Help For a Confused Dad

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Hong Kong

    Help For a Confused Dad

    Help please! I have a 21 month old son and no idea regarding where he is going to go to school.

    We arrived back in November after a few years away and didn't realize that we needed to have put his name down for school at least two years ago!

    I don't have any kind of debenture and I get no support from work for fees so my preference is for him to attend the ESF because it seems like the best balance between cost and education level.

    From what I hear though, the chances of him getting a place are less than 1 in 2 because we are not alumni, no sibling etc. So what do we do if he doesn't get an interview?

    My wife has been told that we have to put his name down on as many waiting lists as we can to ensure he gets a place. However as the international schools seem to charge $1000 or so just to add a name to a list that seems like a huge waste of money for a second option. Plus I'm told he'd be unlikely to be offered a place at most of them because we're so far behind the curve and we can't afford the fees for most of them anyway!

    I've read the article here about lesser known schools but most of them seem to be only up to years 4-7. What happens after that? Aren't we then back in the same situation, only even more unlikely to get a place anywhere?

    For a non-clued up guy used to the British system I grew up with (ie you turn 5 and go to your local school) this is giving me a massive headache. Could somebody please explain what most people do if they don't get an ESF place and have limited funds? It seems to me you get one narrow shot at the ESF then it's full and you have to do something else with very limited options. Am I right?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Have you heard of Norwegian International School in Tai Po? It's a good school and has plan to build its secondary school by 2015.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Below is a link to a list of local primary schools designated for non-Chinese (funny title, I realised now as I was copying it) I think what the writer probably means was primary schools for non-Chinese speaker? Hope it helps. As your child is still 21m I think you should be able to secure a spot in one of them by the time he's ready for primary.

    Last edited by kristaje; 22-03-2013 at 08:54 AM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    If you can't afford international school and can't get into ESF, your only option is going to a public or DSS school.

    By the time they've been through Cantonese primary school your son should be well able to cope with a Cantonese secondary school - though you'll have more options for public English medium schools at Secondary level.

    There are some schools more targeted at non-Chinese speakers (but they are still taught in Chinese) - which means there is more language support. The list of schools is the 2nd one on this page Useful school lists

    As they are public schools I *think* you don't need to worry about waiting lists as I don't think you can apply early even if you wanted to. I don't know the situation for the DSS schools - they might be different.