School Plans and Developments for 2018

International school options for families in Hong Kong have been severely limited in previous years. However, many new sites have become available by the Hong Kong government and several new options are accessible for families this year. There are exciting times ahead for parents and children.

23 Jan 2018 — By Anne Murphy / Education
The Harbour School Students

Last year (August and September 2017), the American School Hong Kong in Tai Po, which opened for children between the ages of 5 and 12, opened its Middle School. And the Harbour School (see main image), which has been established for eight years; until now based within a commercial building in Kennedy Town, and which was awarded a dedicated school site in 2015, opened its brand-new campus for children up to grade 6. This will enable the school to expand its enrolment, and offer a range of additional education resources to students including one of the largest ‘makerspaces’ in Hong Kong (part woodworking shop, part robotics lab), and a wet lab featuring aquariums and touch tanks for hands-on learning about marine, aquatic and terrestrial systems.

Nord Anglia International School (MIT challenge)

Nord Anglia International School (MIT challenge)

In addition, in 2017, the first British Preparatory School in Hong Kong; Mount Kelly International School opened near the Victoria Harbour waterfront. Malvern College Pre-School opened in Southwest Kowloon making it the first school in Hong Kong to run the Forest School programme with FSA-certified School leaders. Stamford American School (part of Cognita, a global leader in independent education with over 65 schools worldwide) opened a new campus in Ho Man Tin, Kowloon. Nord Anglia International School (part of Nord Anglia Education Group, and a family of 54 international schools, boarding schools and private schools located in 24 countries around the world) opened two new campuses in Tai Tam and Sai Kung, offering classes from Nursery to Upper Kindergarten. Dalton School Hong Kong opened at Imperial Cullinan in Kowloon (offering a dual language programme for primary children) and  HKCA Po Leung Kuk School also opened (operated by Po Leung Kuk, a charitable body in Hong Kong – offering  affordable schools fees at HK$89,800 a year with no annual levy and no debenture).

Stamford American School Classroom, Hong Kong

Stamford American School Classroom   

Schooling Landscape for 2018

In September 2018, we will see more schools as a result of the 2015 international school development allocation.

In the Tseung Kwan O district, Shrewsbury International School will open a new primary school, a sister school of Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, one of Thailand’s leading international schools and closely affiliated to Shrewsbury School in the United Kingdom. Also in the same district, the French International School will open a new campus, offering bilingual French and English for kindergarten and primary children. Malvern College will open its new Malvern College Hong Kong adjacent to the Hong Kong Science Park for years 1 to 9, and the American School Hong Kong in Tai Po will complete its development plan; opening a high school. A new bilingual school will open in Causeway Bay, Chinese Academy Primary School, jointly established by Confucius Hall of Hong Kong and the International Chinese Academy Education Foundation (ICAEF)

Other changes

One of the largest providers of English-medium international education in Hong Kong is the English Schools Foundation (ESF). It was originally established and subsidised by the government to provide families, particularly local citizens, access to affordable English language education. There are now 22 ESF schools catering to different ages from kindergarten to age 18, including two private independent schools (Discovery College and Renaissance College). The ESF schools are very popular and have an excellent academic reputation which is why over 17,600 students attend.

The government subsidy is currently being phased out year by year over 13 years so that the last year group to qualify will be the graduates of 2027-28. Since August 2015, parents of students joining ESF schools are now required to pay a one-off non-refundable levy of HK$38,000 for Year 1 students, reduced on a sliding scale for those who join in later years. The ESF’s two private independent schools, have their own non-refundable capital levy schemes.

ESF Discovery College students 

ESF Discovery College students

For further information on all the new schools and campuses, please visit their websites. Open days and information sessions take place from January till June 2018. Please enquire at the individual schools about their application and admissions process.

Anne Murphy and her team of education consultants at ITS Education Asia, advise parents on every aspect of school admissions — choosing schools, applications, testing, and interviewing — nursery through high school. For more information, visit

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