A comparative study of Singapore's school excellence model with Hong Kong's school-based management

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Pak Tee Ng
  • David Chan


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-505
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Purpose - This paper aims to examine and compare the school excellence model (SEM) approach adopted by Singapore and the school-based management (SBM) approach adopted by Hong Kong. It discusses the implications of such a strategy and the challenges that both Singapore and Hong Kong schools face in navigating a new paradigm of managerialism while satisfying the requirements of quality assurance. Design/methodology/approach - This paper utilises a comparative approach to analyse the development of educational quality assurance and the movement to decentralise power to the schools in Singapore and Hong Kong. The framework of analysis involves: approach to decentralisation; effects of education marketisation; school leaders, teachers and the profitable use of quality models. Findings - Both Singapore and Hong Kong utilise a centralised decentralisation approach though with different intent. Education marketisation accentuates the underlying dynamics of fierce competition and accountability through performance indicators. To use the quality models profitably, the main challenge will be for schools to satisfy the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. Practical implications - The comparative study of Singapore and Hong Kong serves as a mirror to other developing countries in understanding how a quality framework coupled with self-assessment and external inspections can lead to changes in the school system, both positive ones and undesirable side-effects. Originality/value - The first comparative study between Singapore's school excellence model with Hong Kong's school-based management. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Research Area(s)

  • Asian studies, Decentralized conrol, Performance appraisal, Quality assurance, Schools