School Places Allocation Systems comprise the Primary One Admission (POA) System, Secondary School Places Allocation (SSPA) System and the Secondary Four Placement (SFP) Mechanism, all of which are administered by the EDB to allocate subsidised Primary One (P1), Secondary 1 (S1) and Secondary 4 (S4) places to eligible students.
Primary One Admission System
The POA System is designed to eliminate the pressure imposed on young children by the intense competition to enter popular primary schools and the adverse effect this has on education at the kindergarten level.
Under the POA System, the whole territory is divided into some 30 school nets. See this link for details:
All children with the right of abode in Hong Kong and reach the age of 5 years 8 months (as at 1 September of the year of entry to P1) are eligible to participate in the POA System except those who are already attending a primary school or have been allocated a P1 place previously. Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) primary schools, private primary schools and primary schools of the English Schools Foundation are excluded from the POA System. Parents who wish to send their children to these schools may apply direct to the schools.
The Primary One Admission System is divided into two stages: “Discretionary Places Admission”(DP) stage and “Central Allocation” (CA) stage.
At the DP stage, parents can apply to only one government or aided primary school of their preference, the admission is based on EDB’s prescribed criteria. There are two categories of discretionary places admission: (1) Applicants with sibling(s) studying or parent(s) working in the school – all applicants in this category will be admitted by the school; (2) Selection of applicants according to the Points System - the remaining quota after admitting category 1 applicants will be allocated to applicants in this category.
At the CA stage, P1 places are centrally allocated by EDB according to school net, parents’ choice of schools and random number. Results of the central allocation are usually released in June every year. For details about Primary One Admission System, please refer to the POA website:
For details of individual schools, please visit their school website or contact the school direct.
For detailed information on aided, government and DSS primary schools, please browse the website of Primary School Profiles:
Secondary School Places Allocation (SSPA) System
The SSPA System is a mechanism for allocation of subsidised Secondary One (S1) places to eligible students studying Primary Six (P6) in schools participating in SSPA. It is divided into two stages, namely, Discretionary Places (DP) and Central Allocation (CA). At the DP stage, P6 students may apply to secondary schools direct during the application period which is usually in January. At the CA stage, P6 students will return their school choices via their primary schools to EDB by early May for the secondary school places allocation.
For students not participating in SSPA, including newly arrived children and students studying in a primary school not participating in SSPA, application for an S1 place can be made direct to the schools they prefer. Government, aided, caput and Direct Subsidy Scheme secondary schools participating in SSPA usually accept applications of S1 admission for the next school year in January each year. Moreover, should students wish to be allocated a subsidised S1 place of the coming school year, they can register with the School Places Allocation Section of the Education Bureau from the beginning of May to the end of August. Places available after central allocation will be allocated to eligible applicants by EDB.
For details, please visit:
Secondary Four Placement Mechanism
Under the New Senior Secondary (NSS) academic structure, students wishing to pursue mainstream education should normally be able to complete 6 years of secondary education in the same school to ensure continuity of learning. Secondary 3 leavers wishing to pursue an alternative pathway outside mainstream education will continue to be provided with opportunities to pursue full-time courses offered by the Vocational Training Construction Industry Council.
S3 students who cannot obtain S4 places in their own school can participate in Central Placement to S4 in other schools by the Education Bureau (EDB) or apply direct to Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) under the Direct Subsidy Scheme which recruit S4 students on their own. Central Placement results are usually announced in July. For details about this mechanism, please refer to this link:
School Places Allocation Section of the Education Bureau:
Address: Office 2, 2/F, Manulife Financial Centre, 223 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Tel No.: 2832 7700, 2832 7740
Office hours: Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 6:00pm