This article seeks to compare and analyze school-level challenges for school leaders and their responses to Syrian refugee education in Turkey, Lebanon, and Germany, drawing on the post-migration ecology framework developed and sensemaking processes in leadership. We utilized a comparative qualitative design within the realm of qualitative research. Findings revealed that the challenges are similar across the three contexts and are categorized into three domains: structural, psychological, and socio-pedagogical. School leaders’ strategies in addressing these challenges fell into three different groups as ethics of care, principal agency, and sense making. In their strategies, all school principals are driven by ethics of care and act from a humanitarian stance, and they try to provide a better future for the Syrian students as well as the host country’s students. However, the German education system provides greater autonomy to the school leaders in their implementations. In the Turkish and Lebanese cases, school leaders rely more on their discretion and personal values in their attempts, yet their authority is legally limited in taking further action. Further conclusions and implications are discussed.

DOI: 10.1080/15700763.2020.1833044
ISSN: 1570-0763