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EDB announces arrangements on application for S1 discretionary places
     The Education Bureau (EDB) today (December 4) announced that parents of Primary Six (P6) students participating in the current (2024) cycle of the Secondary School Places Allocation (SSPA) who wish to apply for Secondary One (S1) Discretionary Places (DP) in government, aided and caput secondary schools as well as Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) secondary schools participating in the SSPA System for their children have to submit the applications to the secondary schools concerned between January 2 and 16, 2024.
Digitalisation of SSPA
     Parents who have registered as SSPA e-platform (eSSPA) (esspa.edb.gov.hk) users and bound their account to "iAM Smart+" may browse choice-making information starting from tomorrow (December 5), and submit DP applications and check application results via eSSPA at a later stage. The EDB encourages parents to register with "iAM Smart+" (www.iamsmart.gov.hk/en/reg.html) as early as possible and activate their eSSPA account using "iAM Smart+" for more convenient and faster electronic services.
     To cater for the needs of different parents, traditional paper application forms will continue to be accepted, and primary schools participating in the SSPA System have been informed to collect copies of the Application Forms for Secondary One Discretionary Places (application forms) and the Handbook for Application for Secondary One Discretionary Places (Handbook) tomorrow. Parents of P6 students will each receive two paper application forms from their children's primary school. For students not studying in primary schools participating in the SSPA System (including newly arrived children and dependants under various talent admission schemes who are eligible for participating in the SSPA), their parents can obtain the application forms at the School Places Allocation (SPA) Section of the EDB.
Submission of S1 DP applications
     An EDB spokesman said, "Parents are encouraged to submit the application forms and other required documents to secondary schools via the eSSPA. If parents prefer submitting paper application forms and other necessary documents in person, they should note the school office hours."
     The two electronic or paper application forms that parents will receive will show Order of School Preference 1 and School Preference 2 respectively. Order of School Preference 1 stands for the student's first-choice school and Order of School Preference 2 stands for the student's second-choice school. In all circumstances, primary and secondary schools should not request students or parents to disclose their order of preference. Likewise, applicants and their parents should not disclose their order of preference to schools.
     The spokesman reminded parents to read carefully the Notes for Parents on Application for Secondary One Discretionary Places. Parents should not submit applications to more than two secondary schools participating in the SSPA no matter whether the applications are submitted via the eSSPA or in paper form. Otherwise, the DP applications of their children will be rendered void. In addition, parents should not submit duplicate applications via the eSSPA and in paper form for the same child. 
     The spokesman said, "The schools to which parents apply for DPs are not restricted by districts. Parents are strongly advised to consider the schools in all respects, such as their educational philosophy, tradition, religion, admission criteria, development and operation, and their children's characteristics, personalities, abilities and interests, so as to make a suitable school choice. Parents may refer to the relevant information in the Secondary School Profiles (www.chsc.hk/secondary) or school websites for reference.
     "Students who are successful in the DP application stage will not be allocated a school place in central allocation (CA). Parents should, therefore, apply to schools of their preference. The EDB will match students' preferences against schools' Successful/Reserve Lists for Discretionary Places. If a student is successful in both schools to which he or she has applied, allocation will be based on the student's order of preference."
Notification arrangements for successful DP applicants
     The spokesman reminded that under the notification arrangements for successful DP applicants, if students are included by participating secondary schools in their Successful Lists for Discretionary Places, their parents will receive notifications from the schools on March 27, 2024. Parents who have registered as eSSPA users may also view notifications for successful DP applicants via the eSSPA starting from 10am on the same day. Parents do not need to reply to the schools whether they would accept the offers. The allocation results of DP and CA will be released at the same time on July 9, 2024.
     For the list of secondary schools accepting DP applications and the number of DPs for application, parents may ask for the Handbook from primary schools for reference or obtain the latest version of the Handbook through the EDB website (www.edb.gov.hk) and the fax service of the EDB's 24-hour Automatic Telephone Enquiry System on 2891 0088.
     If parents have enquiries about DP applications, they are advised to consult their children's primary schools or the secondary schools to which they apply. For general enquiries, parents may contact the SPA Section of the EDB (Tel: 2832 7740/2832 7700; address: Office 2, 2/F, Manulife Financial Centre, 223 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong). The SPA Section will be relocated later this month. Details will be announced on the EDB website in due course.
Ends/Monday, December 4, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:55
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