School administrators hold the key to effectiveness and quality in education, as they are the vanguards of stability and agents of change. SBM (School Based Management) in NSW and Hong Kong has given them increased autonomy in managing schools with accountability. Current trends in both systems indicate commitments to consolidating SBM, making the quality of leadership vital in institutionalizing change. Both systems select principals on merit, as leadership qualities are partly inborn and partly learned, requiring the universities to develop professional development programs to provide necessary education and training. This article presents practitioners’ opinions on the effectiveness of the Master of Leadership and Management in Education (MLMEd) by the University of Newcastle and the Preparation for Principalship (PFP) program by the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Methodology include both quantitative and qualitative approaches and thus the findings are based on student evaluations and interviews or comments by those who followed these programs.
Educational Practice and Theory Vol. 31, Issue 2, p. 71-86