Requirements for Appointment
Early Childhood Education and Care
For monitoring the quality of care and education at kindergartens and for advisory work in the areas of integration, inclusion, language and development, kindergarten inspectors are appointed by the respective provincial government (in some provinces they are also called pedagogical expert advisors).
Kindergarten inspectors need to be professionally qualified, that is, they need to have qualification for ECEC teachers. Additional requirements include several years of experience in pedagogical work at a kindergarten, experience with management activities, good knowledge of the organisation of ECEC education, etc.
With the 2017 Education Reform Act, school supervision was reorganised. The reason for this was the expansion of school autonomy, which has given the individual schools more options for organising school processes and structuring lessons. This has required the school management to take on more responsibility in organisational, teaching and personnel development. The new freedom has also affected the roles and tasks of managers at all levels. In order to do justice to this new governance logic, the organisational structure of the school supervision has also been changed.
In all boards of education of the provinces two to seven educational regions (depending on the size of the province) have been set up. Within each region different organisational units work together:
- The "pedagogical service unit" governs quality management in the schools, coordinates the regional educational offer and provides pedagogical advice and support.
- The "administrative unit" governs the use of resources with the support of the pedagogical service unit, administers the federal and state teachers in all educational regions and provides support services for students, teachers and parents.
There is a regional school supervisory team for each educational region. In each team, school quality managers (Schulqualitätmanager/in, SQM, former provincial or compulsory school inspectors) of all school types work together under a department head. The tasks of the SQM include (according to § 5 SQM-VO):
- supervision of the fulfilment of the tasks of the Austrian schools
- ensure the implementation of reforms and development guidelines in the region
- participation in quality management (evidence-based control of regional educational planning)
- participation in school type and location-related school development and ongoing quality controlling
- strategic personnel management at school management / school cluster management level
- provision of pedagogical expertise at interfaces
- crisis and complaint management in the event of escalation.
The appointment of a school quality manager is bound to a public announcement by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) in accordance with the Civil Service Code. In the job advertisement, the requirements with regard to knowledge and professional experience must be clearly stated. These include (cf. german source):
- Knowledge and experience in the school and school authority area, especially in the area of quality management
- Implementation and results-oriented professional experience primarily in education and schools
- Knowledge of the current pedagogical and educational policy priorities of BMBWF and the Board of Education
- Knowledge and experience of regional education and school-related aspects
- Excellent communication skills and a high level of social competence
- Strong understanding of the differentiation and diversity in the field of education
- Ability to think analytically and strategically, innovative strength and motivation
An assessment committee evaluates the applications received. The decision on the selection is incumbent on BMBWF.
Conditions of Service
Early Childhood Education and Care
Kindergarten inspectors are mainly responsible for the pedagogical supervision of the kindergartens as well as for providing expert advice to ECEC teachers and have to inform the legal entity of the kindergarten about any discovered deficiencies (if these were not rectified during the inspection).
The wages of kindergarten inspectors are regulated by provincial law, the amount of the salary depends on the classification in the respective salary class. Provincial law also regulates the obligation to and, if given, the extent of continuous professional development. The Vienna Kindergarten Act, for example, stipulates that kindergarten heads have to complete further training or leadership coaching of at least eight training units each year.
Aspects of employment of school quality managers are regulated in three central acts:
- The Civil Service Code regulates the continuous professional development of civil servants in school quality management in Section 225. They are obliged to CPD. The SQM CPD Ordinance of BMBWF regulates the content and scope of further training.
- The salary of school quality managers is regulated in § 65 of the Emoluments Act and § 48v of the Act on Staff Employed by Private-law Contract. These acts stipulate pay levels, advancement times and crediting of previous employment times.
- The Act on Staff Employed by Private-law Contract also includes other rights (e.g. vacation entitlement, etc.) and obligations (e.g. working hours, official secrecy, etc.) of persons who are employed by the Republic of Austria (this also includes school quality managers).