Ensuring the future of school leadership in Hong Kong: Principal recruitment, selection and appointment (A GRF Project)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The current educational reform environment in Hong Kong and elsewhere substantiates the importance of principal leadership in schools while, at the same time, expresses concern about the quantity, quality, preparation and development of future principals. Expressions of concern about how principals are recruited and appointed to their positions and the efficacy of the process form an important part of this discussion both locally and globally. Given the widely acknowledged (direct and indirect) influence of the principal over school outcomes, principal recruitment, selection and appointment (RSA) are inseparably linked to issues of principal preparation and quality, and thus the education received by students. How principals are recruited, selected and appointed may be particularly pertinent in Hong Kong given the presence of so many diverse hiring agencies, the fact that principals tend to remain in the one school for most of their career and that very little is known about those holding the power of appointment – School Supervisors and School Management Committees. Research into the principal RSA process and those who make the decisions is totally absent in Hong Kong and this is becoming increasingly problematic given the current dearth of good applicants for principal positions, the destructive perceptions held by many of the criteria and the process involved and the ever demanding reform environment. This research proposes to investigate from a number of important angles the efficacy, effectiveness and legitimacy of the principal RSA in Hong Kong and to develop a model of good practice for possible implementation in schools. For the first time, the study proposes to collect perceptions from those on both sides of the process in order to both inform theory and improve policy and practice through the identification of the most effective approaches to RSA. Using a four-phase, multi-method research design this study slots neatly into a longer term agenda which aims both to better understand and further develop educational leadership in Hong Kong schools.

Funding Source: RGC - Competitive Earmarked Research Grant
Effective start/end date01/01/0531/01/07


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