish LEAs have varying capacity to fulfil their assignment (Hanberger, Lindgren & Lundström, 2016; Utbildningsdepartementet, 2017). The aim of this study is to develop knowledge about how LEAs handle their responsibility for quality- and improvement work and how school leaders and teachers respond to this work. The paper presents the initial phase of a comparative case study of Swedish LEAs. Data consists of the Swedish Schools Inspectorate’s reports of regular supervision of LEAs’ systematic quality work between 2014 and 2018. Data is also collected through fieldwork in one LEA. The preliminary results indicate that LEAs still have difficulties taking their responsibility for quality- and improvement work. However, there are LEAs that over time have strengthened their capacity. The LEA that has been followed in the fieldwork is one of these. In relation to the symposium topic this LEA introduced tools that stimulated common sensemaking, e.g. a visionary document presenting the future of the schools, an expanded quality- and improvement department and meetings to enrich the relations between officials, school leaders and teachers. Nevertheless, these formal and informal organizational aspects were not unquestioned by school leaders and teachers.

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