ESF - English Schools Foundation

Still room for more learners at Hong Kong’s latest English Schools Foundation kindergarten

With waiting lists the norm, the Lantau facility has about 50 vacancies, but maybe not for long

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2016, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2016, 11:05pm

Hong Kong’s new English Schools Foundation kindergarten at Tung Chung has yet to reach fully capacity ­despite such places normally being snapped up.

The city’s largest provider of English-medium international education is known for its long waiting lists from kindergartens to secondary schools. Those attending ESF kindergartens receive priority when it comes to ­primary school interviews.

Principal Sandra Hite said there were currently about 300 students at the Lantau Island ­kindergarten, which opened its doors in late ­August, about 50 short of capacity.

She attributed the shortage to the facility being new.

“Some people are still learning we’re here [in Tung Chung].”

But with the kindergarten ­receiving two to three inquiries a day about admissions, Hite is confident the remaining places will soon be taken.

The largest of the five ESF kindergartens in Hong Kong is seven minutes’ drive from Tung Chung MTR station.

Hite said the ESF had decided to open a kindergarten in Tung Chung because it was a fast growing area with a steady supply of new students.

The government proposes to develop the eastern and western flanks of the new town, namely Tung Chung East and Tung Chung West.

The two newly extended areas will provide about 49,400 flats, ­accommodating about 144,400 people.

In recent months, Tung Chung has seen the completion of several luxury projects, including The Visionary by Nan Fung Group and Century Link by Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Hite also revealed there were parents who had moved to Tung Chung and withdrawn their ­applications to other ESF kindergartens because of their long ­waiting lists.

Ivy Fung, who has a home in Tung Chung but is currently ­renting a property in Sai Ying Pun, said she would consider improving the admission chances of her daughter by applying for a place at the Lantau kindergarten.

“My priority is to get my daughter into a top kindergarten in Central, as I live and work on Hong Kong Island now,” she said.

“But if she cannot get a place at kindergartens in Central, I’ll jump at the chance of getting my girl into the ESF kindergarten in Tung Chung, and my family might move back there.”