An applicant’s priority status may change, for example, through making a Nomination Rights application or as a result of a sibling gaining entry to an ESF school. In such cases, the applicant will be placed onto the waiting list in their newly acquired priority group according to the date the priority change occurred.
Click here to see the frequently asked questions on the Online Admissions System (OAS).
Parents may submit an online application for admission for the current academic year and next academic year. There are waiting lists at each of our schools and the offer of a place is dependent on vacancy being available.
Central Applications for 2015-16 Year 1 (born in 2010) and Year 7 (born in 2004) will be open from 1 to 30 September 2014. For parents who wish to apply, please click Year 1 or Year 7 for the latest application information available from July 2014.
Those who have missed the central application period or who are applying for years other than Year 1 and Year 7 need to apply through general applications.
You may submit an application to an ESF school and to one or both of ESF’s Private Independent Schools at the same time. For statistical purposes parents are asked to indicate schools applied to by ticking the appropriate box(es) on the online application form.
Applicants to ESF International Kindergartens should refer to the website: ESF International Kindergartens for further information on admissions procedures.
ESF schools are not selective: admission is through interview/assessment and depends above all on the student's ability to benefit from an ESF education. Moreover, school places are offered according to zone (geographic location of the students’ address). Please click here to see further details on ESF’s Admissions Policy.
For ESF’s two Private Independent Schools (PIS), Renaissance College Hong Kong (RCHK) and Discovery College (DC), the Admissions Policy has to be in line with the Hong Kong Government's requirements for all Private Independent Schools (PIS):
- RCHK and DC have no catchment area. Any student residing in Hong Kong can apply to attend.
- When the Colleges are at full capacity, at least 70% of the total students enrolled must have at least one parent who has Hong Kong permanent resident status.
For General Applications, parents may submit an online general application for admission for the current academic year and next academic year. There are waiting lists at each of our schools and the offer of a place is dependent on vacancy being available.
Yes, the waiting lists for ESF schools are long. As of June 2014, there were about 3,000 on the waiting list for ESF primary and secondary schools.
Applicants on the current waitlist will be sent a system email in March or April inviting them to reapply. (No reapplication fee is required.) If no reapplication is received, the application will be considered withdrawn.
INR applications may be made at any time. Exceptionally, INR applications for Year 1 and Year 7 entry in August 2015, can only be made on or after 3 September 2014. Applications should be submitted to ESF Centre, 25/F, 1063 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong. All Nomination Rights applications will be handled by the ESF Centre.
INR applications are processed according to the date and time when the application form, together with the deposit of HK$50,000, is received at the ESF Centre.
INR nominees are the third priority after teachers’ children and siblings of ESF students.
No. The nominee has to be a named individual on the application form. The INR holder must be a parent of the nominee. However, a company can apply for a Corporate Nomination Right (click here for details).
In any academic year, the number of places offered to INR applicants will be limited to 150 across all ESF schools from Year 1 to 13.
The HK$50,000 deposit is refundable only if the child fails the admissions assessment.
If the child passes the assessment, the HK$450,000 must be paid when the place is accepted.
No, the HK$500,000 is for a named individual and is non-transferable and non-refundable once paid for a confirmed place.
Placement is subject to success at interview/assessment and place availability. Priority is accorded to waitlist placement and consequent timing of consideration for interview/assessment.
Yes, placement is subject to availability at the school and a commitment to remain at the school for a defined period. INR applicants may indicate up to three schools in order of preference at which the Nominee can be considered. Waitlist placement will be considered for each school listed in turn. Nominees must be prepared to attend any of the schools indicated. Transfer is possible after a period of time, but it is applicable only if the family resides in the school zone. Nominees must undertake to make their own travel arrangements if living outside the area covered by the school bus service.
As all other applicants, the INR Nominees will go through the standard interview assessment procedures. Overseas families will be assessed when they are in Hong Kong.
No, both Discovery College and Renaissance College have their own schemes. There is no INR scheme for the four ESF International Kindergartens.
No. The INR scheme is not applicable to applicants with Special Educational Needs. There are separate admissions procedures for children applying for Learning Support Centres and Jockey Club Sarah Roe School. Please see the details at: http://www.esf.edu.hk/SEN/Admissions
After confirmation of a school place, INR applicants will have to pay the INR balance of HK$450,000, the admissions deposit and the non-refundable capital levy of HK$38,000 (for Year 1) and will be reduced, on a sliding scale, for students who join the system in later years. Please see: http://www.esf.edu.hk/our-schools/admissions-criteria/school-fees for details of the payments required.
