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Municipal Education Development Plan

A development plan for education and training providers

Municipal Education Development Plan, School Development Plan and Teacher Development Plan are development plans meant for education and training providers. They combine the local development needs of the municipality with national development plans. This will form an all-encompassing set of goals that takes educational needs into account.

Finland 100


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100






Target group
March 2017
While considering challenges facing education, we had a clear idea of wanting to support education providers develop education and respond to challenges.

About the innovation

What is it all about?

Each process of change emphasizes the importance of leadership for the success of the change. Schools are no exception: as the world changes, the school needs to be reformed and it requires leadership.

However, school systems operate in very different ways at different levels . According to Canadian school developer Michael Fullan, the need for change in schools requires states, regions and schools all to pursue the same goals. Similar thoughts have also been made by Sir Ken Robinson.

KuntaKesu is a model developed in Finland for the management of municipal education. The model is aimed at the municipal level, which in Finland is mostly responsible for providing and organizing education. The model is one of way to design and lead a complex training organization.

The model prepared by the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) is intended to support strategic planning in municipalities and it helps to combine the municipality's own development needs with national policies and objectives. KuntaKesu provides a good example for those who do not yet have a strong local strategy or similar plan. It is used in about one third of the Finnish municipalities.

The four key themes of the KuntaKesu include student learning, staff competence, sustainable wellbeing and leadership.

All themes are explored from the individual’s and the community’s point of view.

Municipalities can implement the model if they want to use a new way to strategically plan education. The model can be introduced as such or customized to fit your needs. The education provider’s development plan can also serve as support and a catalyst for local education policy debate.

KuntaKesu is a large entity, and the following steps attempt to explain what it means at different levels of education: in the municipality, at school and at the individual level. In different educational systems, the municipal level may be substituted with other training providers, and the model can be used even if the education system differs from the Finnish one.

It should be noted that the implementation of a KuntaKesu-type strategic plan requires that the state has a long-term approach and commitment to education and that the contents of education or the educational policies won’t vary from one election to another, for example.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


Development plans are tools for leadership in education in an ever-changing world. They bring national and local level goals closer to each other.


Schools are more prepared to meet the changes when the goals of the education provider and the school are aligned.


May be difficult to apply to environments and organizations where sharing information and transparency are not customary.

Implementation steps

The Municipality – Municipal Education Development Plan
Municipal Education Development Plan is often launched on the initiative of the municipal head of education and culture department, i.e. the leading official.

It is important, however, to involve political decision-makers as well as civil servants. This ensures commitment to common goals, budgeting criteria and good working conditions.

The purpose of Municipal Education Development Plan is to combine the norms and objectives of state administration (e.g. legislation, curriculum basics, government program objectives and various recommendations and guidelines) to local needs and objectives. Municipal Education Development Plan brings together the key priorities and goals of the various documents and makes their mutual relationships visible.

Municipal Education Development Plan should not be seen as a separate plan, but as part of the municipal strategy. It must be in line with other documents governing education, such as the curriculum, assessment and quality requirements. Education and development projects should be based on strategy rather than the other way round. Therefore, when preparing Municipal Education Development Plan, co-operation should also be made with other sectors (such as youth, sports, leisure, cultural, social and health).

In Finland, municipalities have extensive autonomy, therefore making them a natural base for drafting the plan. In this model, the municipality can be replaced with any other structure that provides education and schooling. Thus, if there is no strong municipal structure, co-operation networks or other regional structures can also be used.

Schools – School Development Plan
School Development Plan takes national aspects into account, allowing schools to focus on leadership through developing the principal's work. The principal's motivation for development is reflected in the teachers.

Leadership should be committed to the long-term development of the school, based on thorough plans. Well implemented and justified plans will also enable rapid and agile development to keep up with change.

Development requires seeing the bigger picture, active engagement, creating a good working atmosphere, interaction, and giving and receiving constructive feedback.

The principal's job is also to manage know-how. Developing teachers’ skills should not be arbitrary, but based on strategy, curriculum ideas, motivation, different experiments and experiential culture as well as learning from others.

Teachers – Teacher Development Plan
Individual level planning is guided by School Development Plan, which in turn is guided by Municipal Education Development Plan.

Thus, all levels of providing and organizing education are aligned with each other, and national level factors are also reflected in Teacher Development Plan at the individual level. At the heart of Teacher Development Plan is the need for personal development.

When developing teachers’ skills, a personal development plan is prepared for each teacher. The plan defines the main areas of competence development and provides a timetable for developing competence in practice. Making a development plan can, for example, be part of the development discussion with the teacher's supervisor.

The principal's support for developing education and teaching is particularly important. The principal must be the one who involves, listens to and supports teachers in everyday life and promotes the development of their individual work.

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