Primary Education

Compulsory Education (CE) was implemented in Singapore in 2003. The first cohort of pupils coming under CE are Singapore Citizen children born between 2nd January 1996 and 1st January 1997 who are residing in Singapore.

The two key objectives of CE are to give our children:

  • A common core of knowledge which will provide a strong foundation for further education and training to prepare them for a knowledge-based economy; and
  • A common educational experience which will help to build national identity and cohesion.

Singapore has achieved almost universal education at the primary and the secondary levels through years of effort. Today, children who are not enrolled in national schools form only a small percentage of the cohort. The Government is however concerned that they are not being equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to be productive citizens in a knowledge-based economy. Hence, the Committee on Compulsory Education in Singapore (CCES) was formed in December 1999 to review whether compulsory education should be introduced in Singapore, and if so, the form and duration it should take.

CCES completed its work and presented its report to the Minister for Education. The key recommendations are summarised as follows:

  • Compulsory education should be introduced.
  • Responsibility for sending children to school and ensuring that they attend school should still remain with the parents.
  • Compulsory education should be up to Primary 6 as this is considered the minimum period of education for all Singapore children.
  • Certain categories of children, e.g. those with special needs will be exempted from compulsory education.

Statute
The Compulsory Education Act (Cap 51) was passed by Parliament on 9th October 2000 and assented to by the President on 16th October 2000. It provides for compulsory primary education in Singapore and related matters.

Compulsory School Age
According to the Compulsory Education Act, a child of ‘compulsory school age’ is one who is above the age of 6 years and who has not yet attained the age of 15 years.

A child of compulsory school age born after 1st January 1996, and who is citizen of Singapore residing in Singapore, has to attend a national primary school1 as a pupil regularly, unless he/she has been exempted from compulsory education, e.g. a child with special needs, a child attending a designated school, a child receiving home-schooling, information on exemptions).

Penalty
According to the Compulsory Education Act (Cap 51), where a child fails to attend regularly as a pupil at a national primary school or a designated school/be home-schooled (where exemption is granted), the parent/guardian of the child may be guilty of an offence. The penalties provided in the Act for a person convicted for the offence are a fine not exceeding $5,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to both.

Contents of This Page

Primary One Registration Exercise for Admission

What is the purpose of the primary one registration exercise?

The Primary One Registration Exercise is an exercise for a child to register for a Primary One place in a mainstream school in the following year.

Who can participate in the primary one registration exercise?

Children born between 2 January 2011 and 1 January 2012 (both dates inclusive) can participate in the 2017 Primary One Registration Exercise for admission to Primary One classes in 2018.

Please refer to the different Phases of the Primary One Registration Exercise and the eligibility for each of the Phases below.

When and where is the primary one registration exercise conducted?

The Primary One Registration Exercise is conducted from June to September every year. Parents should refer to the registration phases and procedures to find out which phase their children are eligible for, how to register and the documents required for registration.

Parents may proceed to the school of choice during their eligible phase to register their child for the Primary One Registration Exercise.

How do I register my child for the primary one registration exercise?

Registration for each phase is conducted at the primary school. The hours of registration at schools are from 8.00 am to 11.00 am and from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm on each scheduled registration day. Parents must produce the originals of each required document at the time of registration.

Overseas Singaporeans who wish to register their children for Primary One can refer to Information for Overseas Singaporeans for the registration procedures.

Compulsory Education

Under the Compulsory Education Act, Singapore Citizens born after 1 January 1996 and residing in Singapore are required to attend national primary schools regularly. Thus, a child who is at least 6 years old on 1 January of the year of admission to Primary One (Year 2018) has to register at the Primary One Registration Exercise in the preceding year (Year 2017).

If a child is assessed as being not ready or suitable for Primary One on medical grounds, a parent may seek approval from the Compulsory Education Unit for deferment of registration. Application can be made using the relevant form available on the compulsory education webpage or at the MOE Customer Service Centre at 1 North Buona Vista Drive (Tel: 6872 2220). Any queries on Compulsory Education may be directed to MOE Compulsory Education Unit at Fax: (65) 6778 9356 or Email: moe_ce@moe.edu.sg.