Maintaining and sustaining education standards has always been the highest priority at ESF. It is vital that the pay level must be able to attract and retain quality staff. Before deciding on whether a pay rise is necessary, ESF has carried out a comprehensive analysis of the economic environment related to fees and pay in Hong Kong, and compared staff benefits of comparator schools. Data was drawn from the HK Government and other authoritative organisations such as Towers Watson, Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management, Mercers, the Employers Federation of Hong Kong and a network of five main comparator international schools in Hong Kong.
Provision time of Chinese lessons varies among schools. On average 2 to 2.5 hours of Chinese is taught to Year 7 to 9 and 2 hours for Year 10 to 11. There is a plan to adjust provision time at Key Stage 3 and 4 but it will not be a substantial increase. In Years 12 to13, the requirements from International Baccalaureate are followed.
Students completing Chinese A1 or A2 in IB will reach full local employability in terms of language skills. In the Language B categories, those in the Higher Level will be able to carry out basic, authentic tasks in daily communication. Candidates in the Standard Level will be able to use Chinese in controlled situations. All these are based on average achievement (4-5 points in the final examination).
ESF is not a bilingual educator, but when our daily Chinese programme has completed a full cycle, we expect it to be one of the strongest among international schools in our region.
ESF does not teach Cantonese as a major part of its Chinese curriculum. However, experimental classes and extra-curricular activities in Cantonese are supported and students are allowed to use Cantonese in class when appropriate. Our strong effort to develop literacy in Pathway 2 and 3 greatly facilitates mother tongue maintenance for Cantonese speakers.
In the 2012-13 academic year, the 12,993 students in ESF schools and the 4,496 in the Private Independent Schools and the kindergartens include over 50 different nationalities. Almost 70% of our students have parents who are permanent residents of Hong Kong.
Just over one quarter (26.1%) of students held a British passport, 20.4% held a Hong Kong or Chinese passport and a further 9.7% held a passport from another East Asian country.
31.8% of PI School students held a Hong Kong passport, 17.2% held a British passport and 8.1% held a Chinese passport.
23.6% of kindergarten students held a Hong Kong passport, 21.7% held a British passport, 11.6% held an Australian passport and 9.6% held a Canadian passport.
Of the 12,993 students in ESF Schools, 8,731 (67.2%) were permanent residents of Hong Kong. Of the 3,288 students in the PI Schools, 2,467 (75%) were permanent residents of Hong Kong.
The largest ethnic group was Chinese (44%) followed by Caucasian (20%) and Eurasian (12.0%). Information about the ethnicity of the PIS and Kindergarten students was not available.
Yes, ESF Centre conducts tender exercises on behalf of the 15 ESF schools for commodities that are commonly used in schools, so that more favorable deals can be negotiated. Currently, we have established over 20 bulk purchase contracts including the supply of stationery items, toners and ink cartridges, photocopying paper, computers, laptops, LCD monitors, printers, projectors, hygienic products, travel services, etc. ESF has Procurement Procedures which the whole organisation, including ESF Centre and the schools, has to follow. The procedures are developed with reference to Education Bureau (EDB)’s and Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)’s guidelines. Openness, fairness, transparency and value for money are the important considerations in any tender exercise.
NCL is introduced to replace the existing Refundable Capital Levy (RCL) to build up sufficient capital funding stream for continuous renovation and replacement of school buildings and facilities.
Parents of students who are enrolling into ESF schools from August 2015 (i.e. school year 2015/16) will be required to pay NCL, alongside with admission deposit, when they accept an offer of a school place. NCL will replace RCL from 2015/16 onwards.
No, the child will not be required to pay NCL as the scheme is yet to be effective in November 2014 (midway of the school year 2014/15). NCL will apply to all new students from August 2015 (school year 2015/16) onwards. However, the student will be required to pay RCL as the RCL scheme is still applicable in November 2014.
NCL will be charged in full, as per the sliding scale table, for the first two children of a family. For the third and subsequent children of a family, parents will only be required to pay 40% of the sliding scale provided that the first two children of the family have already paid full NCL and they are still in ESF schools when their sibling enrols.
If a family has more than two children enrolling in ESF schools within the same school year, the concession will apply to the third and subsequent children attending the highest year group.
No. The child has to pay NCL in full. NCL and RCL are two separate schemes and their concession rules operate independently to each other. Sibling concession on RCL is not applicable in this case.
All students who have RCL on account are not required to pay NCL. When a student in primary school reaches Year 7, the student will not be required to pay NCL as long as RCL is still on account.
