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ESF - must find you a place??

  1. #1
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    ESF - must find you a place??

    Hi

    I heard a rumour that if you are a non-Chinese speaker then you must be offered a place in the ESF system (since you have no option to go to a local Chinese speaking school). Is that correct??

    Our catchment school is Bradbury which is very full.

    1) What happens if you cannot get your child into the catchment school? Are you offered a place in another ESF school?

    2) What happens if your child is not offered a place after the interview? What are the other options if you can't get into the catchment ESF school?

    I find the HK education system very stressful with interviews for 4 year olds! We have a bit of time as my son has only just turned 3 but have heard nightmare stories of people not getting into their catchment ESF school for P1 or being turned down following an interview with no explanations given.

    I am happy to email ESF directly but am not sure of the policy before I start asking them to explain the procedure to me.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    no, AFAIK not true. oze_kid had her kids on a waiting list for 2 (?) years. her older daughter did a K3 at a kindergarten until she could get into P2. there are lots of non-chinese speaking parents in the same boat. if there's no space, there's no space.

    it would be good if someone could confirm this, though.

  3. #3
    sunrays is offline Registered User
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    You get an interview if your child goes to an ESF kindergarten. This really helps as chances are very good at getting in if you are an English speaking family. Otherwise interviews are given out randomly, a bit of a lottery, with priority to kids who have a sibling already at ESF (highly likely to get in) then native English speakers priority over locals. If you don't get in you go on a wait list....assuming you were lucky enough to get an interview first time around...or you have to wait it out as carang said.

    No you will not be offered a place at another catchment ESF school

    If not ESF then you have to look around, CIS, HKIS, Canadian , Australian.....best to apply for at least one other besides ESF as a back up.

    Hope that helps. Horribly stressful.

  4. #4
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    or consider a local school for non-chinese speaking children.

  5. #5
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
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    Depends on the school, the number of kids, people moving or not accepting places, etc.
    You MAY be offered a place at another ESF school. I know of a few people who interviewed at Glenealy, were placed on the long waiting list but then offered places at The Peak school. Similarly have met the same where Bradbury catchment kids ended up offered places as Quarry Bay School. This was in previous years however, not this year.
    The problem this year is that all the Hong Kong island ESF schools are severely oversubscribed. I don't know of a school that interviewed into category 2 applicants. My daughter's school alone almost half those interviewed were siblings before even starting on the category 1 children!
    ESF seem to try to place kids who passed the interview and are on waiting lists, but I don't think they can guarantee anything.

    I agree that schooling here is very stressful. The whole idea of interviews for children so young seems crazy.

  6. #6
    Aava.Wong is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    or consider a local school for non-chinese speaking children.
    we live in kennedy town - i have looked at the edb website but seems like our only local school choice for our non-chinese speaking kiddo would be sun island kindergarten. any other "local" suggestions?

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Almost certain that just because your child only speaks English this in no way guarantees your child a place in ESF or any other international or EMI school. (Unless your child has another "in"--such as went to an ESF kindergarten or his/her siblings are currently enrolled at ESF--but even then nothing is 100% guaranteed). Currently this is a very pressing issue for a lot of teachers who were recruited by the government to work with the NET scheme in local schools--even they are not guaranteed a place for their children and the government does little to assist them in finding English education.

    Yes, arranging schooling for children in Hong Kong is probably one of the most stressful things for almost all parents--both local and expats.

  8. #8
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    It is most definitely stressful, even for parents from ESF kindergartens and whose kids are native speakers. The thing is, it's not going to get better!

    However, currently, I don't know of any ESF kindergarten child in Cat. 1 who did not get an offer at either the ESF primary school based on catchment area or one of the PIS schools under the ESF umbrella. In fact, many Cat. 2 kids received more than one offer - one at a PIS and ESF. Some even had 3 offers!

    I have a second child and while we thought about not placing her in an ESF kindergarten, because her brother has a place at a PIS (we turned down the ESF offer), we know that when the time come and we are still here, we will have to apply for the ESF kindergarten despite having a sibling within the system as there were kids who did not get first round offers despite having a sibling and going to an ESF kindergarten (but they eventually did).

    Being in the ESF system though (from kindergarten), you do get more opportunities if you fail to get in through the first round. No guarantees but more opportunities and a higher chance of success.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

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