We support and facilitate international schools to provide quality education services and to meet the demand of the community.

HOME / WHAT WE DO / School Allocation Exercise / FAQs


  1. 1.Can I join the School Allocation Exercise (“SAE”) if I have missed the Expression of Interest (“Eol”) exercise?
    Only respondents whose Eol reply forms show that they have met the prescribed requirements will be invited to submit detailed proposal in respect of the premises and/or sites under the SAE.  Indication of interest through means other than the EoI reply form will not be considered.  To make sure you do not miss out the coming EoI exercise, you may wish to register your interest here.
  2. 2.What are some requirements that specifically apply to SAEs for international school development?
    The procedures in the SAEs for developing international schools and local schools are broadly the same but each has its own set of requirements and criteria. For example, to encourage overseas organisations to set up international schools in Hong Kong, we do not require interested parties to acquire the tax exemption status at the EoI stage. That said, the eventual allocation of the site and premises is conditional upon, amongst others, the presentation of documentary proof of such status. In addition, SAEs for international school use require recommendations from Consulate Generals and/or Chambers of Commerce.
  3. 3.Can I take a look at the sites and premises before submitting a proposal?
    The location of the premises and sites will be announced at the EoI exercise. Interested parties may arrange their own visit to the surrounding areas of the premises and sites. Official site visits, with access to the premises and sites, are usually arranged after detailed proposals are invited from eligible parties under the SAE. Applicants may wish to visit the sites and premises with their consultants for advice regarding building and structural issues.
  4. 4.Where can I obtain a copy of the building plans of the vacant school premises?

    If building plans or sketches are available in Education Bureau’s record, they will be provided to the applicants when detailed proposals are invited under the SAE.  Alternatively, applicants may visit the Building Information Centre in person or use the Building Records Access and Viewing On-line (BRAVO) system over the Internet for inspection and copying of the latest approved building records upon application and payment of fee.

    Building Information Centre, Buildings Department
    13/F Pioneer Centre, 750 Nathan Road, Kowloon (until 31 March 2019)
    2/F, the Buildings Department Headquarters, North Tower, West Kowloon
    Government Offices, 11 Hoi Ting Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon (with effect from 1 April 2019)
    Tel.: 2626 1207

    For premises located within Hong Kong Housing Authority estates, applicants may approach the Housing Department for a copy of the latest building plans.

    Independent Checking Unit, Housing Department
    8/F, Lung Cheung Office Block, 138 Lung Cheung Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon
    Tel.: 3162 0400

  5. 5.What are the selection criteria in the SAE?
    Quality of education is the prime consideration.  Generally, in selecting the most appropriate school operators, factors including good organisation structure, proper management, sound financial footing, good track record and proven experience and expertise will be considered.  You may refer to the guiding principles of the SAE.
  6. 6.Do I have an opportunity to meet with the School Allocation Committee (“SAC”) to present my detailed proposal?
    The SAC may, on a case by case basis, invite shortlisted SAE applicants to attend interviews and present their proposals.The purpose of the interviews is for the SAC to raise follow-up questions on the proposals received and to seek clarifications to facilitate further assessment.  It is not a must that all applicants would be invited to attend interviews.
  7. 7.Are there any guidelines on the preparation of the proposal?
    When we invite applicants to submit detailed proposals at the SAE stage, we will include in our invitation detailed guidelines on the preparation of the proposal.  Normally a briefing session will be held during the SAE stage to allow applicants an opportunity to raise questions which they may have.  Click here for aspects that would generally be considered in an SAE.
  8. 8.What is a typical SAE like? How much time an applicant will be given to respond at each stage?
    Expression of Interest Exercise School Allocation Exercise Allocation of premises / sites
    • Open to all
    • Submit reply form
    • Usually opens for 8 weeks


    • Open to eligible respondents to the EoI
    • Submit detailed proposals for assessment
    • Usually opens for 8 to 12 weeks. Site visits will usually be arranged at this stage
    • Assessment by the SAC and conduct of interview, if necessary
    • Results will usually be announced in 6 to 9 months after the deadline for submitting detailed proposals
  9. 9.Is there any financial assistance for the successful SAE applicants?

    International schools should be run on a self-financing basis. Successful applicants are expected to fund any renovation and construction works required.

    In accordance with existing policy on assistance for international schools, successful applicants will normally enjoy nominal rent or nominal premium treatment as appropriate. Interest-free capital loans for schools to be set up on greenfield sites may also be provided upon application.

    Apart from the above, no recurrent or capital financial assistance will be offered to the successful applicants or their international schools.

  10. 10.I would like to apply for Government interest-free loan.
    The Government interest-free loan is only available to successful applicants of greenfield sites to back the loan for the construction of school buildings from private or commercial sources.  Please click here for further details on the provision of Government loan.  Successful applications of vacant school premises will not be considered for provision of interest-free loan.
  11. 11.I wish to operate an international kindergarten. Can I participate in the SAE?
    For SAEs for international school development, the Education Bureau targets to provide primary and secondary school places.  On the other hand, the Education Bureau would make nominations of kindergarten operators for estate kindergarten premises under the Hong Kong Housing Authority via separate SAEs.
  12. 12.Are there any restrictions on building design for the allocated premises and sites?

    For vacant school premises, successful applicants are expected to renovate the premises. They are not expected to demolish all or any part of the existing buildings. Minor alteration works may be allowed subject to compliance with relevant statutory and/or administrative requirements and/or approval by relevant authorities.

    For greenfield sites, the proposed new buildings are subject to relevant statutory and/or administrative requirements and/or approval by relevant authorities which include but not limited to the requirements under Buildings Ordinance (e.g. provision of barrier free access, means of escape, control of site coverage and plot ratio and sustainable building design guidelines). The school buildings should be compatible with the surrounding environment and developments in terms of building height and bulk.

    Successful applicants are required to enlist the service of relevant registered building professionals on matters concerning erection of a new building and alterations and additions works requiring approval and consent under the Buildings Ordinance. In addition, minor works to be carried out should comply with the simplified requirements of the Minor Works Control System under the Buildings Ordinance.