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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in school education


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.2National reforms in school education

Last update: 10 May 2023


Initiative "Klasse Job" (Excellent Profession)

National strategy


The shortage of teachers is one of the greatest challenges in the Austrian education system. For this reason, the federal ministry launched this strategy in October 2022.



The strategy "Klasse Job" comprises a wide-ranging package of measures. It pursues three central fields of action:

  • Modernizing the narrative of school

Schools develop into centers of excellence. They provide students with educational and developmental spaces and  a "safe environment".

  • New target groups for the teaching profession are addressed and personnel management is professionalised

More people are to be recruited as educators who become teachers following a career change. At the same time, new, up-to-date information and communication formats will be used to promote interest in the teaching profession and to facilitate and advertise entry into this profession. The application processes for potential teachers will become more service oriented.

  • Teacher training will be further developed

Students must be able to complete their studies in high quality, within a reasonable period of time. Practice-oriented study content must be improved so that the transition to the profession is successful. Subjects in which there is a particular need must become more attractive.

In order to convey the new image of school to the general public, the BMBWF has developed the "Klasse Job" campaign in line with the departmental strategy. The campaign has two central goals: It wants to convey a positive, modern image of school, and it wants to attract the following three groups of people to the profession of teacher: potential career changers in the profession; people for whom teaching at a school in certain subjects could be interesting as an additional job; students aged 17/18 who are thinking of choosing a teaching degree program.

With the website there is a "single point of contact" for all those who are interested in the teaching profession. This site is the communicative heart of the campaign and is promoted through accompanying communication measures (presence in the media (online/print) and via social media channels).

Funding: part of the Ministry's budget

Monitoring and involved bodies:

10-Point Program to Strengthen Trust in Science and Democracy in Austria (TruSD)

National strategy


Strategy in implementation since 2022.



Strengthening trust in science and democracy is a central concern of the BMBWF. Therefore it is working consistently on this and is implementing step by step the corresponding strategy. Recently the Minister presented an information package for schools to support the many dedicated teachers in bringing science into the classroom and the class to science.

The result is available on the OeAD website. The 500 or so science and democracy education offerings available there are aimed at schools throughout Austria. They include workshops and guided tours of research facilities as well as science labs, excursions, teaching materials, game apps and podcasts.

Funding: part of the Ministry's budget

Monitoring and involved bodies:

    National Education Reporting

    Periodic report


    The National Education Report is published every three years. The version 2021 was available in early 2022 for the fifth time. Currently the issue 2024 is in preparation. This next National Education Report will be published with a results-oriented education controlling report.



    The National Education Report (NBB) is coordinated, published and submitted to the National Council by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF).

    The legal requirements changed to include a national education controlling report as well as school quality reports from the education directorates.

    The NBB 2021 was compiled in collaboration with the Federal Institute for Quality Assurance of the Austrian School System (IQS) and external researchers. It is divided into three parts. The first part, the Education Controlling Report, was written by BMBWF staff with editorial collaboration from the IQS and contains a description of the management of the Austrian school system, a description of the components of education controlling and their implementation status, as well as results from the education controlling and the school quality reports of the Boards of Education. The Education Controlling Report thus represents an overview of the results of impact-orientated management, quality management, resource controlling and education monitoring.

    The second part, on education indicators, was written by IQS staff members with support from the IHS (Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna) and offers a comprehensive and differentiated quantitative representation of important aspects of the school and education system. The statistical analyses provide an overview on developments and the status quo of the Austrian education system in its social environment. This part of the report does not claim to be an evaluation, but rather provides a data-based foundation of information.

    The third part deals with selected areas for development and was written by external researchers and IQS staff members with expertise in the respective subject areas. The four thematic contributions represent challenges relevant to education policy in view of the current state of research and highlight the resulting research desiderata. External experts have made a significant contribution to the quality assurance of the scientific contributions through their review.

    Funding: part of the Ministry's budget

    Monitoring and involved bodies:


    iKM PLUS: Individual Competence Assessment

    National testing programme

    Status: Ongoing



    The first implementation of iKMPLUS took place across the board at the 3rd school level in the period April 20 to May 10, 2022 (German reading, mathematics). The second implementation of iKMPLUS took place across the board at the 7th school level in the period November 21 to December 20, 2022 (German reading, mathematics, English receptive skills).

