Admissions of Children with Special Educational Needs

Admission and Review Process (ARP)

Once all documentation is received the SEN Admissions Administrator will work with schools/kindergartens and parents to schedule an ARP visit in order for ESF SEN specialists to consider the child’s level of SEN. Each ARP visit includes consideration of all documentation, observation of the child in class and discussion with the child’s teachers and parents.

A moderation panel is convened to discuss each child and make recommendations regarding the LOA, inline with the ESF Matrix. The moderation panel is made up of special educational needs advisers, educational psychologists, a school principal and SEN specialists from ESF schools.

The most common moderation panel recommendations are as follows:

  1. LOA 1 & 2: The child is recommended a mainstream placement with support. The child’s mainstream application progresses or the family must submit a mainstream application.
  2. LOA 3 & 4: The child is recommended a Learning Support (LS) placement. The child is placed on the LS waiting list for the recommended year group, in priority order.
  3. LOA 5 & 6: The child is recommended a placement at JCSRS. The child is placed on the JCSRS waiting list for the year group, in priority order.

Occasionally, the moderation panel may recommend that there is no suitable provision to meet the child’s needs within ESF.

Once the moderation panel has reached a recommendation for a child, this is the only level of provision that is available within ESF.

When a placement becomes available one of the following will happen:

  • If the ARP moderation panel recommendation is current within 18 months, the ESF SEN Administrator will contact you by telephone followed by written confirmation of the school provision being offered. The school will be informed at the same time and will contact you to set up an initial visit.
  • If the ARP moderation panel recommendation falls outside the 18 month period, you will be requested to provide up-to-date reports, following which a second observation may be undertaken and the information fed back to the moderation panel in order to confirm the continuing appropriateness of the placement recommendation.  If confirmed, the ESF SEN Administrator will contact you by telephone followed by written confirmation of the school provision being offered. The school will be informed at the same time and will contact you to set up an initial visit.

We are unable to offer guidance regarding the waiting times for vacancies to become available.

*School zones

For LS, ESF operates a simple zoning system, which is different from the system that operates for ESF primary and secondary schools. Discovery College and Renaissance College do not have LS provision. Applicants living in Kowloon and the New Territories are zoned for schools on Kowloon-side.  Applicants living on Hong Kong Island and the Outlying Islands are zoned for schools on Hong Kong Island.  Applications are pooled for each of the two zones.

Please note that, wherever possible, ESF will try to place children in their neighbourhood school and/or siblings in the same school; however, it is often not possible to do so.

Waiting lists

ESF can only provide for a prescribed number of places in our LS and in JCSRS. Given the limited provision for non-Chinese speaking children with special needs in Hong Kong, there is always a very long list of applicants wanting places in one of these provisions. We therefore operate a strict waiting list procedure, with limitations on the number of applicants for each year group.

Progression of SEN Application

Once your child reaches the top of the application list the SEN Admission Administrator will get in touch to discuss the requirements for the progression of the SEN application.

Application Requirements:

When we invite you to proceed with the SEN application, in order for it to be properly considered by the moderation panel, ESF requires the following essential documentation and evidence:

  1.     A current Educational Psychology report (current within 12 months);
  2.     A current speech and language therapy report, if your child is undergoing speech therapy;
  3.     A current occupational therapy report, if your child is undergoing occupational therapy;
  4.     A current physiotherapy report, if your child is undergoing physiotherapy;
  5.     Current school reports;
  6.     A current IEP, if your child has one

Once requested, a time window of two months is allowed for submission of the supporting documentation.  In the event the deadline for submission is not met, the application may be withdrawn.

Prioritising applications

Students applying for enrolment to ESF SEN provision are placed on a waiting list. Priority will be based on the following ranked criteria; students who require an English medium education and who (in order):

  1. Are the children of full-time teachers at ESF or ESF Educational Services Ltd;
  2. Are siblings of students already attending an ESF primary or secondary school, Private Independent School or Jockey Club Sarah Roe School;
  3. 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;
  4. Are children attending an ESF International Kindergarten* [Note: contingent upon the child studying in the kindergarten continuously until the end of term 3 prior to entry into primary school];
  5. Are other applicants who can require an English-medium education.

Note:-* Priority for interview is subject to having attended kindergarten for a minimum of two terms prior to the applicable January Year 1 interview period. Students recently arrived from overseas are exempt from the two terms requirement.

Application requirements

When we invite you to submit a full application, in order for it to be properly considered by the moderation panel, ESF requires the following essential assessment documentation and evidence:

  1. A current Educational Psychology report (current within 12 months);
  2. A current speech and language therapy report, if your child is undergoing speech therapy;
  3. A current occupational therapy report, if your child is undergoing occupational therapy;
  4. A current physiotherapy report, if your child is undergoing physiotherapy;
  5. Current school reports;
  6. A current IEP, if your child has one

Procedures following application

Upon acceptance of an application, the ESF SEN Administrator will arrange for the moderation panel to carry out an observation of your child in his/her current setting, using the ESF Levels of Adjustment Framework. The moderation panel will then consider the outcomes of the visit and review of assessment reports, to make recommendations as to whether your application will be placed on the waiting list for a LSC place or Jockey Club Sarah Roe School, according to level of priority.

Submission of an educational psychologist’s report is an essential requirement before the observation process can take place.  Once requested, a time window of two months is allowed for submission of the report.  In the event the deadline for submission is not met, the application will be withdrawn.

When a placement becomes available, pending waiting list and year group availability, one of the following will happen:

  • If paperwork associated with your application is current within 18 months, the ESF SEN Administrator will contact you by telephone followed by written confirmation of the school provision being offered and the start date.   The school will be informed at the same time and will contact you to set up an initial visit.
  • If paperwork associated with your application falls outside the 18 month period, you will be requested to provide up-to-date reports, following which a second observation may be undertaken and the information fed back to the moderation panel in order to confirm the continuing appropriateness of the placement recommendation.  If confirmed, the ESF SEN Administrator will contact you by telephone followed by written confirmation of the school provision being offered and the start date. The school will be informed at the same time and will contact you to set up an initial visit.

We are unable to offer guidance regarding the waiting times for vacancies to become available.

Application procedures for children born in 2015

Applications to ESF SEN Provision:

Applications for SEN provision within ESF follow a different application process. SEN applications are managed through ESF Centre, with an Admissions and Review Process (ARP) to assess students and make placement recommendations inline with the ESF Levels of Adjustment Framework. 

Application Procedures for Children born in 2015:

Applications must be made in September 2019, in line with the timing of the ESF Year 1 Central Application. Parents are required to complete an SEN application form online through the ESF Online Application System. For further details and the application form, click HERE.

Enquiries

Please address any SEN admission enquiries to the ESF SEN Administrator: Cindy Gazeau (cindy.gazeau@esfcentre.edu.hk)

 

School Fee

For details about school fees, please click HERE.

Updated on: 19 Aug 2019