Principals’ leadership and strategic planning in primary schools in Hong Kong and England: a comparison

Bell, Les and Chan, Daniel W. K. (2005) Principals’ leadership and strategic planning in primary schools in Hong Kong and England: a comparison. International Studies in Educational Administration, 33 (3). pp. 2-21. ISSN 1324-1702

Documents
Principals’ leadership and strategic planning in primary schools in Hong Kong and England: a comparison
[img]
[Download]
Request a copy
[img] PDF
uoa45lb05.pdf
Restricted to Registered users only

117kB

Full text URL: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true...

Abstract

The strategic direction of much of education policy is frequently justified not as an end in itself,
but as a means to enhanced economic development leading to a more competitive economy,
greater productivity and increased wealth. At school level this leads to an emphasis on target
driven pupil performance and the utilisation of strategic planning, often in the form of school
development planning, as the main mechanism for holding schools to account for their overall
performance. This paper explores the consequences of such policies and practices on primary
schools in England and Hong Kong and, in particular, the role of school principals in the planning
process. The paper analyses how far primary school principals in England and Hong Kong adopt a
strategic approach to development planning in their schools and to what extent they seek to
modify both the process and the outcomes. It is recognised that school development planning is
only one of a number of forms of planning in schools. Furthermore, as MacGilchrist et al (1995)
point out, not all development planning is strategic in any real sense. Nevertheless, the purpose of
school development planning as conceptualised in policy is to define the strategic direction of
each school within a national policy context. School development planning, therefore, is
presented in this paper as an important example of school level strategic planning in England and
Hong Kong.
It should be recognised from the outset, however, that there are some significant differences
between primary schools in Hong Kong and England. Schools in England have fewer pupils than
those in Hong Kong schools. The English primary schools in this study cater for 200 to 380 pupils
age 7 to 11, while primary schools in Hong Kong admit about 1,000 pupils from age 6 to 12. On the
other hand, the English schools’ campuses occupy a much larger area than those of Hong Kong
schools. Thus, English primary schools are much better able to cope with the demands of inclusive
education and individualized learning than are their Hong Kong counterparts. Size also matters
because of the differences in span of control and the ‘Power Distance Index’ (Hofstede 1991). In
small English primary schools most principals can all call every pupil by name and are able to
work with smaller numbers of staff. Hence, the principal’s influence in England seems to be more
immediate than in it is in Hong Kong since these school principals seem to have a ‘span of control’
that is about three times larger than that in English schools for staff (teaching and non-teaching),
pupils and parents, it is inevitably that they need to spend more time on administrative work.
However, creating non-contact time for planning and curriculum development in English
primary schools is difficult. Hong Kong teachers have an average of three to five hours a week of
non-contact time, far more than their English counterparts.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The strategic direction of much of education policy is frequently justified not as an end in itself, but as a means to enhanced economic development leading to a more competitive economy, greater productivity and increased wealth. At school level this leads to an emphasis on target driven pupil performance and the utilisation of strategic planning, often in the form of school development planning, as the main mechanism for holding schools to account for their overall performance. This paper explores the consequences of such policies and practices on primary schools in England and Hong Kong and, in particular, the role of school principals in the planning process. The paper analyses how far primary school principals in England and Hong Kong adopt a strategic approach to development planning in their schools and to what extent they seek to modify both the process and the outcomes. It is recognised that school development planning is only one of a number of forms of planning in schools. Furthermore, as MacGilchrist et al (1995) point out, not all development planning is strategic in any real sense. Nevertheless, the purpose of school development planning as conceptualised in policy is to define the strategic direction of each school within a national policy context. School development planning, therefore, is presented in this paper as an important example of school level strategic planning in England and Hong Kong. It should be recognised from the outset, however, that there are some significant differences between primary schools in Hong Kong and England. Schools in England have fewer pupils than those in Hong Kong schools. The English primary schools in this study cater for 200 to 380 pupils age 7 to 11, while primary schools in Hong Kong admit about 1,000 pupils from age 6 to 12. On the other hand, the English schools’ campuses occupy a much larger area than those of Hong Kong schools. Thus, English primary schools are much better able to cope with the demands of inclusive education and individualized learning than are their Hong Kong counterparts. Size also matters because of the differences in span of control and the ‘Power Distance Index’ (Hofstede 1991). In small English primary schools most principals can all call every pupil by name and are able to work with smaller numbers of staff. Hence, the principal’s influence in England seems to be more immediate than in it is in Hong Kong since these school principals seem to have a ‘span of control’ that is about three times larger than that in English schools for staff (teaching and non-teaching), pupils and parents, it is inevitably that they need to spend more time on administrative work. However, creating non-contact time for planning and curriculum development in English primary schools is difficult. Hong Kong teachers have an average of three to five hours a week of non-contact time, far more than their English counterparts.
Keywords:Education Policy, School development planning, primary education, primary schools, Education in Hong Kong, Role of school principals, Strategic planning, School strategic planning
Subjects:X Education > X320 Academic studies in Primary Education
N Business and Administrative studies > N211 Strategic Management
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:988
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:05 Sep 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:24

Repository Staff Only: item control page