The study aimed at exploring how education authorities can empower schools across Europe to innovate and support them in the process of change with the aim to provide high-quality education for all, and to respond to the fast pace of societal and economic changes including digitalisation and increasing diversity among pupils. This was a long research process (the project started in December 2015(!) and involved a big group of experts (coming from 39 countries: 28 EU Member States and 11 countries across the world) at different stages of it. Besides, reviewing policies in all 39 countries, we also looked in-depth into 12 relatively disadvantaged regions in a number of Member States, trying to figure out what makes some of the schools succeed in these regions, despite all the odds, and how other schools can learn from their experience. One methodological innovation for this study was the organisation of change workshops, bringing together key education and policy stakeholders in each of the 12 regions to validate the results of the case studies and inspire further partnerships and dialogue to promote change.
The study has already received lots of positive feedback from education experts and policy stakeholders across the EU and fed into the on-going debate on ‘Improving education governance’ by DG EAC Working Group on Schools.