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New upper cycle

The new upper cycle (NOST) represents a modern, global educational concept with the aim of increased individualisation and focus on competence. It aspires to increase pupils’ motivation by recognising and sustaining positive performance, even in the event of the pupil having to repeat a year. NOST is supposed to lead to higher success rates, a reduction in pupils repeating classes and consequently to a reduction in pupils dropping out of the education system. NOST particularly focuses on strengthening pupils’ self-reliance.

Reorganisation of the upper cycle affects three-year secondary and upper secondary schools in the academic and vocational sectors from the 10th grade (except VET colleges of agriculture and forestry) as a minimum – around 710 schools. NOST is being implemented currently in some 230 schools.

Nationwide implementation was originally planned for the 2017/2018 school year. On the basis of feedback from the field, however, school leadership teams have been given the option of postponing the start of NOST. On the one hand this should give teaching staff and school head teachers more time to embed scheduled reforms into the school day at their schools. On the other it opens up the opportunity for a broad evaluation of NOST by the end of 2019, involving all the target groups affected by NOST and to be able, after careful review, to make improvements to the legal situation as necessary. The results of the evaluation will be available at the end of 2019 at the latest and will be used as a basis for further development of NOST. It will therefore only be possible to take a reasoned decision on how to proceed once these results are available.