    Starting in the summer semester 2022/23 iKMPLUS will be annually at the 3rd and 4th school level in the basic modules (German  reading, mathematics) - in the school year 2022/23 from April 17 to May 19, 2023; from the winter semester 2023/24 it will be annually at the 7th and 8th school level in the basic modules (German  reading, mathematics, English receptive skills).


    The Austrian frame concept of education standards puts a focus on the acquisition of basic subject-specific competences, as defined by the “Bildungsstandards” – Education standards – decree, as a prerequisite for sustainable and lifelong learning.  Under the direction of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the Federal Institute for Quality Assurance in the Austrian School System (IQS), the individual competence assessment PLUS (iKMPLUS) aims at measuring the extent to which students attain the intended learning outcomes in German, Mathematics and English as set out by the „Bildungsstandards“.

    The individual competence assessment PLUS is a set of instruments for pedagogical diagnostics and it is designed to assess subject-related and cross-curricular competencies of students. The results of the iKMPLUS are to be promptly and directly effective as a foundation for support and instruction of individual students and teachers. On the other hand, they provide reliable data and indicators for evidence-based school and quality development.

    The iKMPLUS is administered each academic year on the basis of students performed assessments:  on a mandatory basis at grades 3 and 4 in German (reading) and Mathematics; at grades 7 and 8 in German (reading), mathematics, and English (receptive skills).  The compulsory modules take place within a national and predefined three-week period. The voluntary modules can be administered more flexibly and at the discretion of teachers.  In addition to the competency assessments, iKMPLUS provides comprehensive supporting materials and training opportunities (administration, reading and using results, etc.).

    The new instruments currently being developed constitute a substantial advancement compared to previous standardized assessments at primary and lower secondary level. It is expected that the evidence base for school and quality development as well as for educational monitoring will be significantly strengthened through the provision of a substantially more longitudinal and condensed performance indicators.  Information will be used to further monitor, develop and assure quality within the Austrian school system, while simultaneously boosting the benefits for individual students and teachers through targeted support and supporting materials.

    Funding: No data available

    Monitoring: Continuous monitoring within the context of the impact orientation.

    Involved bodies:

    Summer School



    As in summer 2020, 2021 and 2022 summer school 2023 will take place in the last two weeks of the summer holidays:

    • Burgenland, Lower Austria, Vienna: August 21 to September 1, 2023.
    • Carinthia, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol , Vorarlberg: August 28 to September 8, 2023.



    Summer school is a two-week program for the individual and targeted support of students. It enables the consolidation of the teaching language German, so that students can better follow the lessons in the coming school year. Summer school is primarily aimed at students from primary and lower secondary schools:

    • non-regular students,
    • students with a deficiency in German language,
    • students who have a special need to catch up in German, also due to the situation of the last few months.

    In any case, the recommendation of the school management or the responsible teacher is decisive for attending the summer school.

    Pupils are taught by pedagogues and teacher trainees. Participation in the summer school is voluntary for all participants. After registration the participation becomes obligatory for the entire period.

    The summer school is one of the measures initiated by the government in the wake of the Corona crisis.

    Funding: No data available

    Monitoring and involved bodies:

    Introduction of Ethics as Mandatory Subject

    Regulations and legislative documents

    Status: Presentation to the council of ministers. Roll out starting 2021/2022



    Since the 1990s, the Federal Ministry of Education has made it possible to test ethics teaching as an alternative compulsory subject.

    Following audits the Court of Audit stated in its report that pilot projects should as quickly as possible be transferred to regular schooling.

    The federal government will now implement ethics as a mandatory object in upper secondary level II for all those pupils who do not follow a denominational religious education.

    The high number of locations requires a gradual roll-out.

    As of this year, all students who do not take part in religious instruction must attend ethics classes in the fifth grades of AHS and the first grades of VET schools and colleges (BMHS). Previously, this was only the case at some schools as part of pilot projects. The amount is two hours per week. In the following school year, this obligation will be extended to the sixth grade of AHS and the second grade of BMHS, and so on. In 2024/25, ethics classes will be offered in all upper grades of AHS, and in the following year also in all BMHS.

