One of the main priorities of educational policy in recent years has been to increase the professionalisation of managing staff in the Austrian educational system, including the kindergarten area.
For the kindergarten area, this is seen in the introduction of a management course for kindergarten heads.
In the school system, efforts to become more professional are closely linked to the increase in school autonomy, i.e. with the decentralisation of decision-making powers, which has been gradually expanded over the past 30 years. With the 14th amendment of the School Organisation Act (SchOG, Federal Law Gazette No. 323/1993) and the following Ordinance (Federal Law Gazette No. 555/1993), the school-autonomous design of curricula and lesson tables, the learning and working forms in the classroom as well as the learning organisation were introduced. Within a framework, schools could change the subjects and introduce new compulsory subjects, non-binding exercises or optional subjects and thus give themselves a specific school profile. This type of school autonomy shaped the 2000s. With the Education Reform Act 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I No. 138/2017) school autonomy was further increased. The basic idea was (and still is) that the federal government primarily defines the educational standards and targets for the final exams, but that schools have a lot of freedom to achieve them (see autonomy package). Taking on more decision-making responsibility at the school location has also changed the roles of school managers. The appointment of the school management today is linked to evidence of leadership and management skills, among other things. The same applies to heads of higher education institutions.
Efforts to professionalise have also existed in the field of adult education. In this regard, reference should be made in particular to the introduction of the Austrian Academy of Continuing Education (Weiterbildungsakademie, wba) in 2007, which has set content-related standards for people working in adult learning – including managing staff – by establishing two qualifications.