FAQs : K1 and Year 1 Admissions Update

1. Why are we sending this information now?

We want to give ESF parents as much time as possible to consider options regarding kindergarten choices. At this time, this is especially important for parents who have children born in 2017 and who will be applying for K1 in September 2019. It is also important for parents of any children born in 2018 or 2019, since once the updates are implemented they will remain in place.

At the moment, this update has greater implications for families living in Kowloon and the New Territories. This is because ESF have 4 kindergartens that feed into primary schools in Kowloon and the New Territories and therefore a high percentage of the Year 1 places will be filled by ESF Kindergarten students. Therefore, the best way to ensure your child has a Year 1 place in an ESF school is to enrol them in an ESF Kindergarten.

2. Will ‘sibling priority’ be removed from the ESF admission processes for incoming students in Year 2 and upwards in August 2020?

Sibling priority will remain for all year groups, this has not changed for ESF general and central admissions.

Kindergarten students will no longer need a ‘priority’ because they will be considered as internal ESF students, in the same way that Year 6 students moving to Year 7 are considered.

3. How does this impact on the other priority groups?

ESF will continue to maintain an ordered list of other priority groups. From August 2022 the list will be as follows:

1. Corporate Nomination Rights Nominees;
2. The children of full-time teaching staff at ESF or ESF Educational Services Ltd;
3. The children of full-time support staff at ESF or ESF Educational Services Ltd;
4. The siblings of students already attending an ESF school;
5. Individual Nomination Rights Nominees;
6. The children of former students who have attended an ESF school for a minimum of three years or are former ESF students returning from a period overseas or siblings of former students who have attended for a minimum of three years and graduated from an ESF school in Year 13;
7. Children nominees from universities with collaboration agreements with ESF; and
8. Other applicants who can benefit from an English-medium education.

4. Does this update apply to Year 1 admissions immediately?

The update to the priority order, outlined in FAQ 3, does not apply immediately. It will apply to children entering Year 1 from August 2022. This may impact decisions regarding Kindergarten choices for children born in 2017, since these children will be applying for K1 in September 2019 and entering Year 1 in August 2022.

5. What does this mean for primary schools on Hong Kong Island?

The change will have little impact on the primary schools on Hong Kong Island as there is only 1 kindergarten providing less than 200 K2 graduates every year for 5 primary schools. This means that there will still be many Year 1 places that are not filled by ESF Kindergarten students and therefore open to siblings and other applicants.

6. What does this mean for primary schools on Kowloon side?

Due to the number of ESF Kindergartens in Kowloon and the New Territories, ESF suggests the best way to ensure your child has a Year 1 place in an ESF school is to apply for a K1 place from 1 September, 2019. Families who have children already in an ESF school, will still hold ‘sibling priority’, however the number of places in Year 1 available for non ESF Kindergarten students will be greatly reduced.

7. Discovery College, Tung Chung Kindergarten and Tsing Yi Kindergarten

For those families who are connected to – or who may be wishing to apply to Discovery College, there are factors that we will have to take into consideration when it comes to allocating places.

Discovery College is required by the Hong Kong Government to ensure that at least 70% of our students are HK Permanent Residents. This means that families who hold permanent residency may be considered before those without that status.

In addition, there are transport restrictions in place that limit the number of places that we can offer at Discovery College to students residing outside Discovery Bay. This includes families who have children enrolled at ESF Kindergartens, including Tung Chung and Tsing Yi.

We are committed to working with individual families to explain the implications and work through the various options that might be available in terms of accessing an ESF school.