The Boards of Education
The Board of Education is a new administrative authority for the whole school sector, which merges the administrative duties of the Federal Government (responsible for federal schools) and the federal states (responsible for compulsory schooling). The Boards of Education have the standard duties nationwide which were previously entrusted constitutionally to the state government departments and which differed greatly in organisation from region to region. Creation of the Boards of Education as a joint Federal Government and federal state authority thus constitutes a central education authority.
The Boards of Education execute school legislation in its entirety (apart from agricultural and forestry schooling and the central teacher training institutions). The Boards of Education also execute employment law and staff representation rights for federal and state teachers and other employees in state schools (excluding agricultural and forestry colleges).
The duties of the preceding state education authorities and those of the education departments in the federal state governments are bundled in this joint Federal Government-federal state authority. Other federal or regional enforcement matters can also be transferred to the Boards of Education, such as kindergartens or after-school care.
The Federal Minister for Education, Science and Research is the highest authority for federal execution matters and the respective state governments are the highest authority for regional execution matters.
Board of Education stakeholders
Pursuant to section 22 Board of Education Act (Bildungsdirektionen-Einrichtungsgesetz – BD-EG), specific disposition of the Board of Education’s business must provide for division into departments and services, and for deputisation, having regard to quantitative requirements (number of schools, number of pupils, number of teachers), to regional infrastructural requirements (number and size of municipalities and municipal associations providing schools, geographical circumstances and public transport infrastructure) and to any special development-specific features. There are four statutory management levels (Head of the Board of Education – Areas – Departments – Services).
The BD-EG already provides for functional division of the first two managements levels, in that an Executive Committee (section 18 BD-EG) and a Pedagogical Service (section 19 BD-EG) are to be established directly below the Director of Education as the head of the authority (section 7 BD-EG).
Further subdivision below the areas is to be undertaken in accordance with the guidelines for disposition of business and ultimately by the Board of Education’s specific disposition of business. Disposition of business must be based on the principles of thriftiness, economy and expediency.
Director of Education Heinz Josef ZITZ
Head of the Executive Committee Sandra STEINER
Head of the Pedagogical Service Jürgen NEUWIRTH
Director of Education Dr Robert KLINGLMAIR
Head of the Executive Committee Dr Peter WIESER
Head of the Pedagogical Service Klaus Peter HABERL
Director of Education Johann HEURAS
Head of the Executive Committee Karl FRITTHUM
Head of the Pedagogical Service Doris WAGNER
Director of Education Rudolf MAIR
Head of the Executive Committee Eva HOFBAUER
Head of the Pedagogical Service Josef LACKNER
Director of Education Elisabeth MEIXNER
Head of the Executive Committee Bernhard JUST
Head of the Pedagogical Service Hermann ZOLLER
Director of Education Dr Paul GAPPMAIER
Head of the Executive Committee Dr Reinhold RAFFLER
Head of the Pedagogical Service Dr Werner MAYR
Director of Education Dr Alfred KLAMPFER
Head of the Executive Committee Melanie ÖTTL
Head of the Pedagogical Service Werner SCHLÖGELHOFER
Director of Education Dr Evelyn MARTE-STEFANI
Head of the Executive Committee Dr Christiane PETER
Head of the Pedagogical Service Andreas KAPPAURER
Director of Education Prof. Heinrich HIMMER
Head of the Executive Committee Dr Arno LANGMEIER
Head of the Pedagogical Service Ulrike MANGL
Get to know the Directors of Education better at www.schulautonomie.at (in German only).
Board of Education remits
The Boards of Education are responsible for comprehensive execution of school legislation. This includes enforcing quality assurance, school supervision and educational evaluation, as well as execution of teacher employment law and staff representation rights in state schools and other federal employees at state schools. This also includes external organisation of compulsory state schooling. This is understood to be structure, forms of organisation, construction, maintenance, closing down and catchment area.
The federal states retain direct responsibility for the whole area of early childhood education and after-school care. The federal states do have the option, however, of also transferring these remits to the Board of Education.
The state education authorities/municipal education authority for Vienna, which were enshrined in law until 1 January 2019, were presided over by the respective state governor. The president was assisted by an executive president who was appointed by the respective state governor, without the position being advertised, and whose role was political. The Education Reform Act abolished the roles of executive president, vice-president and the councils, which were political appointments, and therefore enforced depoliticisation. The new authority heads – the Directors of Education –are federal employees who are appointed on the basis of legally defined criteria.
By state law, in accordance with Art. 113, subsection 8 Federal Constitution (Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz), there is provision for the governor to head up the Board of Education as president. The governor can order this role to be conferred on a member of the state government. The president is not part of the authority, however, and therefore is not head of the authority either. In accordance with section 17 Board of Education Act, the president has functional oversight, but not administrative supervision, of the Director of Education.
Instructions by the competent state government and Minister for Education can be directed to the president, as well as direct to the Director of Education.
Director of Education
The Director of Education is a federal employee and is appointed for five years by the Education Minister, in consultation with and following proposal by the state governor.
Requirements for appointment are fulfilment of the statutory qualification profile and determination of suitability by an autonomous, five-person assessment panel.
The Director of Education is responsible for leading the Board of Education, in other words he or she is responsible for how the education system functions in the federal state in question and its continuous improvement and further development within the terms of the education system’s impact goals.
The Director of Education is bound by the Education Minister’s instructions when fulfilling his or her duties in matters concerning federal execution, and by the competent state government’s instructions for matters concerning state execution.
The Director of Education is assisted by two administrative departments:
Communication and School Partnership: this covers planning and coordination of publicity. A citizens’ service is also to be established in the Communication and School Partnership department as first-level support for enquiries and complaints about the Board of Education’s entire remit.
Educational Evaluation: the department assists the Director of Education with evidence-based management of the authority.
Head of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the Board of Education’s central agency. In addition to legal, budgetary and organisational tasks, it is also responsible for managing teaching staff resources in cooperation with the Pedagogical Service.
By law the head of the Executive Committee deputises for the Director of Education.
The School Psychology service is also established as part of the Executive Committee’s remit.
The Pedagogical Service is responsible for gearing educational and student-teacher provision to the needs of the federal state’s regions. It carries out quality management and coordinates educational and student-teacher provision. The Pedagogical Service is organised into departments throughout the educational regions. Supervision of part-time vocational schools can be based at specialist unit level or in the regional education departments. Quality management employees are based in the departments, as are employees of the inclusion, diversity and special needs education services.
The head of the Pedagogical Service is assisted by a specialist unit in all planning and management matters, with implementation of educational policy reforms and development projects, and with ensuring differentiated, school-type-specific education provision. It forms the “content umbrella organisation” in the areas of quality management, inclusion and diversity and ensures horizontal coordination and communication in all cross-regional matters.
In Burgenland and Carinthia, the Minority Schooling department and its school inspectorate is basically responsible for specialist supervision of all schools that come under the Minority Schooling Act (Minderheiten-Schulgesetz). Furthermore, it is responsible for specialist supervision of Slovenian (Carinthia) and Burgenland Croatian/Hungarian (Burgenland) as subjects in all other schools.
The Advisory Board is an official audience within the Board of Education for school partners, religious communities and special interest groups. The Advisory Board’s remit is to advise on matters of fundamental importance to be attended to by the Board of Education in the field of schooling and education. In particular draft expert opinions on education policy can be submitted to it for it to give an advisory opinion. Reports or proposals are purely advisory and, in accordance with the internal regulations on decisions by appointed bodies, the Director of Education or others are not bound by them. The Advisory Board is to be convened by the Director of Education at least twice per year.
Board of Education (in German only)