Head of Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity quits before opening Hong Kong's pioneering 'fame' school is leaderless after its principal left just days before its opening earlier this month. Hui Wai-tin, the head of HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity in Hung Hom, is now on 'sabbatical leave' doing research at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He has been absent from the school since the beginning of term. Mr Hui declined to comment on why he was leaving the school, the first to specialise in creative arts including performing, film and visual arts and which admitted its first 200 students this term. He wanted to focus on research into the new senior secondary structure, he said. Further questions should be answered by the supervisor, he said. School supervisor Ada Wong Ying-kay, a lawyer and chairman and founder of the Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture which sponsors the school, said Mr Hui had been appointed in January and was involved in its planning. He had indicated in August that he wanted to spend more time on research, she said. Ms Wong denied the school was leaderless - she was spending time in the school every day, assisted by the vice-principal and teachers. Students were this week surprised to learn that the principal was leaving. However, two female students said they did not think it mattered because the supervisor was there every day. The job, for an 'exploratory and innovative' principal who is 'knowledgeable in creative education', was advertised in last week's Classified Post. The senior secondary school admits Form Three leavers and runs Forms Four to Seven. Ms Wong said she had received applications from 'experienced and well-qualified' candidates but admitted it was difficult to find the right person. 'We want someone with an interest in creative arts, who has good networks with the arts community and who can develop a management system that responds to creative arts education. We want a facilitator rather than a dictator,' she said. Wong So-lan, a teaching fellow at the Department of Creative Arts and Physical Education at the HKIEd and former director of the Hong Kong Society of Education in Arts, said it would be difficult for the school to find a principal who understood and valued arts education because of the shortage of training for arts teachers in Hong Kong and the lack of appreciation of arts education among would-be leaders. 'Tertiary institutions aren't interested in offering courses in arts education because they don't think it's important,' she said. 'Principals in general tend to focus their energy on boosting academic results, which are quantifiable ... they pay only cursory attention to the arts.' Vicky Ooi, director of arts education company EduArts, said: 'It's a very good idea that such a school has been started but how it is actually run is the question.' Meanwhile, a teacher at the School of Creativity who asked not to be named, said staff remained upbeat: 'Our morale is high, and the school operates as usual.' He said he was not disappointed about the principal leaving. Another teacher said the role of the principal at the school differed from that in more traditional schools. 'Leadership is not focused on one person. The principal is not the only leader here. Teachers, the creative education committee and the supervisor are also active in policy-making,' he said. In promoting the arts the school would raise community awareness of values outside the mainstream, he said. Cheung Kwok-wah, a member of the school's council and assistant professor of education at the University of Hong Kong, said the departure of the principal was causing fewer problems than expected because the sponsoring body had spent several years preparing its programmes and activities. The direct subsidy scheme school is the brainchild of a group of prominent members of the arts community, including film-maker Sylvia Chiang, architect Rocco Yim and performing and visual artist Danny Yung. It received $25 million towards its construction from the Lee Shau Kee Foundation. Dr Lee's son, Martin Lee Ka-shing, is a member of its council. It is temporarily housed in a former government school and will move to a state-of-the-art campus in Kowloon, next summer.