No. NCL is a one-off levy.
Yes. Students studying in PIS or ESF kindergartens are required to pay NCL if they join ESF schools from 2015/16 onwards.
No. Internal transfer within ESF schools will not require additional NCL.
All existing students of ESF are covered under the RCL scheme. Students in ESF primary schools should have already paid RCL except for the Year 4 and Year 5 students in 2013/14. RCL for these two groups of students, if not paid already, are due when they reach Year 7 in 2015/16 and 2016/17 respectively. They are required to pay RCL instead of NCL.
No. NCL is non-refundable.
Yes, all students will have to pay NCL on enrolment. As NCL is a one-off levy, once it is paid, the student will be exempted for the rest of his time with ESF schools. Parents have to indicate this information in the enrolment form upon re-enrolment for verification. Once the information is verified, ESF will arrange a refund within 3 months after the commencing of school. This arrangement is also applicable to the leavers who have paid NCL before and re-enrol in ESF schools again.
Yes. The student has already left ESF system and never paid NCL before. You will be required to pay NCL when he re-enrols in the system.
For new students newly-enrolled in ESF schools, advance fees are already paid by means of admission deposit. They will not be required to pay advance fees. For the rest of the students without RCL on account, they will be required to pay advance fees, regardless of NCL is paid or not.
ESF Financial Assistance Scheme is the scheme for eligible students who are already in ESF system. NCL is the levy charged to new students only. Financial assistance on NCL is not applicable.
No. When calculating the levy for each child, we will only count children currently in the system. The refundable levy in this case would still be HK$25,000.
ESF has a financial hardship scheme that has fee remission for families who experience a sudden change in their material circumstances. There is however, no hardship scheme available for the RCL. Further information on the scheme can be found here.
The levy will apply to all students equally, with the exception of ESF teachers, who will pay a levy of $HK5,000 for each child to whom the levy applies, regardless of the total number of children in the family attending ESF schools.
Yes, they would normally be expected to pay the levy if they are joining ESF before the beginning of 2015/16 academic year (after August 2015).
No, this is a one-off levy, normally paid in either Year 1 or 7.
The levy will be repaid at the end of the student’s final academic year, net of any outstanding fees.
ESF is putting a lot more effort into raising funds through its schools’ various alumni associations. However, they are likely to be only a small part of the solution given the large infrastructure requirements.
This would be a one-off measure which would leave us with few options for the future. However, we do intend to use part of this portfolio as collateral for loans to help realise these projects.
All ESF students currently enjoy facilities that were paid for by previous generations of parents. It is important to remember that the levy is refundable and we hope, therefore, that it gives parents a relatively manageable way to contribute to the sustainability of ESF education for future students.
As the levy is reimbursable, it is not tax-deductible. As ESF is a registered charity, any gifts made to it are tax-deductible. Parents have the option of making the levy a donation instead of having it refunded.
An employer can pay the levy in the same way that they can pay fees.
No. The aim of the levy scheme is that ESF can make use of the interest generated to contribute towards the cost of capital projects.
All ESF major building projects will be presented in detail to the Board of Governors for scrutiny and endorsement prior to awarding contracts and commencing construction works.
The RCL fund will be collected over a period of 6-7 years, during which there will be a requirement to spend funds on the KJS and KGV projects. Contributions to the fund that are not spent on the KJS or KGV projects will be managed internally and overseen by the Finance Committee, which is made up of ESF Board Members and independent appointees.
When the refundable capital levy is paid, an official receipt will be issued, parents are required to re-present the official receipt when they apply for the repayment. The repayment will be made 30 days after the official receipt is submitted. Procedures to provide refunds where receipts have been lost will also be put in place.
You will be asked to make payment of RCL at the same time as making the deposit payment to secure your child’s place.
RCL is still applicable to all new students entering ESF primary and secondary schools in the 2014/15 school year. NCL will replace RCL from the 2015/16 school year onwards.
For existing ESF students studying in Years 5 and 6 in the 2014/15 school year who have not paid RCL before, they are still covered by RCL scheme and required to pay RCL when they reach Year 7 in the 2015/16 school year and 2016/17 school year respectively.
There is a performance management scheme in place for all ESF staff, including teachers. The performance management of teachers is the responsibility of the Principal and the Leadership Team of the school.
