ESF parents warned

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 October, 2010, 12:00am

English Schools Foundation parents have been warned negotiations aimed at increasing government subsidies for their children's schooling might be jeopardised if they continued to voice complaints in the press.

In an e-mail sent to all parents, ESF chief executive Heather Du Quesnay said 'negative press and radio coverage' might affect upcoming talks on the organisation's funding.

'It will not help ESF's case if the Hong Kong community is encouraged to believe ESF money is not well spent,' she wrote. 'We need all those who are associated with the ESF, parents, teachers, support staff and community representatives on School Councils to support us, if we are to be successful in our discussions with government about the future funding of ESF.'

Ms Du Quesnay asked parents to contact her directly with their concerns, which she could take to the board, rather than going to the press at 'this delicate stage in the development of ESF's relationship with government'.

A further e-mail sent out on Friday invited parents to meetings explaining the overall structure of ESF's accounts and dealing with common questions.

Responding to the appeal to take complaints directly to her rather than to the press, Hans Ladegaard of the Concerned Parents Association, said: 'So many of us have tried during the past two to three years ... If parents write directly to her, she will decide what gets passed on to the board and what gets ignored.'