Implementing Education Policies

The OECD's project Implementing policies: supporting change in education provides tailored support to countries, produces comparative research and organises peer learning events to help policy makers consider and define strategies for effective education change.

About us

The OECD Implementing Education Policy team works to bridge the gap between education policy and practice in schools through peer learning opportunities and tailored support for countries for effective education change.

For more information see:

IEP flyer

An implementation framework for effective change in schools

Comparative insights

Our Implementation of education policy insights and toolkits help to give advice based on up-to-date research on how governments can best design the education policy implementation process for success as well as what strategies are suited to particular policies.

Examples are:

Education responses to COVID-19: an implementation strategy toolkit

- Developing indicators to support the implementation of education policies

For more information see the section below entitled Areas of work - Comparative insights.

Country work

Learn how different countries approach their education policy implementation challenges. We provide tailored support to individual education systems advising governments on how best to manage education change in their context.

Contact us to find out more.


Iceland Education Policy 2030 and its implementation

Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future

For more information on the work that we have undertaken to date in countries such as Austria, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, UK (Scotland, Wales), see the sections below entitled Areas of work - Methodology and Areas of work - Country work.

Areas of work


The OECD programme Implementing Policies: Supporting Effective Change in Education offers peer learning and tailored support for countries and jurisdictions to help them achieve success in the implementation of their education policies and reforms. Tailored support is provided on topics the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills has comparative expertise in, including: introducing new curricula, developing schools as learning organisations, teacher policy, monitoring, evaluation, assessment and accountability systems and building educational leadership capacity, among others. The tailored support consists of three complementary strands of work that aim to target countries’ and jurisdictions’ needs to introduce policy reforms and ensure impactful changes in schools and classrooms:

  • Policy assessments take stock of reforms, policies and change strategies. The resulting report consists of an analysis of current strengths and challenges and provides concrete recommendations for enhancing and ensuring effective education implementation of the policy analysed. It follows a concrete methodology: countries complete a policy and implementation questionnaire, OECD undertake a desk study of policy documents, data and research, an OECD team of experts undertake study visits to interview a range of key stakeholders from various levels of the education system and there are periodic exchanges with a project steering group.

  • Strategic advice on specific topics or policies is provided to countries or jurisdictions based on comparative analysis. It can consist of reviewing policy documents (e.g. white papers or action plans), contributing to policy meetings, or facilitating the development of tools that support the implementation of specific policies.

  • Implementation seminars can be organised to bring together education stakeholders involved in the specific reform or change process, for them to discuss, engage and shape the development of policies and implementation strategies.

Country work


The OECD team is supporting Austria in the design and initial implementation of a new education monitoring system to support their data driven governance reform (2017). This project is undertaken in collaboration with DG Reform (European Commission).

- Design and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring system in Austria, 2021

Partner: Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research, Austria; European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM)


The OECD team is supporting Estonia in the design of a set of indicators to monitor their new Education Strategy 2035. This project is undertaken in collaboration with DG Reform (European Commission).  The project deliverables can be found on the website of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research: Hariduse seire - ja mõõdikutesüsteemi arendamise projekt 2019-2021.

- Enhancing data informed strategic governance in education in Estonia, 2021

Partners: Ministry of Education and Research, Estonia; European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM)


The OECD team is supporting Iceland in the design and implementation plan for their Education Policy 2030.  This is their national strategy focused on improving quality, equity and well-being in its education system for the next decade.

- Iceland Education Policy 2030 and its implementation, 2021

- Menntastefna 2030: Skýrsla OECD um innleiðingu Menntastefn - a translation by the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of the OECD's Policy Perspective 'Iceland Education Policy 2030 and its implementation'. 

- Partner: Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Iceland


The OECD team supported Ireland in the implementation of the review of senior cycle (upper-secondary education). The review process involved an analysis and consultation process with education stakeholders across the country in which the OECD team provided strategic advice and a policy assessment.

- Education in Ireland: An OECD assessment of the Senior Cycle Review, 2020

Partner: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)

The OECD team is supporting Ireland to develop a model of local school community engagement in Ireland's education policy making and implementation processes (2021-2023). This activity is funded by the European Union and implemented in co-operation with the European Commision (DG REFORM).

- OECD Ireland flyer - Local community engagement in Ireland's education policy development


The OECD team supported Mexico to assess the education reform up to 2017 and propose options for the future. The assessment covered curriculum, equity, teaching practices, and evaluation and assessment practices.

Strong Foundations for Quality and Equity in Mexican Schools, 2019


The OECD supported Norway in the development and implementation of their Competence Development Model for Schools. 

Improving School Quality in Norway: the competence development model, 2019

Improving School Quality in Norway 2020: Progress with the Competence Development Model, 2020


The OECD team assessed the progress made in implementation, and pending challenges of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), the flagship curriculum policy in Scotland (United Kingdom). The team developed and refined recommendations for the future of CfE with a panel of stakeholders at an implementation seminar.

- Curriculum for Excellence 2020-2021 - OECD review: initial evidence pack

Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future

- Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future - PowerPoint presentation, June 2021

- Upper-secondary education student assessment in Scotland: a comparative perspective, August 2021

- Webinar: Developing a 21st century curriculum: Insights from Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence

Partner: Scottish Government, United Kingdom


The OECD team is supporting Spain in the design of an action plan to tackle early school leaving that is responsive to the needs of all Spanish regions; this plan will be developed to fit the framework of the new educational law. The project is undertaken in collaboration with the European Commission (DG REFORM).

- OECD Spain flyer (English version) - OECD Spain flyer (Versión en español)

Partner: Inicio - Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional - Ministry of Education and Vocational Education and Training; European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM)

The OECD team provided advice and support to Wales (United Kingdom) throughout the large-scale “reform journey” it embarked on in 2014. The project started with an initial policy review of education and the reform agenda; followed by support in the development of the improvement policy of schools as learning organisations (later deployed through several levels of education governnce); and completed by an early stage assessment and recommendations for implementation of the new curriculum policy.

- The Welsh Education Reform Journey, 2017

- Developing Schools as Learning Organisations in Wales (Highlights), 2018

- Developing Schools as Learning Organisations in Wales, 2018

- Achieving the New Curriculum for Wales, Country Report, 2020

Achieving the New Curriculum for Wales, Policy Perspectives, 2020

- Blog and webinar: How Wales is turning a 21st century curriculum into reality, 2020

Partner: Welsh Government, United Kingdom


Education change framework

Education policy can only be successful in classrooms if there is a coherent, actionable change strategy that brings together the design of the policy, stakeholder engagement and a conducive environment to implement it.

Contact us

Beatriz Pont, Project lead

Jose Luis Alvarez Galvan, Analyst

Pierre Gouëdard, Analyst

Marco Kools, Analyst

Romane Viennet, Analyst

Joseph Thornton, Intern

Jacqueline Frazer, Assistant


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