This article investigates the perceptions of English headteachers and Hong Kong principals on the kinds of pressures that they believed affected the way they did their job, and in particular the degree to which they felt their governments were affecting their leadership role. The research utilised semi-structured interviews to generate written ‘portraits’ of these individuals, which were then examined to answer questions about current pressures. The findings suggested that (1) there was considerable variation in the manner these individuals responded to key issues; (2) all individuals prioritised local concerns, and particularly with consideration to the children in their care; (3) there was a greater sense of embattlement from the English headteachers and a more critical approach to legislation, than from the Hong Kong principals, though with considerable individual variation in the degree of overt resistance shown; (4) whilst current educational reforms in Hong Kong seemed to favour the development of creativity more than those in England, there was within both national contexts evidence of the damaging effects of the pace and quantity of reforms. Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
CitationBottery, M., Ngai, G., Wong, P. M., & Wong, P. H. (2013). Values, priorities and responses: Comparing English headteachers’ and Hong Kong principals’ perceptions of their work. School Leadership & Management, 33(1), 43-60.
- English headteachers
- Hong Kong principals
- Educational reforms