    Main objectives and measures:

    • sound discussion of the basic questions of life-orientation (values, norms, non-violent coexistence in societies of high diversity, overcoming gender stereotypes, etc.)
    • discussion of different philosophical, ideological, cultural and religious traditions and images of mankind
    • independent reflection
    • contribution to individual personality development

    Implementation steps:

    • drafting of curriculum (based on an existing draft curriculum)
    • courses offered at University Colleges of Teacher Education (60 ECTS) from 2019/20
    • according to current calculations, it is assumed that approx. 1,300 teachers will have to be further qualified.
    • textbook production (05/2019-05/2021)


    The measure will be implemented in ascending order and in accordance with the budget coverage.

    Monitoring and involved bodies:

    Work Programme of the Austrian Federal Government in the Field of Education

    Regulations and legislative documents

    Status: Legislation was decided upon in 2020

    Sources:Download (programme in German and English)


    On 7 January 2020 the Federal Government Kurz II (coalition between ÖVP – New People’s Party and Green Party) was sworn in by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen.

    The Work Programme of the Austrian Government 2020 – 2024 accentuates the strategic out-lines. The section on education, science and research (p. 286 et seqq.) states the main targets concerning the policy domains referred to in the educational context.

    Among the priorities in the education part of the government programme are:.

    • The strengthening of elementary education
    • Promotion of German in the education system
    • Strong schools: Good organisation, resources tailored to needs and modern teaching and learning content

    In the focus of the next few years:

    • High-quality training at university colleges of teacher education for teachers in leading positions in the field of early childhood education (Bachelor).
    • Comprehensive standardisation of the pedagogical training of assistant staff to ensure a broad spectrum of care.
    • Comprehensive German language support and German language classes with ongoing academic monitoring and evaluation.
    • School locations have the necessary freedom of design (group size, group composition, more flexible timetable) for the concrete implementation of the German language classes and the promotion of German language skills beyond that.
    • Focus of the new curricula on competence transfer and clear teaching objectives: The main objectives are considered to be the mandatory mastery of basic skills.
    • Introduction of compulsory education, whereby people who are no longer subject to compulsory education only leave the education system when they have reached the minimum standards in basic skills (up to a maximum of 18 years of age). This applies to all young people living in Austria.
    • Before the end of the 9th school year, the "mittlere Reife" (intermediate secondary school leaving certificate) should be awarded, which confirms quality-assured achievement of the necessary basic competences in mathematics, German and English (via the use of educational standards).
    • More support through supporting staff (e.g. school social work, school psychology, assistance, administrative staff). Clear division of tasks and consolidation of different tasks.
    • Supporting schools facing special challenges - Implementing a pilot programme at 100 selected schools throughout Austria, which are fundamentally eligible on the basis of an opportunity and development index to be developed.

    Funding: No extra funding (yearly budget law)

    Monitoring: Federal government

    Involved bodies:Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research 


    New compulsory subject Digital Basic Education

    Curriculum ordinance

    Status: since school year 2022/23



    Since the school year 2018/19 a compulsory exercise digital basic education has been taught at all secondary schools (in the form of integrative teaching without assessment). Now it has become a compulsory subject amounting for one weekly hour in grades 5 to 8. As compulsory subject it will be graded.

    The central subject concept of the new curriculum is based on the Frankfurt Triangle, which looks at curriculum content from three angles:

    • How do digital technologies work,
    • What social interactions result from their use,
    • What options for interaction and action arise for students.

    Five competency areas serve to structure the descriptors:

    orientation, information, communication, production, and action.

    In this context, the Digital Basic Education curriculum also functions as preparation for the computer science lessons in the 9th grade.

    The same applies to the various informatics subjects in upper secondary vocational education.

    Funding: part of the Ministry's budget

    Monitoring and involved bodies:

    Laptops and tablets for 150,000 students

    Funded national action plan

    Status: The call for participation in the device initiative 2022/23 was done via administration applications in February 2022.



