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  • Sep 15, 2014
  • Updated: 3:39pm

English Schools Foundation

The English Schools Foundation (ESF) operates five secondary schools, nine primary schools and a school for students with special educational needs across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. It is the largest international educational foundation in Asia. 

NewsHong Kong

Parents fear ESF will pay high price for loss of subsidy

Rise in fees could price out best students and lower standards while expats may avoid city

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 4:12am

Withdrawal of the government subsidy from the English Schools Foundation could force some expatriate families out of Hong Kong and affect the calibre of students the ESF attracts, parents of current pupils said yesterday.

They expressed their concerns to foundation representatives at a closed-door meeting, even though their children will not be directly affected.

The long-frozen HK$283 million annual subsidy will be withdrawn for new students in 2016 and is expected to lead to a 23 per cent rise in fees. The subsidy will apply to present students throughout their education, which can last up to 13 years, from primary until graduation from secondary school.

"New students will have fewer choices," said a Mr Yau, whose child in an ESF kindergarten will be one of the last to benefit.

Cassie Jullienne, who has three children studying at ESF primary school Bradbury, said the rising fees would make it hard for expatriate families without high-paying jobs. She added: "It's a shame. Some won't be able to relocate [to Hong Kong], and some might have to relocate back to their home countries."

More than 30 parents turned up at Beacon Hill School to hear ESF representatives, including chief executive Heather Du Quesnay, explain the deal.

Yau expressed concern about the development of the schools.

"They may lose good-quality students [because their families cannot afford the fees]," he said, "which might in turn affect the standard of the schools, alumni networks and connections."

The foundation, with 20 schools and kindergartens, announced last week it had accepted the proposal in principle. It will make a final decision after hearing parents' views.

Jullienne said that if Hong Kong wanted to maintain its status as a global city, the government would have to consider supporting families who needed English-medium schools.



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This article is now closed to comments

all children born in Hong Kong or with a permanent ID card shouild receive the same level of subvention-
it seems the minister is guided by 'hate ESF' zealots within the Bureau who have been there since year zero and who refuse to let go of the chip on shoulder attitude
This city is indeed now just another city of China
The EDB should check out the information on InvestHK website and get them to amend it to the truth 'yes you can come here and live in Stanley and there is this convenmient school for you in Tuen Mun'
These EDB policy fools could not survive out of their Government platinum ricebowl 5 day a week indecisive meddling
17000 kids at ESF , add the parents and have a protest march in the streets
That should get China and the World's attention to the blatant unfairness of the EDB actions


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