Can I apply to more than one school for a Primary One discretionary place for my son? How do schools decide whether to offer children places or not?
Linda Cheng, from the Education and Manpower Bureau, responds:
Parents can only apply to one government or aided school during the stage of discretionary places admission. The school the parents choose may be in or outside the school net in which they reside but we strongly advise parents to select a neighbourhood primary school to reduce unnecessary transportation problems. Applications for discretionary places will be void if more than one application is submitted.
For a discretionary place, applicants will not be required to take written tests or to undergo an interview. The application falls into one of two categories; the child will automatically be admitted if they have a sibling studying at the school or if a parent works there; otherwise, they will be admitted according to the EMB's points system.
About 30 per cent of the discretionary places will go to applicants with siblings or parents in the school, and if these applications are less than 30 per cent of a school's Primary One places, the remaining places will be allocated by the school according to the points system. Each primary school has to allocate at least 20 per cent of its Primary One places to applicants according to the system.
Parents working full time in the kindergarten or the secondary section of the school get 20 points, as do siblings studying in the secondary section. Parents who are school managers of the primary school also earn 20 points. Applicants with parents or siblings who have graduated from the primary school get 10 points.
The first-born child in the family, irrespective of sex, gets five points.
Applicants with the same religious affiliation as the sponsoring body that operates the school also get five points. Most of these schools require proof the child belongs to a certain religious affiliation, usually a baptism certificate. Applicants with parents in the organisation sponsoring the school earn five points and applicants between five years and eight months and seven years old get 10 points. Application forms must be submitted direct to the school between September 26 and 30. Results will be posted in schools on November 21.
For more information, please visit the EMB's website, www.emb.gov.hk , or contact the School Places Allocation Section of the Education and Manpower Bureau at 2832 7700 or 2832 7740.