    This initiative is part of the 8-point plan for digital learning and aims to equip the 5th and 6th grades with digital devices from the 2021/22 school year. The purpose of the initiative is to create the pedagogical and technical conditions for IT-supported teaching and to give students access to digital education on equal terms.

    93 percent of schools are taking part in the device initiative.

    Schools could choose between Windows notebooks, Windows tablets, iPads, Android Tablets, and refurbished devices.

    The teachers are provided with the same types of equipment as their classes, so that meaningful teaching is possible.

    Before the start of school, parents and guardians were informed about the device initiative. This covered topics such as handling the device, support, contract terms, payment and exemption from the personal contribution.

    The equipment is procured centrally by Bundesbeschaffung GmbH (BBG). Parents or legal guardians have to pay 25% of the equipment price.

    In order to participate in the device initiative, schools have prepared extensively for digital instruction. Parents/guardians, students, and teachers have decided together in the school forum that their school location will voluntarily participate in the device initiative.

    The schools have developed digitization concepts in which the development fields of the schools were to be presented. The schools formulated which goals they wanted to achieve in the coming school year and which and what measures they will take to achieve them. Some schools created a digital behavior agreement in advance.

    Funding: 250 mio €

    Monitoring: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research

    Overall, the device initiative has been very well received by schools, students and guardians.

    Besides an accompanying evaluation a representative sample of lower secondary schools across Austria was invited to participate in a short, anonymous online questionnaire (students, teachers, and school administrators) in February 2022.

    Involved bodies:

    Corona support package for students

    Funded national action plan

    Status: The current support hours will be extended until the end of the 2022 summer semester, and up to 109 million euros will be made available for this purpose. The support hours are intended to particularly benefit sites with increased student support needs or special socio-economic challenges.



    Due to the long distance learning phases, it is necessary to counteract learning gaps and educational losses that have occurred. Education Minister Heinz Faßmann is therefore presenting a comprehensive support package for all school levels with a volume of around 200 million euros.

    The resources will be provided from the Ministry of Education's budget and from the  EU ESF-React funds and will be allocated by the education directorates as required:

    • In the summer semester, the funds correspond to the volume of around 4,500 additional teachers.
    • By February 2022, this will enable up to around 3 million additional (individual) support hours.
    • Two-thirds of which will be available by the summer,  the rest will follow in the winter semester.

    In principle, all students will benefit from the extra hours, but especially those whose learning deficits are particularly high as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. For this reason, 10 percent of the funding pot is allocated for extraordinary students. These funds are to be earmarked for locations that, for example need increased language support (German language support classes) or have special socioeconomic challenges.

    Additional support services for compulsory schools:

    • Up to two additional support hours per class in the main subjects and the foreign languages
    • Support for students in small groups, divided groups or divided classes
    • Individual and flexible design: e.g. blocking of lessons, allocation to subjects
    • Allocation of resources according to need for locations with increased support needs of the students
    • Approximately 1.5 million additional hours by teachers by February 2022.

    Further measures:

    • Additional support services for AHS and BMHS
    • Additional support services for graduating classes
    • Learning support during the semester and Easter breaks
    • Expansion of summer school
    • Buddy learning support on

    Funding: See description.

    Monitoring: No data available.

    Involved bodies:

    Package of measures for graduating classes

    National action plan


    The key points for the matriculation examination 2022 comprise:

    • The number of subject areas of oral examinations will be limited.
    • The duration of the written exams will be extended by 60 minutes.
    • The submission dates for the pre-scientific paper will be postponed by 2 weeks.
    • Substitute examination dates are provided, if an examination candidate is in officially ordered quarantine.
    • Differing from the previous year, all oral exams in the matriculation examination will be compulsory.



    The 2020/21 school year so far has been dominated by the Corona pandemic. Students in the upper grades have been in face-to-face classes for about half of the days, and in distance learning for the other half. The Ministry of Education takes this circumstance into account when designing the final exams.

    • Oral final examinations:

    As in the previous year, all oral exams in the matriculation examination will be based on voluntary participation. All variants are possible: students are free to choose whether or not to sit for the oral Matura. It is also possible to participate in only one of the subjects, in two of them or in all of them.

