Application Procedures for Primary & Secondary

Applications for entry to any ESF primary, secondary or all-through schools are made through the Online Admission System (OAS).

Year 1 and Year 7 Central Applications are made from 1 to 30 September of the year before the student enters school.

General Applications for all year groups can be made throughout the whole year.

Click here if you are applying for an ESF kindergarten.

How to Select Your School

Parents should submit only one form per child with their selected preference of schools. Zoning applies for ESF primary and secondary schools but NOT for Discovery College (DC) and Renaissance College (RCHK).

Parents may choose up to four schools:

  • ESF school of zone
  • Discovery College (DC) and/or
  • Renaissance College (RCHK)
  • ESF out-of-zone school

If a parent chooses the ESF school of zone as a selected school, there will be a additional option available for parents to select an alternative ESF out-of-zone school. If there is an opportunity to interview, this additional option may be considered if the three preferences of schools are not available; however, parents will be responsible for arranging transport to the out-of-zone school, as a school bus service will not be provided.

Each application is valid for one academic year. Parents will be contacted by email before April each year for “re-application” with no additional fee. See more details below.

How to Determine Your Year Group

Students are placed in year groups according to their date of birth (1 January – 31 December).  Students usually start Year 1 during the calendar year in which they turn five. Students are not admitted early. Occasionally, a student whose birthday falls late in the year, and would benefit from a delayed start may be advised by the school to delay admission to the following year. 

The entry year group submitted by parents on the application form may be adjusted by ESF to ensure the student’s date of birth matches the school’s age requirements.

Year of Birth to Year Level Placement:

Year 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23
1 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
2 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
3 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
4 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
5 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
6 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
7 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
8 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
9 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
10 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
11 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
12 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
13 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

Applications and Waiting Lists

For Central Application (Year 1 and Year 7), all applications received within the ‘Central Application Period’ (1 September to 30 September) will receive a computer generated random number. Applications will be ranked by priority category and assigned a random number for central processing. The interview list for each school is compiled, taking into account the priority criteria, the parent’s preferences, placement availability and requirements in line with the Education Bureau. Transport restrictions into Discovery Bay will also be taken to account for DC processing. Applicants who are not able to gain a first-round interview are waitlisted for their first preference school.

Year 1 and Year 7 applications received after 30 September will be placed on a waiting list in date order of receipt.

For all other General Applications received during the year, these are processed by application date order and added to the waiting list according to the first preference school and priority criteria.

Interview and Acceptance of School Place

Applicants will be invited for interview and assessment when vacancies become available. Parents will be invited to meet with school staff to provide further information on their child and have the opportunity to ask any questions. The meeting serves to support the transition process for those children offered places.

Following a successful admissions interview and assessment, a place will be offered subject to availability.

Acceptance of an offer must be confirmed by payment of a deposit and a capital levy within the time frame specified which is generally a period of 7 to 14 days. Click here for fees information.

Acceptance of an offer brings with it a commitment of two academic years to the offering school before any transfer request may be made, regardless of the residential address.

Admission to Year 12

Applications for Year 12 entry to the IB Diploma Programme (DP) is based on a student meeting one of the following requirements:

  • Achievement, or a prediction, of 5 Grade C’s or above in IGCSE examinations or successful completion of the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)
  • An equivalent national qualification to the MYP or IGCSEs
  • Students who have not completed any of the above will still be considered on a case-by-case basis

Entry to the IB Career-related Programme (CP) is based on a student showing interest and ability in the area they wish to pursue for their career-related study. A general level of educational ability, which will allow the student to be successful in their IB courses and the CP core, is also required.

Students who do not meet the above requirements may still be considered for IB Courses or alternative pathways.

Interview-free Process for Current ESF Kindergarten Graduates

For current ESF kindergarten graduates (who are eligible for the kindergarten priority), formal interview is exempted when they apply for a Year 1 place at an ESF school. Instead, the assessment process will take place on site at their respective ESF kindergartens. Assessment information from their kindergartens will support the process.

Starting from 2022/23, a K-13 all-through system will be in place. ESF kindergarten children joining K1 from August 2020 and are deemed to be able to access a mainstream, English medium curriculum, will be guaranteed a Year 1 place at an ESF school.

Students identified with additional learning needs may be recommended to apply though the SEN Admissions and Review process.

If School Place is Not Available

If a student meets the entry requirements for the school and there are no immediate places available, the student will remain on the age-appropriate waiting list according to his/her priority status and, in the case of Central Admission applicants, the random number he/she was assigned.

In the event a place becomes available within 6 months of the initial successful assessment, no further assessment will be required. If an offer is made for an alternative school, no re-interview and re-assessment is required.

If the application expires after one academic year, applicants on waiting list at the end of the academic year may carry forward their waitlist position by reapplying for the following academic year. Waitlist applicants will be contacted by email before April each year for re-application. No additional fee is required.

Re-application

Re-application is required when:

  • an offer for an interview and assessment has been declined;
  • an offer of a place has been declined;
  • a student has not met the entry requirements at interview and assessment. A new application may be submitted 6 months following the date of the last interview/assessment; and
  • the one academic year validity period of the application has expired. 

Transferring from ESF Primary to Secondary

ESF primary students are guaranteed a secondary place at an ESF school when transferring to Year 7 based on conditions specified.

If the student is attending one of the all-through schools – Discovery College or Renaissance College, the Year 7 place is guaranteed for their respective secondary school phase. Click here to see the key dates for transfer.

Fees

Click here for information on fees.

About EDB Requirements

ESF primary and secondary schools

In line with the Hong Kong Education Bureau requirements, ESF primary and secondary schools shall admit students in accordance with the prevailing admission policy, including the overarching requirements to admit non-local students (those having foreign passports, excluding BNO) to no less than 70% of the overall student population of all schools operated by ESF.

ESF all-through Private Independent Schools (PIS)

Our two Private Independent Schools, Discovery College (DC) and Renaissance College (RCHK), provide an all-through education for primary and secondary students in their respective campuses.

In line with the Government’s requirements for all Private Independent Schools (PIS), when the schools are at full capacity, at least 70% of the total students enrolled must have Hong Kong permanent resident status.

Immigration Status

An offer of a place cannot be made to a child who is not a resident of Hong Kong, unless the child is permitted by the Director of Immigration to reside in Hong Kong. If a child, whose travel document/passport bears the endorsement “Visitor” over the immigration stamp and would like to attend a school in Hong Kong, clearance must be obtained from the Director of Immigration. If clearance is obtained, ESF primary schools may accept students for Year 1 to 3 for the academic year 2018/19 under the non-subvention fee (see school fees). Parents of non-local children are advised to seek the approval of the Director of Immigration (www.immd.gov.hk) for entry to Hong Kong of the child in question, for the purpose of study.

APPLY NOW

Click here to go to the ESF Online Application System

Admissions Enquiries

Questions? Feel free to see the list of frequently asked questions here.

Or, contact us at:

Updated on: 8 March 2019