Overview: Special Educational Needs

Types of provision


ESF offers three broad options for students with special educational needs, based upon identification using the ESF Levels of Adjustment (LOA) Framework.

  1. Mainstream placement with additional support (LOA 1 & 2)
  2. Learning Support (LOA 3 & 4)
  3. Jockey Club Sarah Roe School (LOA 5 & 6)


Mainstream class with possible support


Many students whose special educational needs require less extensive, class based teaching and learning adjustments are catered for within mainstream classes in all kindergartens and schools. These students are able to access the normal curriculum in these settings with some level of adjustment or support. In these settings students may be supported for limited amounts of time by specialist teachers or by educational assistants. Entry to this type of provision is through the normal school admissions process. If your child falls into this category you should approach the ESF kindergarten or school in your district and discuss your child’s enrolment with staff.


Learning Support

Students whose special educational needs require more extensive, daily teaching and learning adjustments are catered for within learning support (LS) within ESF primary schools and secondary schools. Rather than a separate class or unit, all students placed within LS are included within their mainstream class, with additional support from specialist SEN teachers and educational assistants. LS provides the option of some individual and small group learning, as well as participation with mainstream classes. Students in these settings benefit from daily, individualised adjustments to the normal school curriculum and may also utilise modified teaching and learning resources.

ESF does not provide therapy services, such as speech and language therapy, within LS, although some parents do engage private therapists to work in the school setting at the parents’ expense.

Entry to this type of special education provision is through a central process called the Admissions and Review Process, not through the local school. If this type of provision seems to suit your child’s needs then you should refer to the admissions section for students with SEN.

Please note that the Private Independent Schools (DC and RCHK) do not have Learning Support provision and only support students within LOA 1 & 2.

Jockey Club Sarah Roe School


Students whose special educational needs require the most extensive teaching and learning adjustments are catered for within the Jockey Club Sarah Roe School (JCSRS). Students in JCSRS are offered a highly individualised curriculum which aligns with learning experiences in other ESF schools.

The school is a modern purpose built special school situated adjacent to the campuses of King George V School and Kowloon Junior School in Homantin. The school has 70 places for students aged 5 – 19 and a teacher student ratio of 1:8. The school also has a range of therapy services including speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy which it provides to students enrolled within the school. The school Parent Teacher Association operates a bus service which covers much of Hong Kong. Entry to JCSRS is through the Admissions and Review Panel (ARP). If this type of provision seems to suit your child’s needs then you should refer to the admissions section for students with SEN.

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 2017:

Applications must be made in September 2021, 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.

All SEN applications received during the September period will be given a computer generated random number.  The random number, along with any admission priorities, will determine the final ordering of the application list. Online SEN applications received after 30 September will be added to the list according to date of receipt and will be considered as No.5 in terms of prioritising applications (refer to section on prioritising applications).

Some students may apply through both the mainstream admissions process and the SEN admissions process. If parents and/or school are unsure whether a child will require an SEN place or not, it is recommended that they submit both a mainstream and an SEN application.

Application Procedures for other year groups:

The waiting lists for placements in LS and JCSRS are lengthy and therefore applications for certain year groups are closed. If you wish to make an SEN application please contact the SEN Admissions Administrator with information regarding your child’s age and the provision that you would like to apply for. If applications for the year group and provision are open, you will be provided with a link to the online application form.

ESF are not currently accepting applications for JCSRS for children born in 2010 or earlier, unless the child has ESF sibling priority.

ESF Admission Administrator:

Cindy Gazeau – cindy.gazeau@esfcentre.edu.hk