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Saturday 06-Aug-2016

曾有家長與學生想了解英國的中學制度,但被一大堆名詞搞到頭昏腦脹:Public School?State School?Private School?吓!Public School不同於State School?Public School原來份屬Private?但並非所有Private School都可以叫Public School?


做升學顧問,其中一個重責,就是安撫這些迷惘的家長與學生,並為他們拆解這一大堆令人費解的專有名詞。英國的Public School,歷史上應可與「和諧式客機」齊名,並列「全球最具誤導性名稱榜」榜首。何以誤導?黎民甲乙丙一見「Public School」二字,最直接便會聯想到「慈善學堂」,即以教育平民大眾為己任,務使人人有書讀的學校,繼而引申為政府開辦、毋須學費書簿費、收生相對寬鬆的公立學校。不對嗎?對一半,不對一半。


是這樣的。英國的確存在政府斥資興辦且由地區政府管理,向大眾提供教育的學校,這些學校課程要根據「全國教學大綱」而釐定,老師都躋身公務員匡列,最重要的是不收學費(寄宿生則要交寄宿費)。不過這類別學校不叫Public School,正名為State School。相對於State School,由私人或獨立團體辦理、學生需繳學費的私立學校,則全部可統稱為Private School或Independent School。



說到Public School,英格蘭和威爾斯的Public School,原本出身確實源於要教育貧苦大眾的慈善學校,名字中的Public,指的正是教育的受眾,當時不拘社會階層、宗教、職業、居住地區,即使是貧苦或平民的子弟都能受惠於這些慈善辦學機構,接受教育。


不過1868年頒布的公校法,賦予7間地位與別不同的學校獨立管理權,令這些學校從此可脫離政府或教會獨立運作。這些早期的公學全部都是男子寄宿學校,基於這批學校與當時英國的領導階層以至皇室關係密切,學生都是來自官府豪門,所以學校的地位額外尊貴崇高,後來還發展出多個公學派別。但總的來說,Public School是非一般的Independent School或Private School,只有少數歷史悠久、收生嚴謹兼收費高昂的私立中學才有權掛上這公學的冠冕。它們雖有Public之名,卻弔詭地絕非向廣大民眾中門大開的學府,反而是提供精英教育的貴族學校,到今天都依然一樣。






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Education Experts

With an entrepreneurial spirit spreading across online, print and broadcast media, Samuel is an award-winning educational consultant and celebrated columnist.

As a leader in the field of education, he was honoured with the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Award and his most prestigious achievement to date includes the founding of Hong Kong’s premier educational brands - Britannia StudyLink, Anglo Belgravia and Ascent Prep.

In addition to streamlining the UK independent school application process for Hong Kong families and spearheading the first official UKiset-accredited educational centre in Hong Kong, Samuel has led his company, Britannia, to becoming one of Asia’s leading brands with diverse clients and distinguished institutions ranging from Radley College to HSBC Bank and Hong Kong Telecom.


Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.


MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

#School Analysis
Considering its reputation, Oundle School may not catch up to Eton, Wycombe Abbey and else top elite schools. However, Oundle’s academic performance is among the best in the United Kingdom. As a traditional top boarding school, Oundle pays huge attentions to student’s holistic development, by providing them diversified extra-curricular activities. In addition, Oundle still implements the House Dining System, which is rarely remaining among uk boarding schools. It is also one of the reasons why Hong Kong parents making a beeline for.
The ratio of teachers and students in Bromsgrove School is 1:8, which is lower than the average among uk boarding schools. In addition, according to my school visit experience, Bromsgrove has the best facilities, that it is undoubtedly one of the best three campuses in the UK. Besides, Bromsgrove spares no expense to provide students comfortable environment, it even invests on the nearby hotel and transfers it into dormitories. As a result, students can possess the “5-star enjoyment” on campus. To conclude, Bromsgrove is definitely a prospective and globalised uk boarding school.
Brighton College is Britain’s premier private school and one of the Hong Kong parents’ favourites. To understand a boarding school, despite of looking at its educational tenet, diversified extra-curricular activities and academics results, it is essential to observe the boldness of the principal. 10 years ago, after Mr. Richard Cairns taking up the duty of the Brighton College’s principal, the school ranking raises from the 150th to the top 20th. In addition to promoting educational reformation, Mr Cairns is such a good principal, that he still strives for maintaining students’ curiosity at the same time.
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