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Leading schools with migrant children in Shanghai: Understanding policies and practices

Haiyan Qian (The Department of Education Policy and Leadership, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Allan David Walker (Faculty of Education and Human Development, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to sketch the current policy context that frames the education of migrant children in Shanghai; to explore the work lives of school leaders in the privately owned but government-supported schools; and to understand the socio-cultural and educational factors that shape the leadership practices in these schools.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper drew from publicly accessible policy papers and interview data with four principals leading migrant children’s schools in Shanghai.

Findings

Migrant children’s schools have received increasing policy recognition and attention. Principals of these schools have strived to adopt various leadership strategies to enhance the quality of education as received by migrant children. However, due to the institutional barriers such as hukou, multiple challenges continue to face migrant children and leaders leading migrant schools.

Originality/value

This is one of the first few papers that collected data from principals leading migrant children’s schools. The paper contributes to further understandings about leadership in high-needs school context and about education quality and equity in relation to programme for international student assessment success in Shanghai.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the General Research Fund (GRF841512) of the Research Grant Council (RGC) of Hong Kong.

Citation

Qian, H. and David Walker, A. (2017), "Leading schools with migrant children in Shanghai: Understanding policies and practices", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 564-579. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-08-2016-0178

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited