ESF - 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. 

ESF explores cost-cutting, profit-making measures to cope with loss of government subsidy

Belinda Greer

The English Schools Foundation is looking into ways to cut costs and generate more income to cope with the loss of its government subsidy from 2016, its chief executive officer says.

Tuesday, 28 April, 2015, 5:44pm

Discovery College sizes up new ESF chief as school fees rise - again

A sewing lesson at Discovery College, where parents kept tuition fees from rising. That changes next month. Photo: Dr Wesley Fryer

Three months into the new school year, parents at Discovery College on Lantau are still paying fees at last year's levels, having blocked a 7.6 per cent rise. That changes next month with the government approving the increase from December, although questions remain over the finances of the independent school operated by the English Schools Foundation.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:44pm

ESF's new chief executive Belinda Greer looks to boost efficiency

Belinda Greer. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

When the Education Bureau announced in June that subsidies to the English Schools Foundation would be phased out from 2016, it seemed inevitable that the ESF would turn into a network of international schools – with the attendant high tuition charges.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:44pm

New ESF chief Belinda Greer vows to watch the pennies

New ESF chief Belinda Greer says the foundation must operate more efficiently as government funding is phased out. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

The expenses of the English Schools Foundation warrant closer scrutiny so fees can be kept down as government subsidies are whittled away over the next 13 years, the body's new chief executive says.

To that end, the ESF may stop recruiting replacements for some departing staff members, Belinda Greer said yesterday at her first meeting with the media since she took over last month.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:44pm 1 comment

I’ll emigrate when there’s no more freedom of speech in Hong Kong, says ESF ace pupil

These English Schools Foundation students earned A* grades in every subject they sat in the General Certificate of Secondary Education exams. They are (clockwise from left) Justin Cheng, Mingyu Yang, Daniel Monteiro, Narumi Wong and Michelle Shen. But there's still room to be disillusioned with life in Hong Kong, according to Justin. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

After a stellar performance in the British and international secondary exams, Justin Cheng Yan-yiu, 16, should be looking forward to a good career and life in his home city. But the English Schools Foundation pupil, who scored eight straight A*s in the General Certificate of Secondary Education and its international equivalent, says he is so disillusioned with Hong Kong's divided society that he might consider emigrating.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:44pm 12 comments

Overpricing English-medium schools could hurt Hong Kong's future, say critics

The ESF board last month quietly accepted the loss of the government subsidy.

As his two daughters enjoy their summer holiday, architect Marcin Klocek has school on his mind. The prospect of soaring fees at international schools has left him contemplating sending his children back to his native Poland for their education.

28 Jul 2013 - 5:56pm 44 comments

Legco on ESF subsidy: why didn't you ask us?

Carlson Tong Ka-shing, chairman of the English Schools Foundation. Photo: Felix Wong

Lawmakers expressed sadness yesterday over the government's "short-sighted and immoral" decision to end its subsidy to the English Schools Foundation.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:44pm 4 comments

Hong Kong ESF students ace exams to outshine peers in global IB diploma

Perfect score: these ESF pupils got top marks. Photo: Nora Tam

Some 850 pupils from six English Schools Foundation secondary schools who sat the examination for the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma in May notched up an average score of 34.6. And six of them got perfect scores of 45.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:44pm 2 comments

ESF parents mull taking loss of subsidy to court

English Schools Foundation (ESF) Chief Executive Heather Du Quesnay held meeting with parents to explain the Education Bureau's proposal and receive comments earlier this month. Photo: Felix Wong

A group of parents may seek a judicial review of the Education Bureau's decision to phase out a subsidy for the English Schools Foundation if the legislature passes the plan next month.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:44pm 2 comments

ESF should boost Putonghua lessons, says departing chief executive

Heather Du Quesnay. Photo: David Wong

Departing English Schools Foundation chief executive Heather Du Quesnay is encouraging her successor to consider developing a stronger Chinese curriculum.

Du Quesnay, who ends her term in July after eight years, said that by 2047, when the 50-year handover transition period ends, ESF students will need Putonghua at a high standard to make a living in Hong Kong.

7 May 2015 - 3:17pm 22 comments

Who said it?

U.S. President Barack Obama

I don't think you ever expect a Chinese leader to say, 'You know what, you're right, you've caught us red-handed'.

U.S. President Barack Obama on computer hacking


We need to see how to create education better

Miss Utah Marissa Powell does little to challenge the beauty queen stereotype at the Miss USA pageant


7 May 2015 - 3:18pm

ESF board votes to end HK$283m schools subsidy

Carlson Tong. Photo: Felix Wong

The English Schools Foundation agreed at a board meeting yesterday to accept a deal with the government which will see it lose its HK$283 million annual subsidy.

The board made the decision after reviewing e-mail messages from 22 parents and holding two parent-consultation meetings to which a total of 34 people turned up - most of whom wanted to keep the subsidy.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:44pm 4 comments

Discovery College parents complain to Ombudsman over fee increases

Discovery College parents complain to Ombudsman over fee increases

Discovery College parents have complained to the Ombudsman over hefty fee increases imposed by the financially troubled school.

19 Jun 2013 - 5:25am

Talking points

ESF board delivers verdict on subvention

ESF board delivers verdict on subvention

18 Jun 2013 - 2:06am 1 comment

The limits of Chinese parochialism

Xi Jinping's visit may have had little substance but confirmed the near equality with the US that China is now widely assumed to possess. Photo: AP

Three events in recent days have focused needed attention on the international roles of China and Hong Kong: President Xi Jinping's high-profile visit to the US, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's almost invisible visit to the US, and the case of ex-CIA operative Edward Snowden.

7 May 2015 - 12:48pm 7 comments