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How difficult is it to get a spot in local primary school?

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anthonyh
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How difficult is it to get a spot in local primary school?

Postby anthonyh » Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:35 pm

Hi all,

I've been looking for answers and have tried to search on this forum, but a lot of the info, whilst very useful, does not exactly answer my query.

I have received an offer with my company to move to Singapore, and we would potentially move within the next 3 months or so.

I have 3 young kids, the oldest of which is almost 4, and so is a couple of years away from primary school. I am trying to ascertain the possibility of enrolling him in a local primary school when the time comes, rather than in an International School, which I feel would be a bit too expensive for us.

I have done a lot of research, and I believe I understand the process of enrolment into P1.

Now, my query is basically, that I'm trying to understand the likelihood of being -able- to get into a local primary school. I know that foreigners are bottom of the list in terms of priority, and so we are unlikely to get much choice as to which primary school we may get.

But are the chances quite high that we'll get into (any) local primary school? Or is it quite conceivable that we'll fail to get a spot, and hence we'll have no alternative but to enrol in an International School?

Anyone with any knowledge or experience of this would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:56 pm

You will probably eventually get a spot, but it will likely be as far as possible to wherever you are living or working. It's not deliberate but it sure seems like it sometimes.

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Postby merichan » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 9:39 am

As long as kids are on DP, even if you might loose a few nights sleep during the waiting time to get the allocated spot ( especially the last few years, where most schools have been oversubscribed, that's part of the reason the MOE is changing the policy for phase 3 admission this year, and where some parents had to wait until mid december to get a confirmed spot )

you'll eventually get a spot. However it will not be in a central area and might be quite far from where you live.

We got a school close to our home, but we moved to an area where traditionally they had free space in phase 3, in preparation for our daughter entrance to school.

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Postby anthonyh » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 8:27 pm

Thanks guys for the replies. Very helpful.

It's quite an important issue for me because if I have to put my children into International Schools, then it sets a much, much higher threshold for me to agree to relocate to Singapore. If I can get my kids into a local school, then it makes it much easier to do it. The package that I've been offered does not have any school fees assistance.

Merichan - how do you know which primary schools generally have spots available for Phase 3? Does the MOE publish this?

And I'm curious, why do you say that in the past few years, most schools have been oversubscribed? Was there a surge in baby births a few years ago?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 9:53 pm

Schools here used to run a double session, so half of them went early mornings (really early!) and other went in the afternoon. With them phased out, the government has been in the process of building new schools and having to supply those schools with teachers who are suitable for the type of education they give here for the pittance they pay.

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Postby therat » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 9:58 pm

anthonyh wrote:
Merichan - how do you know which primary schools generally have spots available for Phase 3? Does the MOE publish this?

And I'm curious, why do you say that in the past few years, most schools have been oversubscribed? Was there a surge in baby births a few years ago?


Kiasu parent forum has last yr intake history but you need to register as member (it's free) before you can access the data

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/conte ... ng-history

MOE only keep present year data.
2015 primary 1 registration will be start on 3 July.
You can read and follow the data.
Every phase complete, MOE will update , how many seat are taken, how many seat are left for next phase.

http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2014/ ... ration.php

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Postby therat » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:04 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Schools here used to run a double session, so half of them went early mornings (really early!) and other went in the afternoon. With them phased out, the government has been in the process of building new schools and having to supply those schools with teachers who are suitable for the type of education they give here for the pittance they pay.


MOE is on the way to convert school from double session to single session.

This is the list of school that having single or Partial session
http://www.moe.gov.sg/initiatives/single-session/

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:57 pm

therat wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Schools here used to run a double session, so half of them went early mornings (really early!) and other went in the afternoon. With them phased out, the government has been in the process of building new schools and having to supply those schools with teachers who are suitable for the type of education they give here for the pittance they pay.


MOE is on the way to convert school from double session to single session.