Address used for registration

The address used in the P1 Registration Exercise should be the parents’ official residential address as reflected on their NRICs. This address will be used to determine the home-school distance category, where required for consideration of priority in admissions.

The home-school distance category priority is given with the expectation that the family will reside at the address for the duration of the child’s primary school studies, as it is for the convenience and interest of the child.

In a small number of cases, there may be situations where the families are unable to remain at the address used for registration for the entire duration of the child’s primary school studies. Even so, a child who gains priority admission into a school through his/her distance category is required to reside at the address used for registration for at least 30 months from the commencement of the P1 registration exercise on 30 June 2017. If this condition is not met, MOE reserves the right to transfer the child to another school with vacancies, as the priority admission to the first school was based on the declared address used for registration.

Parents may obtain a list of schools within the 1km and 1-2km distance categories from the OneMap SchoolQuery Service managed by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) in June.

Primary One Registration Phases and Procedures

Phases

Registration Procedure

Phase 1

For a child who has a sibling studying in the primary school of choice

Procedures

Parents may submit the registration form and relevant documents through the older sibling who will be given the form by the school.

All children registered under this phase will be given places in the schools.

Phase 2A(1)

(a) For a child whose parent is a former student of the primary school and who has joined the alumni association as a member not later than 30 June 2016

(b) For a child whose parent is a member of the School Advisory / Management Committee

Procedures

Registration is conducted at the primary school that you wish your child to be admitted into. The hours of registration are from 8.00 am to 11.00 am and from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm on each scheduled registration day. Parent is to submit the registration form and required documents at the school of choice.

Alternatively, parents can authorise a person to register their child on their behalf. An original letter of authorisation is required from the parent.

Singapore Citizens (SCs) will be given absolute priority over Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) when balloting is necessary in a specific phase. SCs and PRs will continue to be eligible for the same phases, and all applicants will be admitted if the total number of applications in any phase does not exceed the number of vacancies. However, if the number of applications exceeds the number of vacancies in a specific phase, SCs will be admitted first ahead of PRs, before home-school distance is considered.

Phase 2A(2)

(a) For a child whose parent or sibling has studied in the primary school of choice

(b) For a child whose parent is a staff member of the primary school of choice

Procedures

Same as Phase 2A(1) above

Phase 2B

(a) For a child whose parent has joined the primary school as a parent volunteer not later than 1 July 2016 and has given at least 40 hours of voluntary service to the school by 30 June 2017

(b) For a child whose parent is a member endorsed by the church / clan directly connected with the primary school

(c) For a child whose parent is endorsed as an active community leader

Procedures

Same as Phase 2A(1) above

Phase 2C

For all children who are eligible for Primary One in the following year and are not yet registered in a primary school

Procedures

Registration is conducted at the primary school that you wish your child to be admitted into. The hours of registration are from 8.00 am to 11.00 am and from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm on each scheduled registration day. Parent is to submit the registration form and required documents at the school of choice.

Alternatively, parents can authorise a person to register their child on their behalf. An original letter of authorisation is required from the parent.

Online Registration

The Primary One Internet System (P1-IS) serves as a channel to facilitate the registration of children during Phase 2C and Phase 2C Supplementary.

Parents who register online will need to produce the original of each required documents to the school the child is successfully registered when requested by the school or upon reporting to the school.

Singapore Citizens (SCs) will be given absolute priority over Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) when balloting is necessary in a specific phase. SCs and PRs will continue to be eligible for the same phases, and all applicants will be admitted if the total number of applications in any phase does not exceed the number of vacancies. However, if the number of applications exceeds the number of vacancies in a specific phase, SCs will be admitted first ahead of PRs, before home-school distance is considered.

Phase 2C Supplementary

For a child who is not yet registered in a primary school after Phase 2C

Procedures

Same as Phase 2C above

Phase 3

For a child who is neither a Singapore Citizen nor a Singapore Permanent Resident

Procedures

Registration is conducted at the primary school with vacancy in this phase. The hours of registration are from 8.00 am to 11.00 am and from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm on the scheduled registration day. Parent is to submit the registration form and required documents at the school with vacancy.

Alternatively, parents can authorise a person to register their child on their behalf. An original letter of authorisation is required from the parent.

Parents of non-Singapore Citizen (SC) / non-Permanent Resident (PR) children should note that admission is not guaranteed as there are limited vacancies remaining for non-SC / non-PR children after places are allocated to SC / PR children.

