Prof Felice Lieh Mak to step down from Chair of English Schools Foundation

Professor Felice Lieh Mak has announced her resignation from the chair of the English Schools Foundation with effect from the end of March 2011.  She said that she had made the decision for professional and personal reasons including the pending arrival of her first grandchild.  Professor Mak has extensive commitments as the Chairman of Hong Kong’s Medical Council and as a private medical practitioner.

Professor Mak has held the chair at ESF since early in 2004 when it was widely recognised that the organisation was in crisis.  Under her resolute and clear-sighted leadership, ESF has implemented a major reform programme in governance and management.  Among her major achievements was the piloting of a bill through Legco to replace the out-dated and cumbersome Foundation with a Board of Governors, composed of elected parents, independent members, School Council Chairmen and a small number of staff.  Education and management reforms have included the introduction of the IB Diploma, bringing teachers’ pay and benefits into line with the international market, the review and restructuring of the ESF headquarters operation and the upgrading of training opportunities for teachers.

Professor Mak believes the timing of her decision will give ESF maximum opportunity to find a new Chairman before the end of the first term of office for Board and committee members (in the autumn of 2011). ‘People will feel more confident about renewing their commitment to ESF if they know who the long-term Chairman is going to be,’ she said.

Professor Mak added, ‘I have served as Chairman for close to seven years and I have found the challenges invigorating.  I am grateful for the support I have received from all sectors of the ESF community.  But seven years is a long time and now I would like to spend more time with my family’. 

The Board has established a Search Committee to look for a successor.