Montessori considers secondary school

Founders say they may expand tuition once their new Stanley campus is up and running

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 April, 2013, 4:59am

The International Montessori School will consider offering secondary education in a few years, its founders said, as it prepares to expand to a campus in Stanley.

The school recently secured the Stanley site through a government allocation scheme. It has already moved four times in the past decade.

The new site of 4,730 square metres doubles the size of the school's current campus in Tin Hau and will be able to accommodate 700 primary students.

School founders Karin Ann and Anne Sawyer said they would start with 200 pupils at the Stanley campus in the new term beginning in September. The Tin Hau campus would continue to operate with 300 pupils.

They expected the expansion to be completed in three to five years, at which time they aimed to have 700 pupils in Stanley.

The school provides kindergarten and primary education at present, with most pupils going to other international schools for secondary tuition. Sawyer said they were sometimes asked by parents when they would open a secondary school. "Our answer was always 'Let's get a permanent site for the primary school secured first'. And we have that now, so we will be exploring what's next once we have Stanley up and going," she said.

Ann said the school was adding to its staff, with eight new teachers arriving in the next academic year from overseas and the mainland. She said they were targeting a staff of 100 in Stanley.

The school faced eviction from its Tin Hau campus on Temple Road last year because the Construction Association, its landlord, wanted to develop the site into a youth hostel. The lease for that campus is up next year, but the school wants to stay.

Sawyer said they were talking with the association about staying. Ann was optimistic, saying the Stanley site was "specifically for expansion". The association said it was still exploring options.

The Home Affairs Bureau said it had "clearly informed" those involved that the Tin Hau site would continue to be used as a school and it would not support a youth hostel on the site.