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ESF Levy - 2011

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    shri's Avatar
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    ESF Levy - 2011

    In a newsletter today.



    On that basis ESF's Board of Governors has approved the introduction of a one-off Refundable Capital Levy to be paid by the parents of every student who enters an ESF school in Year One or Seven. The levy will be HK$25,000 per child and it will be fully refunded when the child finishes school. The levy will be introduced from August 2011.The parents of children currently in Years One to Five will pay the levy when they enter Year Seven. Children currently in Years Six to Thirteen will not have to pay the levy.
    I assume this means that if your child is currently in not in ESF, but wll be entering in Y1 from 2011, you will need to budget for an extra $25K.

    Also, I assume this means that when your child transitions from Y6 to Y7 (goes to secondary school), you will need to budget for an extra $25K.

    Full text

    Each year the English Schools Foundation spends a considerable sum on the repair and maintenance of its school buildings ? often as much as HK$75m in the summer holidays alone. The money is spent on a variety of projects: from simply maintaining the fabric of buildings by re-painting or re-plastering; through increasing or enhancing the provision of laboratories, classrooms, play areas and toilets; to less visible work on electrical or plumbing systems.

    But there are times when repair and maintenance is not enough and wholesale changes are needed to the fabric of a school. You may have heard that there are pressing needs to undertake fundamental building projects at Kowloon Junior School, King George V School and Island School. The relatively poor physical condition of some of the accommodation at these schools contrasts markedly with ESF?s newer buildings, including those of the Private Independent Schools.

    However all of our schools have a finite lifespan. Timely repair and maintenance will help to ensure that this is maximised, but of all our school buildings will eventually need to be renewed. Like other organisations which rely on an extensive range of buildings, ESF should be making provision for the renewal of its infrastructure as a routine part of its financial and facilities planning.

    In the past this provision has been done in a rather haphazard manner, and this has resulted in the present situation, where we have three major projects competing for priority at once. In the future, we need to plan more systematically over a long-term period for a rolling programme of substantial renovation or total replacement of all our school buildings. In each ten-year period a number of our schools will approach the end of their useful lives and will need to be re-built in whole or in part.

    Click here for a table showing the age of each of our schools.

    Click here to see a table showing how the building replacement programme might look over the next fifty years.

    It is for this reason that we need to build up surpluses each year to contribute to a fund to meet the capital requirements of our schools so that, over time, we have sufficient resources to replace them. But surpluses will only meet part of our costs ? we have to look at additional sources of funding. Capital grants from the Government will be critical, as will borrowings using our property portfolio as security. We are also launching an alumni programme and will seek to raise funds from private and corporate donors.

    We have recently approached the Government to ask for assistance with the capital costs of Kowloon Junior School. We are optimistic that they will be supportive. (Similar applications will be made for KGV and Island School in the future). We believe that if we are to secure a long-term commitment from the Government for the funding of ESF?s infrastructure we need to demonstrate clearly that our own stake-holders share a sense of responsibility for safe-guarding the future of our schools. We, therefore, have decided to introduce a system whereby parents across ESF make a specific contribution to the capital costs of school renewal.

    On that basis ESF's Board of Governors has approved the introduction of a one-off Refundable Capital Levy to be paid by the parents of every student who enters an ESF school in Year One or Seven. The levy will be HK$25,000 per child and it will be fully refunded when the child finishes school. The levy will be introduced from August 2011.The parents of children currently in Years One to Five will pay the levy when they enter Year Seven. Children currently in Years Six to Thirteen will not have to pay the levy.

    After seven years the parents of all children studying with us will have paid the levy, thereby providing to ESF extra funds to contribute to major works. The parents of children who join ESF at other points during the Primary or Secondary years will also pay the levy. The Board of Governors of ESF is taking a long-term view of ESF's contribution to the education system of Hong Kong, and is committed to enabling future generations to continue to enjoy the excellence of an ESF education at a cost that remains fully competitive. You and your children are beneficiaries of investments made in the past, partly financed by the contributions of your predecessors. The Board is confident that all current parents will accede to the Board's objective and will accept the need to contribute to its achievement.

    A presentation describing these proposals in more detail and a full series of questions and answers on the levy have now been posted on our website. In addition, the Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Facilities Development will be taking questions on the Refundable Capital Levy at public meetings to be held in the following schools during December:

    Kowloon Junior School (Perth Street) 1 December
    Beacon Hill School 7 December
    Quarry Bay School 14 December


    All presentations will begin at 6.30pm. Further briefings in January will be announced shortly.

    Yours sincerely,

    Heather Du Quesnay
    Chief Executive
    English Schools Foundation

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    that's crazy, I think they would just use the money to invest in stock market and give you back the 25K few years later and they get the profit.

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    But then they could loose it all too. Imagine if they're invested it into Lehman mini bonds.

    I sure do hope they have their governance issues sorted out. I do not have much confidence in their transparency.

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    ESF are holding briefings around Hong Kong to discuss the Levy.


    7th December, Beacon Hill School, 6.30 pm
    8th December, Sha Tin Junior School, 6.45pm
    14th December, Quarry Bay School, 6.30pm

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    From a parent's perspective this is more than just a touch irritating. I'm ex ESF myself and I can't remember my parent's having to put up with half of what's facing the HK parent today..
    Proud Mama to Kian Danyaal 08.12.2007 & Adara Michelle 10.10.2009

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