Expats in the process of moving to Hong Kong have, among others, the major concern of finding a good school for their offspring. Most expat parents, as soon as they receive the news of their relocation, start researching the school choices that are available to them. They generally like to choose the school that offers the curriculum of their home country or an international program so that if they are moved back home, their child will not have to face much disruption and change.
In most instances the expats who move to Hong Kong are employed with international companies who have corporate debentures at the various international schools in Hong Kong. Hence the HR departments of their companies will be able to inform them if there are debenture-linked vacancies at the schools of their choice or if they are eligible for a fresh debenture allotment which usually depends on seniority and grade. Of course, if the expat is affluent enough, he/she may decide to opt for a personal debenture which is also offered at most schools.
Other factors which help expats make a decision about schools in Hong Kong are factors like the the variety of extra-curricular activities offered, the amount of parent involvement in the school (an active and interactive parent body is a huge plus) and of course the historical reputation of the school. The facilities for sports and other activities that are available at the school are yet another deciding factor while making a choice of an educational institution in Hong Kong. The size of the class at a particular school also influences the decision of a choice of a school in Hong Kong as most expats seem to desire a school with a smaller class size for their children as it ensures that the child will get adequate attention from the teachers.
In a small city like Hong Kong, the proximity of the school to the home is not such a big deciding factor unless the expat is planning to opt for a school that belongs to the English School’s Foundation program where the area of residence is the most important factor that determines the choice of a school.
Most people begin their research even before they arrive in Hong Kong by using online guides to Hong Kong.You will find the majority of the information you need in the pages contained within this guide.
The South China Morning Post also publishes a ‘Good Schools Guide to Hong Kong Schools’ in June every year which provides much useful information and forms the basis of schools research for many an expat.