MOE will publish the list of available primary schools for parents to register their child in this phase. MOE will thereafter centrally process all the applications and the posting outcome will be released to parents by 30 November 2017.

School posting will take into consideration factors such as availability of school vacancies and ensuring a good spread of students.

In view that Phase 3 vacancies are limited, MOE posting is final. We will therefore not entertain nor reply to appeals on the posting results. Our schools will also not entertain any walk-in applications for admissions or transfer of non-SC / non-PR children.

As admission is not guaranteed, parents of non-SC / non-PR children are advised to consider alternative educational options well ahead, even as you may decide to register your child during Phase 3 of the Primary One Registration Exercise.

Primary One Vacancies

The number of Primary One vacancies each school will offer for the Primary One Registration Exercise will be made available in June before the registration begins. Parents can refer to Primary Schools Vacancies by Phases for information on vacancies for each school.

Balloting will be conducted if the number of applications to a school exceed the number of vacancies during any phase from Phase 2A(1) onwards. Please refer to Allocation of Places below for details on balloting.

Parents can refer to Primary Schools Conducting Balloting to find out which schools will be conducting balloting at the end of each registration phase.

Parents will be notified of the results of registration by post, after the school has conducted balloting (if required) and before commencement of the next phase of registration. Parents should check with the school if they do not receive any notifications.

Parents of non-SC / non-PR children who registered under Phase 3 will be notified of the outcome by post by 30 November 2017.

Required Documents For Primary One Registration Exercise

The originals of each required document must be produced at the school of choice at the time of registration. Parents who registered online through the Primary One Internet System (P1-IS) will need to produce the original of each required document to the school that the child is successfully registered into, when requested or upon reporting to the school.

Citizenship

Documents Required

Singapore Citizens
  1. The child’s Birth Certificate
  2. The child’s Singapore Citizenship Certificate for those who are not Singapore Citizens at the time of birth
  3. Singapore NRIC of both parents or Entry / Re-entry Permits of parents if they do not possess Singapore NRIC
  4. The child’s Immunisation Records
Singapore Permanent Residents
  1. The child’s Birth Certificate
  2. The child’s Entry / Re-entry Permit
  3. Singapore NRIC of both parents or Entry / Re-entry Permits of parents if they do not possess Singapore NRIC
  4. The child’s Immunisation Records
Non-Singapore Citizens / Non-Singapore Permanent Residents
  1. The child’s Birth Certificate
  2. The child’s Passport
  3. The child’s Immigration Exemption Order / Dependant’s Pass / Student Pass / Long-Term Visit Pass (if any)
  4. Both parents' Passport / Singapore NRIC / Entry or Re-entry Permit
  5. Both parents' Employment Pass / Work Permit / Long-Term Visit Pass (if any)
  6. The child’s Immunisation Records
  7. Any other documents as required by the school to support the registration

Other Required Documents

Parents are to produce other required documents where applicable.
  • Letter of Authorisation
  • Statutory Declaration
  • Proof of Purchase of Yet-to-be-Completed Property
  • Proof of Overseas Posting
  • Proof of Marital Situation
  • Documents to show eligibility for
    • Phase 2A(1)
    • Phase 2A(2)
    • Phase 2B
  • Documents for Withdrawal
  • Immunisation Records

Letter of Authorisation

Parents may issue a letter of authorisation to their relatives or friends to register their children. You may download the letter of authorisation.

Statutory Declaration

Statutory Declaration (SD) is required for parents who wish to register their child using the address of the child’s grandparent or the parent’s sibling in a school within 2 kilometres from that address. For the purpose of registration, the child’s grandparent or the parent’s sibling and one of the child’s parents are required to make a statutory declaration in person at the MOE Customer Service Centre. Please refer to Statutory Declaration for more information on the eligibility criteria and the documents to produce.

Proof of Purchase of Yet-to-be Completed Property

A certified true copy of the Sales and Purchase document is required if the address of a yet-to-be completed private property is used for registration. The date of commitment by the developer in the Temporary Occupation Permit (T.O.P.) has to be within two years of the child’s entry into Primary One. In the case of a yet-to-be completed HDB flat, the Customer Copy or Specimen Copy of the Agreement for Lease is required. The Delivery Possession Date of the flat has to be within two years of the child’s entry into Primary One.

