SINGAPORE - Fewer schools this year may have to conduct balloting for the next stage of Primary 1 registration, Phase 2B, which starts on Monday.
Going by last year's demand, 11 primary schools may need to do so for Phase 2B, which is for children whose parents volunteer at the school, are active grassroots leaders or have church or clan associations.
These schools include Catholic High School in Bishan and Nanyang Primary School in Bukit Timah.
This number is lower than the 24 primary schools which needed to hold a ballot at this point of the registration exercise last year, and the 28 in 2012.
A total of 14 schools each have fewer than 30 places for Phase 2B. Among them, five schools, including Yu Neng Primary School in Bedok, have just 20 vacancies - the minimum number of places reserved for this phase, under a new rule this year.
The rule set by the Ministry of Education requires schools to set aside at least 40 places in Phases 2B and 2C, to be split equally among both phases. Phase 2C, for children with no ties to the school, starts on July 30.
This rule led to balloting being held in an earlier stage, Phase 2A2, in four schools - CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School, Henry Park Primary, Nan Hua Primary and Radin Mas Primary.
This was the first time since 1995 that balloting was held in Phase 2A2, which is for children whose parents or siblings were former pupils of the school.
But this has opened up more spaces for children applying in the later stages at these schools. For instance, only five children got into Henry Park Primary School last year through Phase 2B, but this year, the school has 20 slots in the same phase.