School as a societal institution is obliged to base itself on and practise the values and principles that have been established for primary and secondary education and training. According to their different roles, the school owners [local or county authority], school leaders and teachers have the joint responsibility for laying the ground for good development in school. Together they must ensure that the school's practice complies with the entire curriculum. Good and systematic cooperation between early childhood education and school, between the different school levels along the learning path, and between school and home will ease the transition from one level to the next.
A teacher is a role model who shall instil confidence and guide the pupils on their journey through the learning path. The teacher is crucial when it comes to creating a learning environment that motivates and helps the pupils to learn and develop. To accomplish this the teacher must show care for each pupil. The teacher must help pupils who make unfortunate choices, who do not feel included or who are struggling to learn what is wanted and expected of them. By creating an environment with solidarity, where the pupils feel they belong, the teacher will be developing a learning culture that gives the pupils academic and emotional support.
The teaching profession practises the profession according to core values and a common knowledge base that takes research and experience into consideration. The profession and the teacher are responsible for exercising good judgment in complex situations. Teachers and leaders develop academic, educational, didactic and pedagogical content knowledge judgment in dialogues and interaction with colleagues. The exercise and development of professional judgment occurs individually and together with others. Professional judgement also requires being regularly updated. The teaching profession must therefore assess its educational practice so that it gives individual pupils and groups of pupils the best possible teaching.
Complex educational issues rarely have fixed answers. School staff must therefore have acceptance for and have the opportunity to apply their judgment skills in the exercise of their profession. Teachers must consider carefully what, how and why pupils learn, and how they can lead and support the pupils' education and all-round development optimally. Teachers who reflect together on and assess planning and implementation of their teaching develop a richer understanding of good educational practice. This must be done while bearing in mind the profession's knowledge base and the core values for primary and secondary education and training.
Professional collaboration in school requires good leadership. Good school leadership in turn requires legitimacy in professional leadership and good understanding of educational and other challenges teachers and other members of staff are facing. Good leadership gives priority to developing collaboration and relationships to build trust in the organisation. The school leaders are in charge of and facilitate for the learning and development of pupils and teachers. The school leaders must lead the educational and professional collaboration between the teachers and help to develop a stable and positive environment where everyone is focused on performing at his or her best. It is the duty of the school leaders to ensure that all staff can make use of their strong sides, experience mastering and develop in their profession.
Good school development requires that there is room to ask questions and look for answers, and needs a professional environment interested in how school's practice contributes to the pupils' learning and development. All school staff must take an active part in the professional learning environment to develop the school. This means that everyone in the environment must reflect on the value choices and development needs, and use research, experience-based knowledge and ethical assessments as the grounds on which to base targeted measures. Well-developed structures for collaboration, support and guidance between colleagues and across schools promote a sharing and learning culture.
The school's broad purpose is realised in the daily interaction between pupils and teachers. In specific teaching situations teachers will face tensions between different purposes and values. They must always strive to balance between consideration of individual pupils and consideration of the entire group, between supporting and demanding, between the work in school here and now and the work to prepare for the future. All pupils are different, and what is in each pupil's best interest is the foundation of all education. This question must be answered again and again every day by everyone working in school.