The Government's policy objectives are to:
- provide 12 years' free primary and secondary education to all children through public sector schools. In addition, the Government provides full subvention for full-time courses run by the Vocational Training Council for Secondary 3 leavers to offer an alternative free avenue for senior secondary students outside mainstream education;
- provide a balanced and diversified school education that suits the different needs of students to enable them to develop knowledge, positive values and attitudes as well as generic skills and become responsible citizens, and to prepare them for further studies or work to make contributions to Hong Kong and the nation;
- enable students to become proficient in biliterate and trilingual communication;
- enhance teaching quality and effectiveness in learning;
- improve the learning and teaching environment;
- provide students with special educational needs (SEN) with education services to develop their potentials to the full;
- help newly-arrived children (including newly-arrived children from the Mainland, non-Chinese speaking children and returnee children) integrate into the local community and overcome learning difficulties; and
- enhance the quality, flexibility and accountability of school administration.
In the 2019/20 school year, there are 587 primary schools, 504 secondary day schools and 61 aided special schools.