Sustainable Schools : Introduction of the Refundable Capital Levy
I am writing to tell you that at its meeting on 11 May 2010, the ESF Board of Governors confirmed its intention to introduce a Refundable Capital Levy, payable by the parents of children joining the ESF school system in August 2011 or thereafter.
Confirmation of the Board’s decision followed notification from the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Government of the Administration’s support for a major building project at Kowloon Junior School. The Public Works Sub-Committee and Finance Committee of the Legislative Council will be asked to approve a sum of money to assist with the funding of this major project towards the end of the calendar year. The funding from Government will cover a portion of the costs of the project - around 40% - and represents approximately the level of funding support we had hoped for; this gives us confidence to go ahead with our school building replacement programme.
In making their decisions about the detail of how the Refundable Capital Levy (RCL) will operate, the Board took into account the comments made by parents, teachers and support staff during the consultation exercise which took place in December 2009 and January 2010. The RCL scheme will operate as follows :
The RCL will be HK$25,000 for each child entering Year 1 and Year 7 of ESF schools from August 2011 onwards. It will also be payable by the parents of children entering ESF schools in other year groups from August 2011onwards.
For families with more than two children, the RCL will be HK$10,000 for the third and subsequent child.
In order to promote the recruitment and retention of excellent teaching staff, teachers who are parents will pay 20% of the RCL.
The RCL will be payable by 21 May of the school year before the child enters school. A legally binding receipt will be issued and the RCL will be repaid when the child leaves the ESF school system. (Precise details of how this will be done will be set out in regulations for the scheme.)
As the RCL is phased in, the Advance Payment System will be phased out so that parents who have paid an RCL will not be required to pay the school fee for September in the preceding July. However, the deposits required in January or February for students entering Years 1 and 7 of ESF schools will be unaffected.
Further details will be supplied to parents affected by the RCL in good time before the payments fall due in May 2011.
We are grateful to parents for the constructive way in which the proposals for the RCL have been received. We are confident that this initiative will make a significant contribution to sustaining the long-term future of our schools.
Heather Du Quesnay