Young mainland immigrants may have to take tests to check their language standards before they are placed in schools, under a package to be outlined by Governor Chris Patten on Wednesday. The tests, to be conducted by the Education Department, will be in Chinese, English and mathematics, and will be taken after the department's adjustment course for new arrivals. Test results will be given to schools as a reference when they consider allocating places to children. Guidelines will be issued to schools later next month on how new immigrants can be helped to brush up their standards in order to catch up with their local classmates. The proposal follows a half-year review by the department on its induction course for new arrivals. The existing intensive English course was introduced last October as part of the department's voluntary induction course to familiarise new immigrants with Hong Kong. The course has long drawn criticism that it is too simple and disorganised to benefit new immigrants. Critics also say schools intentionally reject young immigrants using the excuse of poor academic performance. Mr Patten is also expected to outline plans for the publication of a teach-yourself English language course for new immigrant children. The self-learning package will allow children to take the course at home at their own pace. It will include tapes and written exercises. Wednesday's policy address will be the last by Mr Patten. A public forum has been planned for Friday to allow members of the public to question him face-to-face. Officials said the move was intended to maintain standards, but some critics warned it could make school admissions more examination-oriented. A veteran in working with new immigrants, Ho Hei-wah, welcomed the move and said: 'The crux of the problem is that many of the new immigrant children are misplaced in classes where they may not be able to manage. 'We have also heard complaints about headmasters forcing new immigrant children to take much lower-level classes than they should have to. Sometimes it is due to the schools' lack of reference on the children's standards, and sometimes it is simply discrimination,' Mr Ho said. But he warned that the move should not be turned into an admission examination for schools because it would place pressure on young immigrants. The Government last year announced plans to increase the daily quota of one-way permit-holders from 105 to 150, with 30 of them granted to students up to 20 years old. Previously, age was not a factor in the allocation of permits.