Stakeholders (parents voice) not considered in Kowloon Junior School Principal appointment

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Our concern is:

The recruitment & appointment process used at KJS failed to incorporate the desires of any of the stakeholders other than the office of the CEO.

We emphasize that we are not, at this point, questioning the suitability of the successful candidate nor are we suggesting that any other candidate was the only suitable one.  Our concerns are, for the moment, centered on the procedural and systemic, and not personal.

Other points we wish to request transparency include:

(1) what are the procedures governing selection of the principal at KJS and throughout ESF generally? Are they the same throughout all ESF schools? I note that under section 15 of the ESF Ordinance, the process for selection of a principal for approval by the Permanent Secretary for Education "shall follow a process that takes account of the views of different groups within the school community and is determined by the Chief Executive Officer and the School Council of the school jointly". Section 13 of the same Ordinance also provides that it is the function of the School Council to "design and implement a process for the selection of the Principal of the school." In addition to these legislative provisions, are there additional bylaws or written documents outlining the procedures to be followed? Parents would like to know whether correct procedures were adhered to and to have access to a copy of any additional documents which outline the Principal recruitment process.

(2) how was the decision to appoint Neill O'Reilly reached by the selection panel? Was there a vote? If so who voted and what were the results of the vote?

(3) does the final decision of the selection panel need to be unanimous or will a majority vote suffice?

(4) does the vote of any stakeholder / individual carry more weight than the rest? Section 15 of the ESF Ordinance of course suggests that the recommendation should be a joint decision between the School Council and the CEO.

(5) were the final deliberations of the selection panel minuted? If so, are parents able to see a copy of the minutes?

(6) was the recommendation made to the Board a unanimous decision or were any dissenting views conveyed?

(7) if there were dissenting views, was due consideration given by the Board to any dissenting views?

(8) why were parents not informed of who the candidates would be well in advance of the presentations rather than being handed their bios on the door? I refer you to the following link from the Kennedy School website detailing the recruitment process for the principal of Kennedy School back in 2014 in which it seems that parents were informed 3 1/2 weeks in advance of the presentations, who the candidates would be and provided their bios in ample time to consider them. In comparison, the KJS recruitment process seems to have been unnecessarily rushed.

http://enews-kennedy.esf.edu.hk/kennedy-principal-update

We would very much like our concerns to be addressed as soon as possible with a meeting between all parents collectively and ESF senior management.



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