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Education in Hong Kong
Enrollment in a Hong Kong Public School
To many expat parents the public school system in Hong Kong can be quite overwhelming. Do you want to learn more about the public school system? Then read our guide and learn more about the school system, reforms, and enrolling your child at a public school in Hong Kong.
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Expats who want their child to attend a public school during their stay in Hong Kong have almost 600 Hong Kong primary schools and around 500 secondary schools to choose from. At primary level, you apply through a central admissions system, the Primary One Admission. In your application, you can indicate your choice of primary schools in an order of preference.
Even at this early stage, the competition for schools with the best academic reputation is very high. Therefore, before you apply, make sure to do some research on the academic merits of the schools you would like to send your child to. The admission to secondary schools is usually administered by the Secondary School Places Allocation System, based on the results of your child’s primary school examinations. If you wish to enroll your child in a public school after the school year has already started, check with the Education Bureau for schools with open vacancies.
Paperwork and Integration Programs
Generally, if you are not entering your child into the first year of primary school, you need to bring a report card from their most recent school and any other academic certificates. Some schools also request a medical examination or medical certificate from a doctor in Hong Kong for admission.
The government has furthermore developed special programs to help non-Chinese students integrate more easily into local schools. First, there is the education service for non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students, which offers support for students, parents and the schools themselves. You may also consider registering your child for the Education and Support for Newly Arrived Children. This program offers 60-hour courses on the Chinese language and the Hong Kong culture for all children new to Hong Kong. If you need more information on integration programs for your child and on Hong Kong’s schools, you can contact the Education Bureau.