Hong Kong's school reforms of 2004 give a wide range of powers to the incorporated management committee (IMC) that each aided school is required to establish.
Under the Education Ordinance, an IMC is responsible for planning the direction of school development, managing its financial and manpower resources, supervising self-improvement, promoting student development, and ensuring that the school's mission - set by the sponsoring body - is carried out.
The IMC is also accountable for the performance of the school, and is expected to formulate education policies in accordance with the vision and mission decided by the sponsoring body.
Other features of the reform are:
A school's sponsoring body controls up to 60 per cent of the membership on its IMC;
Each IMC must have at least one representative from the parents, teachers, alumni and independent candidates;
The principal is the ex-officio manager of the school;
The permanent secretary for education signs a service agreement with each IMC, which is renewed every five years;
The sponsoring body gives general directions to the IMC on formulating a school's education policies, and oversees the IMC's performance; and
IMCs are responsible for recruiting and dismissing principals.