Parents must move into the new property within two years of the child’s entry into Primary One.

Proof of Overseas Posting

Overseas Singaporeans who wish to register their children for Primary One are to produce written evidence of overseas posting. More information on the registration procedures for Overseas Singaporean can be found on the Overseas Singaporeans page.

Proof of Marital Situation

Relevant Court Orders and any other supporting documents to prove the marital situation (e.g. divorced / separation papers, child custody orders) are required if parents are separated / divorced.

Documents to Show Eligibility for Phase 2A(1)

Relevant documents certifying the status (e.g. member of the School Advisory / Management Committee, or former student of the primary school and member of the school’s alumni association) of the parent must be provided. These documents may include the school report book or Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) Certificate, and a letter from the alumni association certifying the status and date that the parent joined as an alumni member.

Documents to Show Eligibility for Phase 2A(2)

Relevant documents certifying the status (e.g. staff or former student of the primary school) of the parent or the sibling and also the birth certificate of the sibling must be provided. These documents may include the school report book or Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) Certificate.

Documents to Show Eligibility for Phase 2B

A letter from the organisation to certify that the parent is a member endorsed by the organisation directly connected to the school must be provided.

Documents for Withdrawal

Both parents’ original NRICs are required at the point of withdrawal at the school.

Immunisation Records

All parents should produce the immunisation records of their children at the time of registration. Documentary evidence of immunisation can be downloaded from the National Immunisation Registry website.

With reference to Singapore’s National Childhood Immunisation Schedule, all children (Singapore Citizens and Non-Singapore Citizens) should have completed the recommended immunisations before entry into Primary One. For enquiries on immunisation requirements, parents can contact the Health Promotion Board at 1800-223-1313 or e-mail to hpb_nir@hpb.gov.sg.

Primary One Allocation of Places

Places in the school are allocated accordingly to the order of priority laid out in the various phases of the Primary One Registration Exercise. There will be balloting amongst the applicants if the number of applications to a school exceeds the number of vacancies available in any of the phases from Phase 2A(1) onwards.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will reserve 40 places in every primary school for registrants in Phase 2B and 2C to ensure continued open access to all primary schools. The 40 places will be reserved for Phase 2B and 2C (20 places for each phase) before the start of the P1 Registration Exercise.

At the end of Phase 2A(2), 50% of the remaining places (including the 40 reserved places) will be allocated for Phase 2B and the other 50% for Phase 2C registrants in a school. In the event that there are vacancies left at the end of Phase 2B, the remaining vacancies will be carried forward to Phase 2C. The following two examples and corresponding flowcharts are illustrations.

Example 1: School A — No Balloting at Phase 2A(2)

School A has a total of 240 vacancies. Of the 240 vacancies, 40 places are upfront reserved for Phase 2B and 2C registrants, and 200 places are available from Phase 1. Suppose 70 places are taken up in Phase 1, 50 places in Phase 2A(1) and 30 places in Phase 2A(2). This leaves 50 + 40 (reserved upfront) = 90 places for Phase 2B and 2C. The 90 vacancies will then be split equally into 45 vacancies each for Phase 2B and 2C.

In the event that not all the vacancies allocated for Phase 2B are taken up, the remaining vacancies will be carried forward to Phase 2C. For example, if only 20 places out of 45 allocated vacancies are taken up at Phase 2B, the remaining 25 vacancies will be carried forward to Phase 2C. Hence, there will be 70 vacancies for Phase 2C.

Example 2: School B — Balloting at Phase 2A(2)

School B has a total of 240 vacancies. Of the 240 vacancies, 40 places are upfront reserved for Phase 2B and 2C registrants, and 200 places are available from Phase 1. Suppose 70 places are taken up in Phase 1, 50 places in Phase 2A(1), 80 places in Phase 2A(2). This leaves 0 + 40 (reserved upfront) = 40 places for Phase 2B and 2C. The 40 vacancies will then be split equally into 20 vacancies each for Phase 2B and 2C.

In the event that there are 25 registrants for Phase 2B, balloting will be conducted in this phase. Phase 2C will continue to have 20 vacancies.

