About Admissions

South Island School receives a subsidy from the Hong Kong Government to provide an education for English speaking children who cannot access the local system. Our School is not selective: admission depends above all on the student’s ability to benefit from an ESF education.

New Policy and Procedures for Admission is now in force. Please click here for further information.

Admissions Policy

  • Applications for entry are made through the Online Admission System (OAS) accessed via the ESF Website. For Year 1 and Year 7, application is made during a strictly limited period, September 1 to 30 of the year before they enter school.
  • Students can only apply to the school of zone according to their Hong Kong residential address. Students from overseas can only apply to the school of zone for their expected area of residence in Hong Kong. Applicants from Hong Kong and applicants from overseas have equal status. Zones are adjusted from time to time in the light of changing numbers.
  • Only one online application may be submitted per student (life cycle of application – one academic year).

Priority for Admission

Students applying for enrolment to an ESF school, including the two PIS, are placed on a waiting list. Priority for an admissions interview/assessment will be based on the following ranked criteria.

Students who are able to benefit from an English medium education and who (in order) are:

    1. Corporate Nomination Rights Nominees;
    2. The children of full-time teaching staff at ESF or ESF Educational Services Limited*;
    3. The children of full-time support staff at ESF or ESF Educational Services Limited*;
    4. The siblings of students already attending an ESF primary or secondary school, private independent school (PIS) or Jockey Club Sarah Roe School;
    5. Individual Nomination Rights Nominees;
    6. Current students requesting internal transfer;
    7. Children of former students who have attended an ESF/PIS school for a minimum of three years or are former ESF/PIS students returning from a period overseas or siblings of former students who have attended for a minimum of three years and graduated from an ESF/PIS secondary school in Year 13;
    8. Children attending an ESF International Kindergarten** [Note: contingent upon the child studying in the kindergarten continuously until the end of Term 3 prior to entry into primary school];
    9. Children nominees from universities with collaboration agreement with ESF; and
    10. Other applicants who can benefit from an English-medium education.

* Staff are given priority according to employment terms for ESF or the Private Independent schools.
**Priority for interview is subject to having attended ESF kindergarten for a minimum of two terms prior to the applicable January Year 1 interview period. Students recently arrived from overseas are exempt from the two terms requirement.

Year of Birth to Year Level Placement

The ESF system places children in Year Group according to their date of birth (1 January – 31 December).  Please note that the entry Year Group entered by parents on the application form may be adjusted to ensure the child’s date of birth matches the school’s age requirements.

Year of Birth to Year Level Placement:

Year 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
7 2007 2008 2009
8 2006 2007 2008
9 2005 2006 2007
10 & 11* 2004 & 2003 2005 & 2004 2006 & 2005
12 & 13 2002 & 2001 2003 & 2002 2004 & 2003

*Students in the year of birth for Year 10-11 and Year 12-13 need to study for a 2-year programme and therefore may need to enter at a lower year group. There is a possibility of entry into Year 11 if there is a significant curriculum match and they have followed the IGCSE programme in Year 10 in another school.

Application Procedures

For 2019/20 Year 7 (Children born in 2008)

Admissions for students moving from Year 6 to 7 are centralized in ESF Centre. All applications received within the Central Application Period are processed in random order using a computer generated sequential number. From this list, students are then ordered according to the priority criteria.

Central Application period for 2019/20 Year 7:         1 to 30 September 2018

Parents should submit online application through Central Applications. See key dates.

Applications received after the Central Application Period will be placed at the end of their respective priority waiting list in date order of receipt.

Full set of supporting documents should be sent by registered mail to English Schools Foundation, Year 7 Central Admissions, 25/F, 1063 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong.

For All Other Year Groups in 2018/19 and 2019/20

Parents should submit online application through General Applications.

Full set of supporting documents (hard copy) should be sent to South Island School, Admissions Office, 50 Nam Fung Road, Hong Kong. Once online application is submitted, your child will be placed on the corresponding year group waiting list. School Admissions Office will contact parents in due course when opportunities come up.

