The Short Flourishing of an Inspection System

  • Herbert AltrichterEmail author
Part of the Accountability and Educational Improvement book series (ACED)


During recent decades many school systems in Europe have undergone extensive changes in their governance structures. The guiding image of this ‘modernisation’ was an idea of evidence-based governance of schooling: ‘New school inspections’ have been a recurrent feature of such modernised governance systems in most countries. In this chapter the case of the development, implementation and replacement of ‘team inspection’, an example of such a ‘modernised’ inspection system in the Austrian province of Styria, is explained and analysed based on documentary analysis and interview data. This case is illuminating in at least two respects: Firstly, school inspection is certainly a ‘travelling policy’ which has been taken up by different national school systems. While on a general level many features of national inspections seem to recur again and again, they may take on different meanings when embedded into different national and cultural frameworks. The Austrian case allows for examination of what happens when elements of ‘evidence-based governance’ are embedded into a system of long-standing centralist bureaucratic school administration. Secondly, a number of countries have recently changed their original formats to introduce another ‘new generation of inspections’. The Austrian case allows cross-national comparison of reasons and principles underlying these changes.


Austria School inspection Quality management Quality assurance Quality development 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Research, Linz School of EducationJohannes Kepler UniversityLinzAustria

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