School inspection

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The school inspection is in democratic societies, an object of state educational authorities that the implementation of educational policy, educational, rule of law, human resources management , disciplinary and health standards in the school practice serves. It is based on the federal state school supervision laws.

A distinction must be made between specialist , service and legal supervision . The greater part of these tasks was traditionally shaped by state school boards or equivalent institutions. Special sub-areas are incorporated into the responsible German state ministries , the Austrian Ministry of Education and the education departments of the Swiss cantons ( Swiss Conference of Cantonal Education Directors ). Since the 1990s, there has been a change in these supervisory tasks from exclusively official structures to externally participating evaluation groups with a scientifically based collection and assessment basis. This is geared towards an increasingly advisory function of the school supervision for the schools and their management and moves away from directing influence of the offices through increasing autonomy within the practice-oriented school management . The design of modern forms of school supervision in Europe is country and region-specific, characterized by different development speeds and is also intended to counteract forms of structural educational disadvantage.

Situation in Germany

In 1872, state school supervision was introduced in Prussia as part of the Kulturkampf .

In the Federal Republic of Germany, school supervision is the state implementation of the constitutional requirement of Article 7, Paragraph 1 of the German Basic Law : “The entire school system is under the supervision of the state.” Similar provisions can be found in all German state constitutions.

This constitutional provision goes back historically to the desire to irrevocably reject the spiritual school supervision , as it was for the primary school system from the 19th century. The traditional administrative structure was used for the implementation.

School inspection is organized differently in the federal states. What they all have in common is that they are state offices ( state education authority ), in which school-specific officials with appropriate official titles such as school board, school authority director, government school director etc., together with administrative staff and lawyers, supervise the schools. On the one hand, they exercise control functions and, on the other hand, they are authorized to issue instructions to the schools. In some federal states in Germany ( Berlin , Hamburg , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ) the state school council is the highest official of the school supervision and the superior of the regionally responsible school councils or those responsible for the different school types .

In many cases, the school inspection is organized according to the type of school. In North Rhine-Westphalia there are still different structures for elementary schools , secondary schools and special needs schools as well as high schools , comprehensive schools , secondary schools and vocational colleges .

The highest instance of school supervision in Germany is always the responsible state ministry of education; a federal competence - despite Article 7 GG - is not given because of the cultural sovereignty of the states.

Foreign schools (for example the Saudi King Fahd Academy ) are not subject to German school supervision. However, pupils in foreign schools in Germany are only exempt from compulsory German schooling if an exemption has been granted.

Private substitute schools are subject to German school supervision, but to a limited extent with regard to the constitutional guarantee of establishment ( Article 7, Paragraph 4, Sentence 1 of the Basic Law) that applies to these schools.


The state school inspectorate is often viewed critically, especially from a classical liberal point of view. State education is "an institution to assimilate all people" and a "despotism of spirits" ( John Stuart Mill ); it produces "a herd of ignorant fanatics who are ready to go to war on orders or to carry out state repression" ( Bertrand Russell ). These objections are not directed against the compulsory education (→ compulsory education ), but only “against the case that the state takes education into its own hands, which is of course a completely different matter”.

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Law on the Supervision of Education (March 11, 1872) .
  2. Entry Foreign Schools ( Memento of the original from September 6, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Friedrich August von Hayek , The Constitution of Freedom , Tübingen, 4th edition 2005, p. 493 ff. With many references.
  4. John Stuart Mill , Die Freiheit , Leipzig 1928, p. 146.
  5. ^ Bertrand Russell , Lecture on John Stuart Mill, Proceedings of the British Academy, XLI , 1955, p. 57.
  6. John Stuart Mill , Die Freiheit , Leipzig 1928, p. 145.