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New admission mechanisms for Primary One and Secondary One

LEGCO QUESTION NO.11


Date of Meeting: 31 May 2000



Asked by : Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung

Replied by : SEM

Question :

Regarding the proposals of the Education Commission to allocate 85% of Primary One places on the principle of "vicinity" and to encourage primary and secondary schools to link among themselves to facilitate direct admission of Primary Six students to the linked secondary schools, there are comments that such proposals will result in more parents giving false residential addresses or moving to districts which fall within the school nets of their preferred schools so as to enhance the chance of their children being admitted to those schools. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

  1. of the number of complaints received in each of the past five years about parents giving false residential addresses; the ways these complaints were handled and the results thereof; and

  2. whether any measures are in place to prevent parents from giving false residential addresses; if so, of the relevant details; if not, the reasons for that?


Reply:

Madam President,

a. At present, the Education Department (ED) allocates Primary One (P1) places in Government and aided schools through the Primary One Admission System. Under the System, the whole of Hong Kong is divided into a number of school nets, and applicants are assigned to one of these school nets according to their residential addresses. The whole process is divided into two stages, namely the "Discretionary Places Admission" stage and the "Central Allocation" stage. During the "Discretionary Places Admission" stage, each primary school may, at its own discretion, select among the applicants to fill up to 65% of its total P1 places, while the remaining 35% of places will be centrally allocated by the ED to children residing in the same school net. In allocating discretionary places, schools are required by the ED to offer at least 30% of their P1 places to children residing in their own school nets.

Parents have an option of applying for a discretionary place. Applicants who do not wish to apply for a discretionary place will be allocated a place by the ED through the central allocation. Those who have not secured a place at the "Discretionary Places Admission" stage will also have their applications automatically transferred for central allocation by the ED. During the "Central Allocation" stage, places are allocated according to the school nets to which the applicants belong. Thus, an applicant's residential address is a relevant factor in the "Primary One Admission" System (including both the "Discretionary Places Admission" stage and the "Central Allocation" stage).

Upon receiving complaints about parents giving false addresses, the ED will check the application forms and copies of documentary proof of the reported residential addresses (such as water/electricity/town gas/telephone bills, stamped tenancy agreements, demand notes for rates, public housing tenant's rent cards etc.) submitted by the parents concerned during application. If there is any doubt, the ED will interview the parents concerned or ask them to provide other documentary proof. If parents are found to have given false addresses, the applicants will be disqualified from applying for a discretionary place and will only be allocated a school place in their own school nets based on their genuine residential addresses at the "Central Allocation" stage.

The number of complaints about parents giving false residential addresses in the past five years and the investigation results are as follows -

School Year Number of
Complaints
Investigation Results
1995 - 1996 1 Not substantiated
1996 - 1997 4 Not substantiated
1997 - 1998 2 Unable to conduct investigation since complainants failed to provide sufficient information
1998 - 1999 4 Two complaints were not substantiated.
Two complaints were substantiated. The applicants were disqualified from applying for a discretionary place.
1999 - 2000(up to 22 May 2000) 1 Not substantiated


b. Under the existing Primary One Admission System, we have the following measures to prevent parents from giving false addresses -
  1. Parents are required to declare in the "Application Form for Admission to Primary One" that the information (including residential addresses) contained is true and correct. If it is found that there is false information, the applicant concerned will be disqualified from applying for a discretionary place and will only be offered a place through the central allocation.

  2. If a parent wishes to apply for a discretionary place, he is required to submit to the Government or aided primary school of his choice in person the "Application Form for Admission to Primary One", bringing along the original and photocopy of documentary proof of the reported residential address (such as water/electricity/town gas/telephone bills, stamped tenancy agreements, demand notes for rates, public housing tenant's rent cards etc.). The school will check the relevant documents on the spot. Separately, the ED will conduct sample checks on schools in November and January each year to verify application forms and documents collected. If any documents are found to be inappropriate or insufficient, the ED will interview the parents concerned or ask them to submit other documentary proof.

  3. If a parent does not apply for a discretionary place and opts to join the central allocation arranged by the ED, he is required to submit to the ED in person an "Application Form for Admission to Primary One", bringing along documentary proof of the reported residential address (as set out in part (ii) above). The ED will check the relevant documents on the spot to ensure the information provided is correct.
Last revision date: 31 May 2000
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