Training and Development Programmes for School Heads
This paper provides information on the existing arrangements and future plans for the training and development of school heads.
2. Since 1982, the Education Department ( ED ) has been providing systematic training to newly appointed school heads in the public sector to strengthen their management and administrative skills. Training for heads of kindergartens is also provided by the Hong Kong Institute of Education. At present, the main training courses provided by ED are as follows :
- Primary Schools
A 10-day Primary School Administration Course with a 6-month post-course action plan/project work is being offered to newly appointed primary school heads in the public sector to help them acquire the basic management knowledge and skills for effective school management. Seventy-eight courses have been conducted so far for 1,618 newly appointed primary school heads.
- Secondary Schools
A 9-day Secondary School Administration Course with a 6-month post-course action plan/project work is being offered to newly appointed secondary school heads in the public sector to help them acquire management concepts and skills for effective school management. Twenty-eight courses have been organized for 569 newly appointed secondary school heads.
3. Apart from the above courses, half-day or one-day in-service courses/workshops/seminars are frequently organized for serving school heads to enhance their understanding in school administration, curriculum development, special education, counselling and guidance, information technology, etc.
4. To assist schools in the implementation of School Management Initiatives (SMI), ED has since 1992 commissioned local tertiary institutions to run a 30-hour training programme for school supervisors, heads and assistant heads. The programme covers school-based management, reform management, developmental planning and evaluation, resource and financial management, staff development and appraisal, team spirit and collaboration, effective leadership, cooperation between schools, continuous learning for schools, etc. Up to now, 318 school heads have attended and completed the training. Since June 1998, ED has also organized district-based or school-based workshops and seminars to provide similar training for heads of non-SMI schools.
5. To equip school heads with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to become competent school leaders of the 21st century and to ensure that they are adequately trained to implement school-based management for quality school-education as recommended by the Education Commission Report No. 7, a Task Group comprising school heads, professors from tertiary institutions, personnel in the training field and other professionals was set up in January 1999 in ED to develop, within six months, a training programme for school heads. Initially, the task Group has proposed a training programme which consists of the following parts :
- Needs Assessment
This is a process to identify the training needs of the participants. It will serve as important data for the head's future leadership development;
- Leadership Development Programme
This programme will provide the opportunity for the participants to learn and develop competencies required for leaders of the 21st century;
- Modular Programme
The modules will contain essential knowledge for school leaders to lead the schools effectively. The programme will include modules such as Managing Policy and Planning, Managing Learning, Managing Resources, Information Technology, Marketing and Networking, Action Research etc.
- Experiential Project
The participants will be required to design and complete an experimental project based on what they have learned in the training programme with the assistance of a facilitator; and
- Final Assessment
The participants will be required to undergo a final assessment process.
6. The programme will be managed by the Education Department with inputs from tertiary institutions, principals' associations and educational bodies. Experienced principals and selected experts from other sectors such as commercial, legal, public administration etc. will be invited to serve as speakers and facilitators of the modular courses, in order to broaden the perspectives of our participants and to enable them to keep abreast of leadership development in other fields.
7. Parties concerned in the education sector will be consulted on the training programme when the details are drawn up. About $30 M has been earmarked for the training programme in the next three years.