Preparing school leaders: The professional development needs of newly appointed principals

Shun Wing NG, Sing Ying Elson SZETO

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29 Citations (Scopus)


In Hong Kong, there is an acute need to provide newly appointed principals with opportunities for continuous professional development so that they could face the impact of reforms and globalization on school development. The Education Bureau has commissioned the tertiary institutions to provide structured professional development courses to cater for the needs of aspiring, newly appointed and serving principals for leadership development. This paper aims to report on an exploratory qualitative study regarding the perception of 32 newly appointed principals from secondary schools on (a) their role as a new principal and (b) their needs and expectations on the school leadership development programme so that contents of existing development programmes could be improved to meet their needs. Findings demonstrated that the newly appointed principals expected to be equipped with the administrative skills of human resources management such as empowering middle leaders and handing underperforming staff; the practical technique of financial management; the skills of dealing with legal matters regarding school management and the capacities of curriculum and instructional leadership. In addition, they attributed networking with peers and working with mentors as invaluable experience and support for their early years’ principalship. Copyright © 2015 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-557
JournalEducational Management Administration & Leadership
Issue number4
Early online dateApr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


Ng, S.-W., & Szeto, S.-Y. E. (2016). Preparing school leaders: The professional development needs of newly appointed principals. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 44(4), 540-557. doi: 10.1177/1741143214564766


  • Newly appointed principals
  • Professional development
  • School leadership
  • Hong Kong


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