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Mandatory requirements

Parties applying for vacant school premises and/or sites under the SAE for international school development should meet the following mandatory requirements.  The mandatory requirements are subject to change.  Applicants should refer to the mandatory requirements drawn up for the SAE in which they participate.

  1. At least 70% of the school places should be allocated to the target group(s) of students which the school has publicly stated that it would serve. Target students refer to those who hold passport other than the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport or the British National (Overseas) Passport or student visas for entry into Hong Kong for studies;
  2. School operators shall operate a non-local curriculum suitable for international schools.  Curriculum which leads to local examination or mainly prepares for articulation to local schools shall not be accepted;
  3. School operators shall use the vacant school premises and/or greenfield sites for operation of a primary, secondary or primary-cum-secondary international school.  The Government does not provide premises or sites for the operation of pre-primary, child care centre, nursery or kindergarten.  A restricted operation of pre-primary or kindergarten may be permitted provided that the applicants are able to demonstrate that it is part and parcel of the primary curriculum, and justify that the space and facilities for the primary and/or secondary school use would not be jeopardized.  Approval for such operation will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  The proposed school should not provide boarding facilities nor deploy the premises and/or site for decanting purpose;
  4. Apart from the interest-free loan which may be provided by the Government to school operators allocated with greenfield sites, school operators shall operate the international schools on a self-financing basis without recurrent or capital financial assistance from the Government, with proof of sufficient financial support for necessary capital works;
  5. In each school year, school operators shall set aside a sum, which shall not be less than 10% of the total school fee income of the international schools, for providing scholarship and/or other financial assistance for deserving students;
  6. Both the school sponsoring body, the incorporated company solely for operating the schools and the school operated at the allocated premises and/or site are required to be exempted from tax under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Chapter 112 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (“tax exemption status”).  The school sponsoring body and the incorporated company solely for operating the schools should also be incorporated under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 32 of the Laws of Hong Kong or Chapter 622 with effect from 3 March 2014, as appropriate) with its articles of association containing all the standard articles required for allocation of a school premises and/or site, or incorporated under other ordinances with the Permanent Secretary for Education being satisfied, having regard to its constitution, that it is fit to be considered for allocation of a school;

    To encourage school operators from overseas and those new to the local international school sector to participate in SAEs for international school development, tax exemption status is not a pre-requisite to the SAE.  This notwithstanding, the allocation of premises and/or sites is conditional upon, amongst others, the presentation of documentary proof of the tax exemption status.  Successful applicants and their international schools are required to confirm the status with the Education Bureau annually;
  7. School operators shall make available buildings and facilities of the premises when required to the Government and to the community for educational, community or other activities, provided that this would not compromise the day-to-day operation of the school and safety of students;
  8. Applicants are required to provide letters of recommendations from Consulate General(s) and/or Chamber(s) of Commerce indicating their support for the proposed school and their form of participation, if any, in the operation of the school.  The purpose is to ensure that the services to be provided by the applicants would meet the needs of the nationals of the respective Consulate General(s) and Members of the Chamber(s) of Commerce.