For parents of Primary 6 (P6) students participating in the current SSPA cycle who wish to apply for Secondary 1 (S1) discretionary places (DPs) in government, aided, caput secondary schools as well as Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) secondary schools participating in the SSPA System for their children, they have to use the Application Form for Secondary One Discretionary Place (Application Form) distributed by the Education Bureau (EDB) in early December via primary schools for application, or submit DP applications via the SSPA e-Platform (https://esspa.edb.gov.hk).
When submitting the applications, parents should note-
1. DP application is not subject to restriction on districts. However, each student may apply to not more than two participating secondary schools. The list of schools and the number of DPs for application are listed in the Handbook for Application for Secondary One Discretionary Places (Handbook). Parents may ask for the Handbook from their children’s attending primary schools, visit the EDB’s Homepage (https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/edu-system/primary-secondary/spa-systems/secondary-spa/general-info/index.html) or call the EDB’s 24-hour Automatic Telephone Enquiry System on 2891 0088 to obtain relevant information by fax.
2. The DP application period will be the same for all participating secondary schools, starting from January 3 to 17, 2023.
3. Parents should consider all aspects of a school, e.g. its educational philosophy, culture, religion, class structure, development and operation, and their children’s abilities, aptitudes and interests so as to make a suitable school choice. Parents may refer to the relevant information in the Secondary School Profiles (published every December, with the latest version made available at the electronic version) or school websites for reference. At the same time, parents should also note the admission criteria and weightings announced by the schools, as well as the documents as required by the schools, e.g. report cards, certificates and records of participation in extra-curricular activities and community service. Students do not need to provide the scores or positions in individual subjects to the secondary schools. Schools may arrange interviews and will inform applicants of the related arrangements.
4. Starting from this cycle, parents who have registered as SSPA e-Platform users and bound their account to "iAM Smart+" may submit DP applications and check application results via the SSPA e-Platform. Parents are encouraged to register with "iAM Smart+" (https://www.iamsmart.gov.hk) as early as possible for more convenient and faster services throughout the entire S1 application process. Please refer to the related videos and Parent’s Guide uploaded to the bureau’s homepage (https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/edu-system/primary-secondary/spa-systems/secondary-spa/general-info/sspa_eplatform_parents_guide.html) for detailed procedures of SSPA e-Platform account creation and login, and submission of applications for S1 DPs via the SSPA e-Platform.
5. Parents who prefer to submit paper application to schools should fill in the name of the secondary schools applied to on the Application Form, and tear off the part containing the order of school preference for retention before submitting the Application Form to the schools concerned. After submission, parents should receive from the secondary schools the Parent’s Copy bearing the school chop, name and code for retention and record. Once submitted, the Application Form cannot be retrieved or cancelled and no change can be made to the order of school preference. For parents who submit DP applications via the SSPA e-Platform should select the preferred secondary schools according to the order of school preference, input the contact information required by the schools, and upload student’s identity documents and/or documents required by the secondary schools for completion of application.
6. In view of the COVID-19 epidemic, submission of DP applications by post will continue for this SSPA cycle in order to maintain social distancing and avoid the crowd gathering. Parents should find out in advance what documents are required by the secondary schools they intend to apply to, and post the completed Application Form with the required documents to the secondary schools between January 3 and 17, 2023 (the postmark date should not be later than the prescribed deadline). The secondary schools concerned will post the Parent’s Copy of the Application Form back to the parents for retention.
7. In light of the special arrangements for the submission of the Application Form by post, parents should reserve the necessary time for mailing and consider sending the application by registered mail to minimise the risk of unsuccessful delivery. In parallel, parents are advised to visit the secondary schools’ website and/or contact the secondary schools for requirements on postal application.
8. No matter whether the applications are submitted in paper form or via the SSPA e-Platform, parents should not submit applications to more than two secondary schools participating in the SSPA. Otherwise, the DP applications of their children will be rendered void. In addition, if parents have submitted a paper Application Form to a secondary school, they should not submit a duplicate application via the SSPA e-Platform, and vice versa.
9. Apart from applying to not more than two participating secondary schools, parents can apply to Jockey Club Ti-I College at the same time. The deadline for application is January 19, 2023.
10. Participating secondary schools (including Jockey Club Ti-I College) will notify parents of all successful applicants of their children’s inclusion in the Successful Lists for Discretionary Places on March 31, 2023. Parents who have registered as SSPA e-Platform users will also receive notifications for successful DP applicants via the SSPA e-Platform on the same day. These notification arrangements are not applicable to reserve and unsuccessful applicants, nor are the notifications the allocation results. Parents do not need to reply to the notifications concerned.
11. Apart from making DP applications to participating secondary schools, students may also apply to Direct Subsidy Scheme secondary schools not participating in SSPA (NDSS secondary schools), and there is no limit to the number of NDSS secondary schools they can apply to. As there is no limit to the number of NDSS secondary schools that a student may apply to, a student may be accepted by several NDSS secondary schools. However, if the parent has surrendered the signed Parent’s Undertaking and the original of the Primary 6 Student Record Form to one of the schools making the offer, this will serve as a confirmation of the acceptance of the S1 place offered by the NDSS secondary school and the agreement to give up any other subsidised S1 places.
12. If students notified by participating secondary schools as successful DP applicants have also been admitted by an NDSS secondary school, parents may decide whether to retain the school place of the NDSS secondary school on or before April 12, 2023. If parents decide to retain the school place offered by the NDSS secondary school, they should disregard the notifications from participating secondary schools. If they decide to decline the offer from the NDSS secondary school, they should notify the NDSS secondary school concerned and retrieve the signed Parent's Undertaking and the original of the Primary 6 Student Record Form on or before April 12, 2023 in order to retain the DP successfully obtained.
13. For applications to Jockey Club Ti-I College and NDSS secondary schools, parents should fill in the application form provided by the schools. The existing paper Application Form for DP and the e-Platform are not applicable to applications for S1 places of Jockey Club Ti-I College and NDSS secondary schools.
14. Parents should return the duly completed Secondary One Choice of Schools Form (Choice Form) to the EDB in early May 2023 through their children’s primary schools. This is to ensure that students will still be allocated S1 places through Central Allocation (CA) if their DP applications have not been successful. For parents registered as SSPA e-Platform users and bound their account to "iAM Smart+", they may submit the application for CA via the SSPA e-Platform. For students who are notified as successful applicants by participating secondary schools, their parents only have to sign on the Choice Form, fill in contact information, cross out the parts on school choices to indicate that they do not need to make school choices and return the Choice Form to the primary schools their children attend. If parents handle the relevant procedures via the SSPA e-Platform, they can select the field "Do NOT need to make school choices" in the system, and return the application to the primary school via the e-Platform.
15. The results of DP and CA will be released at the same time on July 11, 2023. Parents need not make enquiries to the schools they apply to before the announcement of results.
For further enquiries concerning the SSPA System, please contact the School Places Allocation Section of the EDB on 2832 7740 or 2832 7700.