    • Written final examinations:
    • Students have already chosen either three or four written exams.
    • Three written exams - German, mathematics, one language - are mandatory, the fourth written exam is optional.
    • As in the previous school year, the consideration of the annual grade/semester grades will be maintained in determining the overall written and oral grades.
    • In addition, the start date for this year's matriculation examination has been moved back: The standardized written exams will not start as early as May 3, 2021, as originally planned, but only on May 20, 2021.
    • In order to give Matura candidates more time to complete the written examination tasks, the maximum permissible examination duration has been extended by 60 minutes.
    • Written tests („Schularbeiten“) and advancement to the next grade:
      • There will also be no more than one written test per subject during the summer term. This is to accommodate the reduced attendance of students in face-to-face classes. In any case, the three-hour test in the 8th grade will be retained in preparation for the written matriculation examination.
      • In the case of negative performance assessments in individual subjects, there will again be an opportunity to move up a grade this school year, but only if the subject in question was assessed positively in the previous year. In the event of two or more failing grades, the decision to move up a grade will rest with the class conference. If no advancement is possible with the advancement clause because the same subject has already been completed negatively in the previous year, a repeat examination can be taken.
      • In order to counteract possible career loss among students due to the extra workload caused by the pandemic, the maximum period of school attendance allowed by law is extended by one year. In this way, the Ministry of Education is ensuring that even those students whose compulsory schooling ends with a negative annual report card can graduate with a positive grade by giving them the option of voluntarily repeating the school grade.

    Funding: No extra funding

    Monitoring and involved bodies:


    100 schools - 1,000 opportunities

    Pilot project


    • Since the beginning of the school year 2021/22 the 100 selected schools with particularly difficult conditions have been able to register what additional resources they need.
    • In February 2022 15 million euros for three semesters were distributed.
    • Two-thirds will go to material resources (such as learning materials, IT, furniture) and one-third to personnel.



    In its work programme, the federal government has anchored its commitment to supporting schools with special challenges. The pilot project 100 Schools - 1,000 Opportunities aims to understand how schools deal with these challenges and what resources they need for their work.

    The program was set up by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the University of Vienna.

    The available funds are not distributed with a watering can, but measures are set according to need. In order to determine these needs, the University of Vienna is providing scientific support for the project. Specifically, the research and development project aims to gain empirically validated insights into the needs of schools with special challenges. These findings are intended to reveal new and more effective, needs- and solution-oriented approaches.


    Selection of schools:

    • Project focuses on the compulsory school sector
    • 100 primary and secondary schools were selected according to an index of the Institute for Quality Assurance (IQS) and criteria of the University of Vienna.
    • Criteria: Everyday language of the students, educational background and socio-economic factors of the parental home.
    • Schools were selected that scored below and above expectations on educational standards in order to learn from success factors.
    • All provinces included
    • Participation voluntary
    • Pool of latecomers, for schools that do not want to participate

    Next steps:

    The project begins with an analysis of the current situation. What are the schools' problems and obstacles? What do they need to better overcome their challenges? In what areas are they successful despite the difficult conditions?

    The selected schools describe their challenges and what resources they need. They are not left alone in this process; if necessary, they can participate in the project initiation at a call of the Educational Innovation Foundation. University and school quality managers support and accompany the schools throughout the project period.

    During the winter semester, the concepts are submitted to the Ministry of Education and evaluated. If there is an urgent need, an immediate response can be made. Regularly, the resource allocation of a total of 15 million euros will take place starting in the summer semester of 2022. The possible supports are manifold, depending on which resource the individual site needs.

    Possible examples:

    • Additional teaching staff
    • Project to create a school garden
    • In-service training
    • outreach work
    • construction measures
    • measures for all-day schools
    • deployment of school psychology, ...


    Regularly, the resource allocation of a total of 15 million euros will take place starting in the summer semester of 2022. The resources and packages of measures will be made available by the end of the summer semester 2023.


    Ongoing evaluation will be conducted to examine the use and effectiveness of the measures put in place. This will allow for later, evidence-based expansion of effective measures to a larger group of schools.