Research has been conducted to compare teachers’ salaries with the five comparator schools in Hong Kong at the end of 2010. These are our major competitors in attracting staff from overseas. Due to limited resources, the research has not covered other cities in Asia. The findings show that teachers’ pay increases in 2011-12 will be in the range 3.0% to 3.5% for the five comparator schools in Hong Kong. Evidence indicates that ESF remains competitive in attracting teachers when compared with the UK and New Zealand, but not anymore for Australia and Canada due to the appreciation of the Australian and Canadian Dollar. In the past three years recruitment from Australia has decreased from 22-24% of teachers to 16-17% to less than 8% last year. We are expecting further erosion in the current recruitment round. No teachers were recruited from Canada for the academic year 2010-11 also because of the excellent pension scheme and benefits Canadian teachers are enjoying in their home country.
ESF has a well-established policy of allowing staff to work beyond 60 subject to approval. In the policy, application for extension of contract beyond age of 60 can be made to the School Council upon recommendation of the Principal (or to the Chief Executive Officer for staff at ESF Centre). Contract renewals can be made up to the year in which an individual becomes 65.
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Scenery near Guilin
Supermarkets stock Marmite and Vegemite; Tim Tams and Branston Pickle. Imported fresh fruit and vegetables are often Australian and a range of Waitrose products from the UK are stocked by a local supermarket chain.
The theme park opened in September 2005 and despite being smaller than other Disney resorts, offers an enjoyable day out. Rival attraction, Ocean Park has grabbed some of Disneyland’s limelight recently; especially since the arrival of another two giant pandas from China, bringing the total to four.
ESF supports Staff Members in their study for and attaining further relevant professional qualifications to enable them to perform current or future jobs successfully. Staff Members attending professional development courses may need to sit examinations to attain professional qualifications. This Policy outlines the eligibility of Staff Members to Examination Leave and explains the procedures to be followed in applying for such leave.
Living in the centre of one of the world’s most frenetic cities appeals to many ESF teachers. City apartments are never far from restaurants, bars and shops but are inevitably more expensive than less-conveniently located accommodation. The Outlying Islands and New Territories appeal to families and those for whom space, and even a garden is a priority. Rental rates are cheaper but remember to factor in ferry costs and the extra commuting time.
Beach on Lantau Island
The government subvention will only be spent on ESF schools and will not be spent on ESL. This can be achieved since the accounts of ESF and ESL are completely separate.
Yes. ESF publishes its financial reports and annual reports every year. Published reports can be downloaded from the website: http://www.esf.edu.hk/about-esf/accounts-and-annual-report .
The Board and ESF management are committed to find cost savings and efficiencies across the organisation in order to minimise the impact on school fees, for example, through energy saving, sourcing of lower-cost vendors, minimising expenditure whenever possible, etc.
Yes. ESF’s Facilities Department has a database of all the buildings and assesses the redevelopment needs. All major redevelopment project proposals have to go through the Major Projects Committee and will be scrutinised by the Board. The Major Projects Committee is responsible for overseeing all the contracts and cost management.
The project costs are assessed by a team of professional staff and vetted by an independent quantity surveyor to ensure that individual buildings and safety standards are met. The overall project costs are then further reviewed by a Major Building Projects Committee of the ESF Board and ultimately by the ESF Board of Governors.
According to the Development and Operating Agreement (DOA) between ESF and ESL, it was agreed that the funds ESF put into the construction of the two schools and the subsequent annual capital replenishment have to be repaid within 20 years, including a 3-month HIBOR+1% return. (Note: HIBOR is the short form for Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rates.)
ESF does not own ESL (the latter is a company limited by guarantee); however, ESF has management control over ESL to ensure that there is a healthy development of ESL. The current arrangement was reviewed and approved by the ESF Board of Governors.
The relationship between ESF and ESL is described in the ESL Operating Framework.
The income arising from ESL’s classes goes to ESL, which generates income to develop its service and building up its reserves. ESL pays the individual schools rent for use of the premises. It is the individual school’s decision to rent out the facilities to outside parties and the school keeps the rental income.
ESF and ESL employ their own staff force. ESF charges ESL a service fee for supporting ESL in management and administrative matters.
ESF charges ESL an annual administrative fee which is equivalent to the time cost of staff spent on ESL matters.
The current Directors of the ESL Board are Belinda Greer (Chief Executive Officer), Vivian Cheung (Chief Financial Officer) and Charles Caldwell (Director of Human Resources). The Members of the ESL Board consist of four ESF Board Members and two members from the Committee of School Council Chairmen. The Members from the ESF Board of Governors are appointed by the Board. Neither Directors nor Members are paid for their services for ESL.