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Table E.1.02. Levels of control and administrative organization as reported in International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks Internet Archive, by country: 2010

Country National level Second level Third level Institutional level Notes
England Ministry 152 local authorities (LAs) School governing bodies Devolved responsibility to schools/school governing bodies. Legislation allows for the creation of integrated children services departments, at local (second) level, responsible for education, children and young people's health and social services.
Ireland Ministry Boards of management Ministry formulates policy, monitors quality, allocates resources and is responsible for some organizational and administrative functions. Boards of management are an initiative to devolve more responsibility to schools.
Northern Ireland Ministry 5 Education and Library Boards (ELBs) School governing bodies It is intended to establish a single Education and Skills Authority (ESA) which will replace the five ELBs.
Scotland Ministry 32 local authorities School boards Devolved responsibility to local authorities/schools.
Wales Ministry 22 local education authorities (LEAs) School governing bodies Devolved responsibility to schools/school governing bodies.
France Ministry Académies Régions, départements or communes Ministry defines national policies, guidelines and curricula. Devolved responsibility (via académies) to régions for upper secondary education, départements (lower secondary) and communes (pre-primary/primary).
Germany (National) federal government 16 Länder Local school districts Länder set guidelines; local school districts recruit staff, determine curricular content, choose texts etc. Standing Conference of Ministers of Education & Cultural Affairs of the 16 Länder is main instrument of cooperation at national level.
Hungary Ministry 3000+ municipalities or counties (local authorities) Schools Policy determined at national level; organizational decisions at local and school level.
Italy Ministry 20 regions Provinces and municipalities/ communes School councils Centralised policy making. Increasing delegation of administrative powers from central government via regions, provinces and municipalities/communes to schools.
Netherlands Ministry Provinces Municipalities (local authorities) circa 6300 competent authorities (school boards) Devolution of financial and management responsibility to the competent authorities.
Spain Ministry 17 Autonomous Communities Local (municipal) authorities, e.g. Municipal School Councils Governing/ educational coordination bodies, e.g. school councils of individual schools Ministry responsible for general regulation of system, policies and guidance. Autonomous Communities oversee implementation of nationally defined standards, adapt these to local situation, set up teaching establishments, administer personnel etc. Schools are autonomous in organizational, educational and financial affairs.
Sweden1 Ministry 2 national agencies, plus county administrations 290 municipalities School principals Municipalities decide how schools are run, following national Ministry guidelines.
Switzerland Confederation 26 cantons circa 2600 municipalities School board/teachers Educational goals defined by cantons. Very few national agreements, although there are national standards for the general and vocational leaving examinations (around age 18). Recent increased movement towards further harmonisation of the education system; ongoing discussions. The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) is the main instrument of cooperation between cantons. Most cantons mandate municipalities to set up schools.
Australia National (commonwealth) government 6 states and 2 territories Districts School councils Responsibility for education rests with the states and territories. The commonwealth (federal) Government promotes national consistency and coherence. Collaboration takes place through the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA).
Canada Confederation 10 provinces and 3 territories Local school boards/districts Responsibility for education rests with the provinces and territories. The Council of Ministers of Education Canada, CMEC, ensures national-level communication, but has no direct control.
Japan Ministry 47 prefectures 3400+ municipal/local boards of education School principals Ministry oversees; prefectures operationally responsible for upper secondary, municipalities for compulsory education.
Korea Ministry 7 Municipal and 9 Provincial Education Authorities (MPEAs) or Metropolitan Offices of Education (MPOEs) Around 180 local offices of education (LOEs) (school district offices of education) School management committees Gradually increasing budgetary, administrative and curricular powers delegated to MPEAs and MPOEs.
New Zealand Ministry Boards of Trustees Ministry provides policy advice, allocates resources, develops curriculum and monitors effectiveness. Boards of Trustees (elected by parents) develop school charter including aims/objectives.
Singapore Ministry School principal or, increasingly, superintendent in charge of 'cluster' of 13/14 schools. School principal determines institutional program/structure, based on national Ministry guidelines. Development of school clusters aims to confer greater authority to school superintendents.
South Africa National ministry 9 provinces   School governing bodies The National Ministry has exclusive responsibility for tertiary education and shares responsibility with the provinces for all other levels of education. The nine provinces implement education policy devised nationally and make funding decisions. Significant responsibility is devolved to school governing bodies.
USA Federal government 50 states Local district school boards School Individual states provide policy guidelines; local districts operate schools within these guidelines. Some national (federal) initiatives influence state policy guidelines.
— Not available.
1 There are three national agencies concerned with the phases and types of education covered by the INCA website: the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket), the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen), and the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten). In addition, the International Programme Office for Education and Training (Internationella programkontoret) is the central authority supporting schools’ international activities. There are two further agencies (the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education – Högskoleverket and the National Agency for Services to Universities and University Colleges) which are concerned with higher education.
NOTE: For those countries with devolved structures (Australia, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, and the USA) it is not always possible to provide ‘national’ data. Readers should therefore recognize that the data may refer to specific states or provinces, as examples, and cannot necessarily be taken to reflect a national position.
SOURCE: O'Donnell, S., Sargent, C., Byrne, A., and White, E. (2010). International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks Internet Archive Comparative Tables. Table 2. International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks Internet Archive.
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
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