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Monday 09-Apr-2018
【Oh!爸媽】專業升學顧問的黃金尺

辦升學已經幾年,眼見一般升學中心都是以排名榜作推薦學校的標準,我覺得是絕對不夠的。對地道英國人來說,排名榜可以在茶餘飯後作送酒話題,卻絕不能拿來作為子女選擇學校的指標。

那麼選校指標應該用甚麼?我用來量度學校好壞的黃金尺,一定放比重在校長是何方人馬。

 

校長是重要指標

香港人人手一部蘋果電話電腦,理應感受到蘋果集團分別在Steve Jobs和Tim Cook領帥年代的分別,突顯出領袖的重要。這方面,一間學校其實跟大企業無異。放眼香港,九龍區有一男子小學近年轉了校長,學校猶如脫胎換骨,運動和音樂都愈來愈強,連招生都容易了,背後皆因新校長之前在另一間學校表現出眾,轉工後惹來不少家長慕名而至擠破校門,校長的正面影響力可見一斑。那邊廂,九龍塘老牌名小學神職校長一走,繼任的校長人選是新,作風卻舊,用保守手法來管理學校,走回填鴨式教育的舊路,學術、運動表現以至行政效率都一落千丈,家長和同學都怨聲載道,校長的負面影響力立竿見影。

要管理好一間日校尚且如此具挑戰性,更何況一間寄宿學校?英國寄宿學校閒閒地有百年歷史,校長的位絕不易坐,對上要應付可能是由各界精英組成的校董會,每位都不是省油的燈,萬事要得到這些尊貴校董首肯,談何容易? 對下的情況一樣險峻,傳統寄宿學校中,校長之下還有很多house masters。這些house masters往往是在校內工作了幾十年的老臣子,在管理的部門各自為政,情況分分鐘亂過三國演義。空降而來的校長如果比較年輕,必須具超級交際手腕,才能信服及制衡各個山頭。否則老臣子們有心聯手上演一齣《老油條戲耍嫰校長》,不是容易招架的。

對上抗下,校長日常要面對的還有教職員、家長和學生。難怪有些學校有一個head master 之外,還設有一個principal,副校長有時也以管理範疇區分。規模再大些的學校,不同學院有不同校長。要知道中學有中學的管理模式,小學有小學的架構操作,學校管理的團隊對教育質素有關鍵影響,因此學校管理的架構和往績,都值得家長選校時認真參考。

海外升學
Charterhouse School

 

Wellington College校長勁到封爵

之前提過,名牌學校Charterhouse招攬了Alex Peterken作校長。Charterhouse作為百年老校,歷任校長過去通常一做便十年八年,上一位卻只做了短短四年便攆走,原因是學校本想將高中考試課程改變而轉行IB,以吸納更多國際學生並贏得倫敦一帶的家長垂青。豈料傳統老校套入新的學習綱領並不為家長們接納,本來對此校有興趣的家長和同學仔,都捨Charterhouse另謀其他學校,企圖增加招生的改革竟收弄巧反拙之效。我的母校Gresham’s也有類似情形,曾有校長名Philip John,在位期間宣佈要將校制改為全IB,滿以為可以令海外如香港及德國學生趨之若鶩,可惜最後這舉動沒有吸引外國學生蜂湧,校長自己卻招來炒魷之禍,原因是校網中的家庭未準備好去融合一批國際學生,於是海外學生未招到,卻連校網內的學生都趕走,兩頭皆空。再往北看,某些學校如Rossall School,之前也想增加招收國際學生以扭轉收生不足的劣勢。不料國際學生是收到了,卻惹來本地學生的嫌棄,本地市場幾近崩潰,於是得再努力招國際學生去填補學位,形成一個不息的循環。

 

校長是學校的靈魂人物,故選校一定要看校長的資歷質素。好的校長可以像Wellington College的Sir Anthony Seldon,做校長做到被封爵,成為英國古往今來首屈一指的教育家。但如上述個案的反面例子也比比皆是。專業的升學專家會認清校長是哪一路人馬,從中看到一間學校的前景未來,用來作選校指標,準過呃你十年八年的風水佬。

海外升學
Wellington College的Sir Anthony Seldon

 

作者:Samuel Chan

網上圖片

原文:http://www.ohpama.com/282963/overseas/%E5%B0%88%E6%A5%AD%E5%8D%87%E5%AD%B8%E9%A1%A7%E5%95%8F%E7%9A%84%E9%BB%83%E9%87%91%E5%B0%BA/

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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