P1 registration: Can a child register using his step-siblings affiliations?

With the start of Primary 1 registration next week, the Straits Times' Senior Education Correspondent Sandra Davie is answering questions parents may have about the process. Here are some questions from parents about the priority given to different groups.

Question: "I have custody of my children from my former marriage. I have re-married and have a child who is to be registered for Primary 1 this year. Can my child be considered a sibling of my elder children for the purpose of registration?"*

Answer: If you have custody of your children from your earlier marriage, your younger child can be considered a sibling of your elder children for the purpose of registration. The Education Ministry's (MOE) advice however is for parents to contact their primary school of choice as each custody case is different. You should also ask the school about the specific documents required for registration.

Question: "While preserving a sense of belonging to the school is important, all that is required for alumni members is to join the alumni association for a period of one year (with the accompanying financial contribution to the school). What is MOE's rationale for alumni members being placed so high on the list, above those who actively contribute to the Singaporean community and parent volunteers who contribute to the school?"*

Answer: MOE says it accords priority to alumni members and other former students as the support of these key partners are critical to build up and maintain a school's tradition and ethos, and support its students, thus enabling the school to thrive.

"We will also like to state unequivocally that the buying of school places is not allowed. All school principals are aware that under no circumstances are they to solicit or accept donations in exchange for school places," it added.

Question: "We will be moving to Pasir Ris in November and want to register my son in White Sands Primary which is within 1km. What documents do I need to register my son under the new address. Must I change my address in my identity card for this purpose?"

- Esther Tay

Answer: Your new home address can be used provided that you are able to produce evidence that you have bought the property. In the case of private property, you must produce the original Sales and Purchase Agreement. For this year's registration exercise, the date of commitment by the developer in the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) must not be later than Dec 31, 2015.

In the case of Housing Board flat, the Agreement for Lease is required. In addition, you have to sign a letter of undertaking to move into the new property within two years of the child's entry into Primary 1.

*Questions were sent in without readers' particulars