Investigating school-based management in Hong Kong to validate the prerequisites for successful schools using an exploratory sequential design

Tai Wai David WU

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


In the new century, education systems throughout the world have shifted from a centralized, hierarchical, authoritative school management model to the new decentralized system with redistribution of responsibilities and accountabilities. Although Hong Kong Government has invested a fabulous sum of money in education and implemented the school-based management (SBM) policy since 2000 as to cope with the reform in school management and ensure the quality of education, most parents are still unsatisfied with school’s effectiveness and regard their child as entitlement to be educated in a good school. A combination of parental choice and the rapid shrinkage of Secondary One student population from 2010 onward have obliged many secondary schools to compete vigorously for students and call for radical change. According to the Education (Amendment) Ordinance 2004, all aided schools were required to establish their own incorporated management committee (IMC) before the end of 2012. Hong Kong Education Bureau emphasizes that “establishing IMC to practice SBM” is the keystone for all aided schools to deliver quality school education. However, the determination of “SBM as an effective way to improve the standard of teaching and students’ learning outcomes” is a complete puzzle. The key question is: What makes a good school? This study intends to paint a holistic picture of a successful aided secondary school which achieves its vision, mission, core value and goals, and most importantly, sustains success for all its students. A three-phase exploratory sequential design was employed to collect both qualitative and quantitative data for articulating the SBM policy and exploring the prerequisites for developing a successful school. In Phase One, in-depth interviews with 20 experienced senior teachers were conducted to investigate the rationales of SBM and the characteristics of good schools. The qualitative data were then employed to build a questionnaire. Phase Three was composed of a quantitative survey among 103 teacher managers which were selected by a probability-based sampling strategy. SPSS software and Rasch model were then applied to analyze the quantitative data. The qualitative research findings revealed that SBM was not the unique factor contributing to school success but had produced various positive impacts on IMC schools. The common characteristics of all good schools, including positive school culture, a competent IMC, a high-performing principal, promoting students’ all-round development, a team of great teachers and three external agents: parents, community and tertiary institutions were also elaborated. After applying the quantitative questionnaire survey, five core performance indicators including culture, SBM,principal, student and teacher dimensions were validated. The final outcome was the 5-P Model, accompanied with the generalizable Successful School Index that could be employed to measure the degree of success of all good schools and help those low-performing schools in Hong Kong improve their education quality. In addition, the limitations of the study needed to be aware of and some recommendations for further studies were provided. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Education
  • WANG, Wen Chung, Supervisor
  • WU, Siu Wai 胡少偉, Supervisor
Award date09 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • School-based management -- China -- Hong Kong
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2015


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