New British School to offer costly education near Harrow in Hong Kong’s Tuen Mun
Mount Kelly International School admits it is taking advantage of Hong Kong parents’ unhappiness over education options
Harrow International School – whose places are highly sought after – may face competition from another British international school scheduled to open next year in the same area and charging about the same fees.
Set to open near Gold Coast in Tuen Mun in phases from September next year, Mount Kelly International School will offer 360 places for pupils aged five to eight studying in years one to four. The number of students will grow to 864 students for years one to eight with boarding options for years six to eight by 2019.
Its namesake is a respected boarding school established over 140 years ago in Tavistock in the UK county of Devon.
The campus includes government land to be used for later phases. The school’s application is subject to approval by the Education Bureau.
The school’s fees are comparable to those for Harrow. It plans to charge between HK$155,000 and HK$185,000 per year, according to general manager Paul Measor.
The school, which boasts sea views, would offer individual nomination certificates, Measor said, adding that management was looking at HK$1.92 million for each.
Like Harrow’s, Mount Kelly’s curriculum will be imported from the UK. According to education director Martin Clark, its curriculum will be based on the national curriculum for England, which leads to the common entrance exam, which is used for entry to secondary schools.
Measor noted the exam would help students get into prestigious schools like Eton and Winchester.
The school will also offer Putonghua as a compulsory subject.
On why Mount Kelly would be setting up its first overseas campus in Hong Kong, Measor said: “What we are seeing in Hong Kong over the last few years is that more and more parents are frustrated with the options available in Hong Kong. The local school system is failing and a lot of parents here in Hong Kong are looking for other options.”
Henry Wong Yuk-chun, country manager of Education First, an international education company, said both schools were known as traditional British boarding schools.
But he noted Harrow in London had the advantage of having a richer heritage and having a bigger alumni network.
Wong added that the teaching methods in Mount Kelly were more modern.
Tuen Mun district councillor Beatrice Chu Shun-nga said the introduction of another international school could lead to traffic congestion because of the design of the roads and the lack of parking spaces.
She urged the government to look into the matter as residents in the district might be affected.
The first phase of the new school will include a core teaching block and sports facilities.
Subsequent phases will see the construction of an auditorium that can accommodate 564 people and a 25-metre climate-controlled indoor swimming pool.