This is the list of school that having single or Partial session
http://www.moe.gov.sg/initiatives/single-session/


I thought that's what I wrote? :-|

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Postby therat » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 11:13 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
therat wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Schools here used to run a double session, so half of them went early mornings (really early!) and other went in the afternoon. With them phased out, the government has been in the process of building new schools and having to supply those schools with teachers who are suitable for the type of education they give here for the pittance they pay.


MOE is on the way to convert school from double session to single session.

This is the list of school that having single or Partial session
http://www.moe.gov.sg/initiatives/single-session/


I thought that's what I wrote? :-|


I just add on the list of school which already in single session or still in partial session.

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Postby maneo » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 11:45 pm

Weren't the double sessions more in response to the heavy demand occurring when the dragon babies reach school age?

If the 4 year old was born in the year of the Tiger, then there may be less competition:

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/content/singapore-birth-rate-vs-available-primary-one-places

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 02 Jul 2014 6:49 am

maneo wrote:Weren't the double sessions more in response to the heavy demand occurring when the dragon babies reach school age?

If the 4 year old was born in the year of the Tiger, then there may be less competition:

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/content/singapore-birth-rate-vs-available-primary-one-places


That might have been true but my daughter was born 4 years before the '88 dragon year but a lot of schools were already running double sessions way back then. My son, born in '89 had double sessions as well.

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Postby merichan » Wed, 02 Jul 2014 10:39 am

anthonyh wrote:Merichan - how do you know which primary schools generally have spots available for Phase 3? Does the MOE publish this?

And I'm curious, why do you say that in the past few years, most schools have been oversubscribed? Was there a surge in baby births a few years ago?



You already got the answer to question one above :)


For question 2, it's not a surge of baby births, but a surge in number of children that either would have been in International Schools but aren't because of cost issues

children that expat parents choose to put in local system for the exposure to chinese

children from lower class "expats" that have no choice but going to local schools

Also in my daughter's school there are a few malaysian kids here in student pass, who cross the border every single day, usually at least one of their parents works in SG and as such the child was allowed to try to enter local system, and if there was space available integrated to local system.

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Postby therat » Wed, 02 Jul 2014 10:39 am

maneo wrote:Weren't the double sessions more in response to the heavy demand occurring when the dragon babies reach school age?

If the 4 year old was born in the year of the Tiger, then there may be less competition:

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/content/singapore-birth-rate-vs-available-primary-one-places


double session is way before 80s.
My elder brother enter school at 1977, it was double session.
Class 1A - morning session
Class 1AA - afternoon session.

Both morning and afternoon session has primary 1 to primary 6 classes.
At that time, class size is huge, estimate 44/45 student in one class.

Now class size reduce, not more than 30 for primary 1 and 2.

Quote from http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/primary ... class-size
30 students per class for Primary 1 classes from 2005 and Primary 2 classes from 2006.



Some school which still having double session, will be lower primary (1 and 2) in afternoon session, upper primary (3/4/5/6) in morning session

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Postby Wd40 » Wed, 02 Jul 2014 11:30 am

Aren't there any private school options in between local schools and International Schools?

In India, everything is private, the government has opened up most sectors and there is so much competition that consumers always has good choice and good deals whether it is telecom providers, schools, hospitals or retail chains. Most people in the middle class can easily afford them.


Why is Singapore so restrictive in matters like these, I dont get it :???: So is Singapore really an open economy?

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Postby taxico » Wed, 02 Jul 2014 5:47 pm

Wd40 wrote:Aren't there any private school options in between local schools and International Schools?

In India, everything is private, the government has opened up most sectors and there is so much competition that consumers always has good choice and good deals whether it is telecom providers, schools, hospitals or retail chains. Most people in the middle class can easily afford them.


Why is Singapore so restrictive in matters like these, I dont get it :???: So is Singapore really an open economy?


singapore doesn't like/want singaporean kids entering International Schools. it's sorta expressly forbidden unless the parents know how to work the system with professional help to gain an approval from MOE.

so local "demand" is quite low... additionally... i don't think MOE can mandate International Schools teach NE (national education/singaporean'ess/etc) in International Schools... god (or in this case, LeeKY) forbid if more students get educated the non-PAP way.
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