    Involved bodies:



    Safe school in autumn - the 4 point plan of the BMBWF

    National action plan



    The aim of the 4-point plan is to be able to react flexibly to different situations with an interplay of measures on a regional and site-specific basis:

    The four central measures for a safe start to school in the fall are:

    • Early warning system for schools and elementary educational facilities.
    • Regular PCR and antigen testing at all schools
    • Offering vaccinations at school through immunization buses
    • Efficient room air cleaners where air exchange via windows is not possible

    The BMBWF assumes that there will be continuous face-to-face teaching in the 2021/22 school year - depending on the risk, a smaller or larger bundle of measures will be used for this.

    The decree on school operations in 2021/22 reflects precisely the combination of hygiene/prevention measures and the pedagogy and school organization that continuous face-to-face teaching needs in times of pandemic.

    The three-week safety phase at the start of school provides clarity about the infection situation at the site, especially through the close-meshed testing of students and teaching and administrative staff, and thus creates a good basis for long-term attendance operations.

    Clearly defined risk levels enable region- and site-specific action.

    The individual prevention and hygiene measures of the risk levels are sensitively integrated into the pedagogy and school organization.

    Funding: No data available.

    Monitoring: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research

    Involved bodies:

    Feel Good Zone School - Psychosocial Health and (Cyber-)Bullying Prevention in Schools

    Large scale programme with pilot projects

    Status: Website started, a bundle of projects ongoing, new ones in preparation

    Source: Website (German)


    Based on the work of the school psychology educational counseling fo the BMBWF emerged a close cooperation with the National Competence Center Psychosocial Health Promotion (NCoC). The goal is to strengthen the task of violence and bullying prevention in school environment.

    Objectives in detail:

    1. Promotion of students' psychosocial health and well-being.
    2. Reducing acts of (cyber)bullying in schools.
    3. Promoting the retention of young people in educational processes (reduction of drop-out rates).


    Project calls 2019, 2020, 2021: "Psychosocial health and (cyber) bullying prevention in Austrian schools" of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF). 2019 start of 4 projects, 2020 5 more. 2021 the call for 2 more is running. These projects are organised by university colleges of teacher education in cooperation with at least 15 schools. The project participants, details and outcomings are documented on the homepage (Source).

    Amount of funding: Maximum funding per project: € 50.000,-

    Monitoring and involved bodies:

    8-Point Plan for Digital Learning

    Regulation and legislative documents / national development plan

    Status: On 17 June 2020, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research presented a new master plan for digitisation in education.



    Under the old 'School 4.0 strategy' various actions have already been implemented:

    • a new subject 'basic digital education' was introduced at lower secondary level in 2018/19
    • a pilot project started in primary school providing an initial programming experience
    • a modular teacher training on digital skills and digital didactics ('digi.folio') was set up combined with peer learning in 400 schools on the use of tablets while the school development network 'eEducation' was expanded
    • teacher training is reinforced through the setting up of 'Education Innovation Centers' as virtual learning areas in teacher training colleges
    • digital text books in secondary school became e-books.

    The new 8-point plan has the following areas of intervention:

    • As of 2020/2021, a single gateway, the portal ‘Digitale Schule’, has become the prime platform for applications and communication between students, teachers and parents.
    • Uneven ICT skills among teachers became more apparent during the COVID-19 school closures. The plan aims to prepare all teachers well for blended and distance learning. This will include intensified continuing professional development.
    • Eduthek provided access to learning and teaching material during the crisis. Now its content is to be more closely harmonised with curricula.
    • A new good practice label should assist teachers to choose effective learning Apps.
    • In 2021/2022,  a purchasing programme starting with school levels 5 and 6 will upgrade IT infrastructure so that all students have access to devices. Purchasing is based on local demand and is linked to a compulsory digital and pedagogical plan for each school.


    • Preparation of all educators for digital and digitally supported teaching and learning.
    • Standardisation of processes at schools, reduction of learning management and communication systems used at the site and creation of clear structures.
    • Bundling of the most important applications and access via single sign-on solution.
    • Expansion of the range of innovative, high-quality and quality-assured educational media.
    • Optimisation of the infrastructural framework.
    • Access to a digital end device for all students at the lower secondary level.


    Involved bodies