This is the depressing headline for an article in the Good Schools Guide part of the South China Morning Post:
“Many parents in Hong Kong see boarding schools in Britain or the United States as the preferred option, believing they offer an excellent all-round education and can open up opportunities at university level and beyond.
In most cases, 11 or 13 is seen as the best age for admission for kids who will have to deal with the challenges of being away from home for weeks at a time, while also settling into a new school environment and an unfamiliar system.
Recently, though, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in the possibilities of getting kids into primary-level boarding schools overseas. And, as a result, education advisers and learning centres in Hong Kong have been kept busy with inquiries about procedures, costs, strategies, and preparing younger kids for admission.
“Those considering top secondary schools – day or boarding – in the UK or US realise it’s getting more competitive to gain entry directly from Hong Kong at the most popular age of 13-14 years old,” says Jennifer Ma, co-founder and director of ARCH education. “Hence, parents are looking to go through the more extensive junior prep school recruitment channel instead and will consider sending their children overseas at the age of 9-10 or even earlier.””