Q&A

Ask Sandra: Primary 1 registration

Primary 1 registration begins on Thursday. The exercise prioritises convenience and the interests of a child. Most schools - more than 180 - are single-session ones.
Primary 1 registration begins on Thursday. The exercise prioritises convenience and the interests of a child. Most schools - more than 180 - are single-session ones.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Q How will I know whether the primary school I wish to enrol my child in is a single-session school?

A To find out which schools will be operating as single-session ones, you will need to go to the Ministry of Education's (MOE) website and refer to the Mode of Operations of Primary Schools section.

The vast majority of schools - more than 180 - are single-session ones. Only seven are listed as "partial single session", which refers to Primary 3 to Primary 6 classes being held in the morning while Primary 1 and Primary 2 classes will be in the afternoon.

MOE said it will continue to work closely with schools that are not operating on a single session to help them transition. When the timeline is confirmed, parents will be informed.

Q How long do we need to live in the address used to register our child during the P1 registration exercise?

A According to MOE, priority is given to those living nearby, with the expectation that the family will remain at the address for the duration of the child's primary school studies, as it is for the convenience and interest of the child.

If a child gains priority admission into a school because of distance, he is then required to reside at the address used for registration for at least 30 months from the commencement of the Primary 1 registration exercise on Thursday.

If this condition is not met, MOE reserves the right to transfer the child to another school.

Q My widowed mother cares for my son during the week. Can I use her address to register my son for Primary 1? Do I have priority to schools near my mum's home?

A Yes, but a statutory declaration is required.

Both you and your spouse must be working full time and your mum must not be employed and must be providing full-time care to your son.

If a statutory declaration is used, children who are registered using the address of either the grandparent or the parent's sibling and residing within 1km or between 1km and 2km from the school of choice are balloted together with the other children of the same citizenship residing between 1km and 2km.

Q If there are more applicants than places in Phase 2C, do Singaporeans living outside a 2km radius get priority over permanent residents living within 2km of the school?

A All children with Singapore citizenship will be admitted first in Phase 2C, which is for those with no links to the school of choice. The remaining vacancies, if any, will then be allocated to permanent residents based on the proximity of their homes to the school. Balloting will be required if the number of citizens applying exceeds the number of places in that phase.

Q What if I register my child in a school on the first day of Phase 2C and then change my mind? Can I withdraw the earlier application and go to another school?

A A child can be registered in only one school at any point of the Primary 1 registration exercise.

But if you change your mind, you may withdraw an earlier application to register at another school.

However, I would not recommend this. You have to consider the fact that your child has already secured a place, while he may be subject to balloting at the second school, especially if it is a popular one.

A child can be registered in only one school at any point of the Primary 1 registration exercise. But if you change your mind, you may withdraw an earlier application to register at another school.

Q How can I find out if there is school bus transport provided from the school to my house?

A You can ask the school to refer you to the school bus transport operator, who will be able to advise you on which route the school bus will ply.

Q My alma mater, which is near my home, will be merged with another school. I had wanted to register my daughter there. What should I do?

A Children whose parents or siblings are former pupils of the merging schools are eligible for Phase 2A(2) when registering at the merged school.

You have to produce an official document (such as the Primary School Leaving Examination certificate or report book) indicating that you had studied there.

Sandra Davie

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2017, with the headline 'Ask Sandra: Primary 1 registration'. Print Edition | Subscribe