General Information for All

  1. Applicants must submit the application package in full.
  2. Parents may only submit one online application form per child with their selected preference of schools. Zoning applies for ESF primary and secondary schools. Discovery College and Renaissance College remain zone free.
  3. All Year 1 and Year 7 applications received within the Central Application Period (1 September to 30 September) have a computer generated random number. All the on-time applications will be ordered by priority category and random number for central processing. The interview list for each ESF/PIS school is then compiled taking into account the priority ordered list, the parent’s preferences as indicated on the online application form and the maximum number each school is able to interview. Applicants who are not able to gain a first round interview are waitlisted for their first preference school. Each year, our schools are oversubscribed with applications, hence we are not able to interview all applicants who apply on-time. Any Year 1 and Year 7 applications received after the Central Application Period will be placed at the end of their respective first preference school’s waiting list in date order of receipt.
  4. Applications for all other year levels are considered under application date order and added to the waiting list according to the first preference school and priority criteria.
  5. Applicants will be invited for interview and assessment at the school as vacancies become available; a meeting with parents is included in the process.
  6. Following a successful admissions interview and assessment, a place may be offered.
  7. Acceptance of the offer must be confirmed by payment of a deposit and a Capital Levy within the time frame specified on the offer letter, generally a period of between seven and 14 days.
  8. Acceptance of an offer is with a commitment of two academic years to the offering school before any transfer request can be made regardless of the residential address.
  9. Re-application is required when:
  • an offer for an interview and assessment has been declined;
  • an offer of a place has been declined;
  • a student has not met the entry requirements at interview and assessment. A new application may be submitted six months following the date of the last interview/assessment;
  • The one academic year validity period of the application has expired. Applicants on waiting lists at the end of the academic year may carry forward their waitlist position by reapplying for the following academic year.  Waitlist applicants will be contacted by email before April each year for re-application. No additional fee is required.

10. If a student meets the entry requirements for the school and there are no immediate places available, the child will be returned to the age-appropriate waiting list according to his/her priority status and, in the case of Central Admission applicants, the random number he/she was assigned. In the event a place becomes available within six months of the initial successful assessment, no further assessment will be required. If an offer is made for an alternative school, no re-interview and re-assessment is required.

Supporting Documents

Copies of the following should be sent to School Admissions Office for consideration. An application with insufficient supporting documents or non-payment of fee will not be processed.

  • Copy of completed ‘Online Application’ form or the Application slip/acknowledgement email;
  • Copy of application fee online payment result;
  • Copy of child’s school reports for the last two years, with English translation as appropriate. If applying for Y1, one kindergarten report;
  • Educational Psychology Reports or similar (where appropriate);
  • Copy of student’s birth certificate;
  • Copy of child’s passport including the current visa status for Hong Kong;
  • Copy of parent’s passport including the current visa status in Hong Kong;
  • Copy of parent’s and child’s identity cards, if applicable as residing in Hong Kong;
  • Two proof of HK address documents – a copy of a stamped tenancy agreement or a current government demand for rates bill plus an original utility bill or bank statement;
  • A reference letter from your child’s current school (for applicants seeking admissions to Year 3 and above);
  • Copies of examination certificates/results (for Year 12 application);
  • Two passport-style photograph of the applicant;
  • Details of parent attendance at ESF primary/secondary school (if applicable).

An application with insufficient supporting documents or non-payment of fee will not be processed.

School Zone

South Island School catchment area covers:

Causeway Bay, Happy Valley including Tai Hang Road, Wong Nai Chung Road, Blue Pool Road, Wan Chai, Stubbs Road, Queen’s Road East, Kennedy Road (east of Hopewell Centre), Jardine’s Lookout, North Point, Shaukeiwan, Chai Wan, Shek O, Stanley, Chung Hom Kok, Repulse Bay, Deepwater Bay, Tai Tam and Shouson Hill.

School Fees

Please refer to the ESF School Fees page for further information.

Non-refundable Capital Levy (for 2016/17 or after entry)

Please refer to the ESF NCL for further information.

Should you have any further queries, please contact School Admissions Office at 2240-6706 or via email at admissions@sis.edu.hk

Last updated: 6 September 2018