Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Much of today’s public debate concerning Swedish school is about poor results and what steps and political actions should be taken to improve them. The Education Act sets clear requirements for systematic quality assurance at all levels of the school system. Some research and development in recent years has been conducted on school level. However, few studies have addressed the owner’s responsibility concerning interpretation and organization of the systematic quality work. Schools Inspectorate's reports points to significant weaknesses in quality work at a large number of schools as well as municipalities/ school-owners. The owner’s quality work – when it works - should be a prerequisite for schools to continuously improve their performance and quality "with established experience and on scientific basis ". I have therefore in this paper chosen to study quality work at owner level.
Another interesting perspective in context of the public school debate, is about the question to which degree the political level currently "owns" the school debate concerning issues that in the first place is not politically goal-related but are implementation issues that are probably best performed and managed by professionals and supported in school research.
Previous studies have also highlighted the problem of the dual responsibility between central and local government in which local governments (under the Local Government Act) sometimes come into conflict with the objectives of the national curriculum . There are also significant differences in size between Swedish municipalities/school-owners that compromise the statutory right to "equal education" for all students in Sweden.
My findings in this paper shows an interesting correlation between organized quality work at owner level, and a long term development of school results. The paper also identifies previously highlighted problems concerning unclear roles and lack of confidence as critical factors for organizing a professional quality work that provides long term results.
2014. , 50 (+bil 50) p.