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ESF introduces non-refundable capital levy (NCL) for new students

By Andy

ESF introduces non-refundable capital levy (NCL) for new students

By Anne Murphy
Director, ITS Educational Services Ltd

A compulsory capital levy fund supports future facility enhancements and long term planning and other capital expenses such as construction, technology, furniture and fixtures at an international school. It is a fee that a parent should always expect to pay when their child is attending a private international school in Hong Kong.

In August 2011, ESF (English Schools Foundation) issued a refundable capital levy (RCL) of HKD25,000 for all students entering ESF schools on or after August 2011. This was introduced, following the confirmation of no further capital subvention from the Hong Kong government. ESF is 47 years old and maintains a portfolio of 15 schools. The buildings range from the oldest, King George V School built in 1938, to the newest Kowloon Junior School completed in 2013. Under the agreement with the government, regarding the phasing out of the subvention, the Foundation will not be granted any further capital subvention after that provided for the redevelopment of Island School.
On June 5, 2014, ESF declared that a new capital levy would be issued. The Committee of Parents, the Board of Governors decided that the preferred approach is to replace the existing RCL by a non-refundable capital levy (NCL) to be introduced for students entering ESF schools from August 2015. Students who are already in the ESF system and those who will be joining in August 2014 will not be affected by the NCL and will remain on the current RCL scheme. This NCL does not apply to ESF Private Independent Schools. Under the new scheme, parents of students who are joining an ESF school, from August 2015, will be required to pay a one-off NCL when they accept an offer of a school place. The cost of the NCL will be HK$38,000 for students entering Year 1 and will be reduced, on a sliding scale, for students who join the system in later years as follows:

Year 1- 38,000 (One-off NCL (HK$)
Year 2- 36,000
Year 3- 34,000
Year 4- 32,000
Year 5- 30,000
Year 6- 28,000
Year 7- 26,000
Year 8- 22,300
Year 9- 18,600
Year 10- 14,900
Year 11- 11,200
Year 12- 7,500
Year 13- 3,800

The introduction of the NCL is consistent with practice in the vast majority of private independent schools in Hong Kong where similar levies, or debentures, are applied to students at the time of first enrolment.
The information about the NCL scheme can be viewed on the website: www.esf.edu.hk/non-refundable_capital_levy.

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