We examine decentralisation in school-based education, with particular reference to two countries, Germany and the UK. In section 2 we explore the notions of devolution and decentralisation. We examine different types of decentralisation and some of the ideas with which it is associated including, in education, improving educational standards. In section 3 we consider the decentralisation of education in Germany and the UK. We examine the decentralisation of political authority, policies pursued at national and subnational levels, and the delegation of responsibilities to school level. We then compare achievement levels in the two case study countries and explore whether particular policies, pursued at subnational levels, might be associated with differing levels of attainment. We argue that decentralisation in the field of education is multifaceted and complex, with different types of decentralisation coexisting. Our analysis suggests that certain policies, pursued as a result of decentralisation, may be associated with different educational outcomes, but it is not possible to draw definitive conclusions particularly in light of the differing political, policy, and socioeconomic contexts
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