Singapore actively prepares itself for the challenges – real or imagined—that would be brought about by the advent of Knowledge-Based Economies (KBEs). One of the key sectors in Singapore that would be greatly affected by these challenges would undoubtedly be the education sector. Especially since education has been seen as a “strategic instrument” of the state to pursue national development goals.
Upon closer examination of the Singaporean education sector as it makes sense of the radical changes that it experiences, the role of school leaders comes under careful scrutiny. Scholars as well practitioners have argued how school leaders are fundamental in reform initiatives. As decision-makers, implementing agents and as key personnel providing direction, vision and concrete actions in the midst of reform, school leaders are very much in the front-line of the skirmishes and the greater battles waged in the education arena.
Let’s step back a bit, reflect , and try to fathom the kinds of issues and challenges that school leaders –particularly in a Singaporean context — confront as they make sense of radical and seemingly continuous reforms. If we were to list down the top three issues that I, as a school leader, would carefully look out for during periods of dynamic reform what would these be? Would it be the mission of the school as typified in its shibboleths? Or would I make sure that the welfare of my staff is properly taken care of? Or should I concern myself with the results of my students in high-stakes tests? What about my other key stakeholders: MOE, parents, the general public?
 L. Low, M. H. Toh and T. W. Soon, Economics of Education and Manpower Development: Issues and Policies in Singapore (Singapore, 1991).
 The Wallace Foundation. (2007). Education Leadership A Bridge to School Reform. Paper presented at the The Wallace Foundation’s National Conference October 22-24. See also Singapore Teachers’ Union. (2000). Towards a World Class Education System Through Enlightened School Management/Leadership and Meaningful Educational Activities (pp. 1-75). Singapore: Singapore Teachers’ Union.