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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Management staff for early childhood and school education


10.Management and other education staff

10.1Management staff for early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

According to the Education Act §9-1, each school is to have a sound professional, educational and administrative management. Teaching in schools shall be led by head teachers. The head teachers shall maintain familiarity with the day-to-day activities of the schools and endeavour to further develop the activities. Persons appointed as head teachers must have pedagogical qualifications and the necessary leadership abilities. Head teachers may be appointed on fixed-term contracts. The organisation of the school management depends on the size of the school. Small schools may have a shared school head, or the school head is also working part time as a teacher. Larger schools may have more management staff, ia School inspector and Head of departments. It is the municipality/county who decides the amount of resources allocated to leadership and management staff.

Requirements for appointment

School leaders are appointed by school owners. For public schools that is municipalities (primary and lower secondary education) or counties (upper secondary education). Selection is mainly based on the curriculum vitae and interviews. Professional experience of administrative and financial matters as deputy head is considered an advantage. Strategic pedagogical competence may come from professional experience in local school development projects or from further education programmes in school management.

There is no clear pattern of recruitment to administrative positions beyond official encouragement of female staff to seek higher level posts. Available positions are advertised, and posts are often filled by external applicants, i.e. applicants from other schools and other municipalities/counties.

Conditions for service

Working time for school leaders are regulated in a collective agreement between The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities and trade unions at central level. Headmasters and administrative staff for early childhood and school are supposed to work 37.5 hours per week, 45 weeks a year. Wages for school heads are negotiated individually/ groupwise at local level.