We conducted an interview with the principal of our school as part of our project "Building a democratic school culture", which we carried out as part of the European Union program for education, youth and sports.

First of all, we would like to thank Mr. Ingo Beck for participating in the interview.

How did you feel about the fact that a project on "Building a democratic school culture" was carried out at your school? What do you think about this topic?

Democracy within school culture is the highest good and must be the highest priority in school development. For this reason, the event at our school was an excellent opportunity to reflect on this topic, evaluate and take in new impulses.

You have been working at this school for 19 years. In total, you have been principal for seven years. After all these years in education, can you say something about the deficits you see or feel in terms of democracy in the institutions you have led?

Cooperation between the boards was made much more difficult by the Corona period. Basically, a deficit is more likely to be perceived through the commitment of those involved, but not through the fundamentally given opportunities for involvement in the democracy process.

In your opinion, what tasks should administrators perform in a democratic school?

Act as organizer:s, administrator:s, and supporter:s.

As a school administrator, do you determine the decisions that are made at the school, or do you involve other stakeholders in the decision-making process?

We have a school law that we have to implement. Of course, how successful the results are here also depends a little bit on the commitment of the school management.

Do you solicit student input on applications that directly affect students (recess times, electives, social activities...)? Do you set up boards or committees where students also have the right to speak?

The committees are fully staffed with all the groups involved and there is freedom of expression and opportunities are to include voting rights.

Can you create a suitable democratic environment for your students, teachers and support staff in the school? Can you explain this with an example?

In any case - in the highest conference - the school conference, we are so occupied in voting on budget, study trips, mission statement, etc., that the parents and students:inside could outvote the teachers and thus an implementation of an idea would be blocked.

What do you think school governance should be like in an institution with a democratic school culture? Can you take action in this direction?

Is in place at our institution.

Who do you think has the leading role in creating a democratic school culture? The central government, the local government, or the school administration?

Only in a good interaction is this possible - laws, rules and room for maneuver on the ground.

Do you think that this and similar projects contribute to the creation of a democratic school culture?

Absolutely! It's a very good way to create a democratic standard at schools throughout Europe.

We would like to thank our guest Mr. Ingo Beck for participating in our interview and for sharing her feelings and thoughts with us.