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Saturday 20-Jan-2018
【信報】送子女寄宿首重地區宜居

重要事點止講過三次,留學英國揀學校不能只看排名榜,有時揀地區更加重要。海外生的家長要記得,同學仔去到不能住在家裏而要寄宿,選擇學校的準則便不那麼純粹,因爲同學仔讀書不是只為上學放學,更要考慮到他們要融入社區環境,還要顧及治安狀況和生活質素等,這些條件,與排名榜的高低未必掛勾。

 

很簡單,在英國,排名高的學校多在倫敦、伯明罕等大城市,這跟英國行catchment area(招生區域)制有關,本地的日校生入讀住所招生區域的學校,順勢提高了學校排名,但這未必代表學校的校風或德育特別好,更加不代表該區是適合學生——特別是舉目無親的海外生——生活。倫敦是個很好的例子,它有不少排名很高的名校,可是在不少調查中它都被選為全英最不宜居的地方,我自己當年也親眼目睹了大都會的嚴重問題,據說近年更有惡化趨勢,黑工猖獗犯罪率高。若我是家長,至少絕不會想在子女太年輕時,要他們孤身在首都面對這些問題。

 

英國常有各種調查,公佈國內甚麼地區最適宜建立家庭。要送子女去英國寄宿,這些調查結果縱不能完全作準,但也很具有參考價值。這類統計準則往往包括區內是否有好的學校、失業率是否偏低、人均收入可高、治安良不良好,以及區內一般家庭的教育文化水平。換言之,能被選為宜居的地區,都能提供安全舒適的環境讓小朋友和青少年接受教育和健康地成長,亦即是話,家長如果要越洋過海送子女寄宿,這些會是相對可以令家長放心同學安心的地方。

 

倫敦最近再次被選為全英十大惡住城市之首,列斯特及伯明翰也在名單內,結果全不令人意外。至於宜居地區統計中,常客往往是Surrey、Devon、 Norfolk等地區,它們大部分的共通點是區內住有old money的傳統家庭,不少上一代已就讀私立學校,居民經濟環境好文化水平高。以個別學校相比,這些地區的表現可能不及大城市,但要送仔女去寄宿,我卻寧願棄排名取宜居,讓他們能在較偏遠卻安全舒適的地區,度過無憂的中學校園生活。

 

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原文:http://www1.hkej.com/dailynews/culture/article/1749481/%E9%80%81%E5%AD%90%E5%A5%B3%E5%AF%84%E5%AE%BF%E9%A6%96%E9%87%8D%E5%9C%B0%E5%8D%80%E5%AE%9C%E5%B1%85

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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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.

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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)

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