The ESF runs five kindergartens, nine primary schools, five secondary schools, two Private Independent Schools and a school for children with SEN in Hong Kong. The group typically increases its fees an average of 4.5% every academic year.
On Wednesday, March 24, the ESF announced that in light of school closures and ongoing situation, all fees will remain at 2019-20 levels for the 2021-22 academic year.
After months of campus closures and a shift to home learning throughout 2020, schools are still yet to resume fully in 2021. In January, most campuses reopened partially with a third or more of their students back for half days.
In a letter to parents, ESF's CEO Belinda Greer said that the impact of Covid had "far-reaching consequences for many families" within the ESF group.
"The number of families applying for financial assistance has increased this year... the ESF Board has therefore taken the decision not to increase school fees for 2021-2022, in order to help all of our families.”
Head of school Anita Simpson at American International School, said:
"We understand that many families have suffered financial setbacks during this difficult time. By freezing tuition once again, we are doing our part to help alleviate additional financial pressures for our students and families and tangibly demonstrating our care, commitment, and Core Value of Love for our community."
It is this time of year when all international schools ask parents to indicate whether they will be returning for the following academic year, and when bills for Term 3 tuition are sent out.
Some schools have applied to the Education Bureau to increase their fees for 2021-22. Stamford American School, Hong Kong plans to charge parents from HKD 187,400-226,200 compared to HKD 178,800-206,000 this year. And Christian Alliance International School plans to increase its fees from HKD 113,400-180,100 to HKD 119,000-199,000 for 2021-22.
According to a report by the SCMP, other schools proposing to raise fees in the next academic year include Hong Kong International School, Hong Kong Academy, and the Independent Schools Foundation (ISF) Academy.
Tuition fees in Years 1-3 at ESF’s primary schools will stay as HKD 115,800 per year, and Years 5 to 6 will remain HKD 98,500. This applies to Kowloon Junior, Beacon Hill, Sha Tin Junior, Bradbury, Peak School, Glenealy School, Clearwater Bay, Quarry Bay and Kennedy schools.
At secondary schools including Sha Tin College, South Island School, King George V, West Island School, and Island School, the fees for Years 7 to 11 will stay as HKD 133,800; families of students studying the IBDP in Years 12 and 13 will continue to pay HKD 140,700.