A veteran British educator will replace Heather Du Quesnay as chief executive of the English Schools Foundation (ESF).
Belinda Greer takes up the position on September 1, when Du Quesnay retires after eight years.
Greer, who has more than 30 years of experience in education, arrives at a testing time for the ESF as the government phases out its HK$284 million annual subsidy, leaving parents to foot rising bills. A document seen by the South China Morning Post indicates that from 2016 fees for new ESF pupils could be more than 20 per cent higher.
Greer spent 12 years as a school principal, six as an education inspector in Scotland, and the past few years as director of education services for an area of Scotland with 85 nurseries and schools.
"It is a great privilege to be entrusted by the ESF board with the leadership of ESF," she said. "I am looking forward to working with the whole ESF team, including school principals and with stakeholders, to deliver excellence for every learner in our ESF schools and to achieve the ESF priorities."
ESF chairman Carlson Tong Ka-shing chaired a selection panel set up in December. The selection process also involved many in the ESF community, including parents, teachers and principals.
"I am confident that Belinda will provide strong leadership for the ESF into the future," Tong said, commending her experience and leadership qualities.
The ESF is the largest provider of international education in Hong Kong, catering to about 17,000 pupils of more than 50 nationalities. But many parents have become disgruntled by rising fees in recent years, the latest being an average increase of 4.5 per cent announced in March.
Some accused Du Quesnay of not being willing to listen to their views. One parent said yesterday: "I hope that the new CEO will start listening to parents, unite them behind ESF's important topics of today, reopen current closed government doors and restart justified discussions in the area of affordable English-medium education."