Singapore Citizen (SC) / Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) children who are unsuccessful in obtaining a Primary One place in a school of their choice at the end of Phase 2C Supplementary should approach MOE to facilitate their placement to a school which still has vacancies.

The number of Primary One vacancies each school will offer for the Primary One Registration Exercise will be made available in June before the registration begins. Parents can refer to Primary Schools Vacancies by Phases for information on vacancies for each school.

Balloting of Places

Balloting will be conducted if the number of applications to a school exceeds the number of vacancies available in any of the phases from Phase 2A(1) onwards. It is conducted within the school premises.

Parents can refer to Primary Schools Conducting Balloting to find out which schools will be conducting balloting at the end of each registration phase.

Balloting in Phase 2A(1) to Phase 2C Supplementary

Singapore Citizens (SCs) will be given absolute priority over Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) when balloting is necessary in a specific phase. SCs and PRs will continue to be eligible for the same phases, and all applicants will be admitted if the total number of applications in any phase does not exceed the number of vacancies. However, if the number of applications exceeds the number of vacancies in a specific phase, SCs will be admitted first ahead of PRs, before home-school distance is considered. The following two examples illustrate this rule.

Example 1: School A has 50 vacancies in a specific phase and 61 children applying, based on the table below.

Home-School Distance

Singapore Citizen

Permanent Resident

<1km 38 3
Between 1km and 2km 10 1
>2km 8 1
Total 56 5

As the total number of SC applications exceeds the number of vacancies, not all SC applicants will be admitted. The vacancies will be allocated to the SC children based on home-school distance in this order of priority—home-school distance is (1) within 1km, (2) between 1km and 2km and (3) outside 2km. In the above example, the 38 SC children living within 1km from the school will first be admitted, followed by the 10 SC children living between 1km and 2km from the school. After the 48 vacancies are taken up, the remaining 2 vacancies will be balloted among the 8 SC children living outside 2km from the school.

Example 2: School B has 50 vacancies in a specific phase and 54 children applying, based on the table below.

Home-School Distance

Singapore Citizen

Permanent Resident

<1km 29 4
Between 1km and 2km 15 2
>2km 3 1
Total 47 7

As the total number of SC applications is less than the number of vacancies in this phase, all the 47 SC children will be admitted first and PR can still be admitted thereafter. The remaining 3 vacancies will be allocated to the PR children based on home-school distance in the same order of priority—home-school distance is (1) within 1km, (2) between 1km and 2km and (3) outside 2km. The 4 PR children living within 1km from the school will ballot for the remaining 3 vacancies.

Balloting in Phase 3

Places will be allocated according to the following order of priority:
  • Children who are Singapore Citizens
  • Children who are Singapore Permanent Residents
  • Children who are not Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents

Parents of non-Singapore Citizen (SC) / non-Permanent Resident (PR) children should note that admission is not guaranteed as there are limited vacancies remaining for non-SC / non-PR children after places are allocated to SC / PR children.

MOE will publish the list of available primary schools for parents to register their child in this phase. MOE will thereafter centrally process all the applications and the posting outcome will be released to parents by 30 November 2017.

School posting will take into consideration factors such as availability of school vacancies and ensuring a good spread of students.

In view that Phase 3 vacancies are limited, MOE posting is final. We will therefore not entertain nor reply to appeals on the posting results. Our schools will also not entertain any walk-in applications for admissions or transfer of non-SC / non-PR children.

As admission is not guaranteed, parents of non-SC / non-PR children are advised to consider alternative educational options well ahead, even as you may decide to register your child during Phase 3 of the Primary One Registration Exercise.

Home-School Distance Category

Parents may check the home-school distance category from the OneMap SchoolQuery Service managed by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). Alternatively, they may check with the schools directly on the distance between their home and the schools in June.

How to Use Onemap Schoolquery Service

  1. Go to the OneMap website.
  2. Select the SchoolQuery service.
  3. Click on the “Find Schools near a building” option button.
  4. Enter the residential address in the “Find Location” box and click “Go”.
  5. Click on the desired building on the map. OneMap will generate a report with a list of schools which are within 1 km and between 1 km and 2 km from the selected building.
  6. Click on the printer icon in the SchoolQuery dialog box, the report will be displayed.