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In many OECD countries, education ministries have been searching for governance models that allow them to effectively steer complex education systems. This search has led to numerous governance mechanisms, which are often applied simultaneously.
For example, ministries act as regulators for education systems, setting the rules within which increasingly autonomous schools must operate. But ministries also act as top down enforcers of quality standards if schools consistently fail to meet these standards.
Crucially, ministries are no longer the only actor involved in governing education systems. Apart from the increased role for schools themselves, there is also a host of other stakeholders (including buffer organisations, teacher unions, other ministries and national boards) that play a role. When it comes to national strategy setting, negotiation and dialogue are important governance mechanisms.