Families are the “bedrock” of Singapore’s society and in this borderless world, more Singaporean families venturing overseas or returning back after a stint, it is important for their children to be able to integrate smoothly into our local education system.
According to Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the number of Singaporeans who choose to work or live abroad has increased over the years. It has been estimated that about six in every 100 Singaporeans reside abroad. (Source CNA) In 2021, there were 179,500 Overseas Singaporeans, of whom 123,900 were in the working ages of 20 – 64 years. Just as there are an increase in number of Singaporeans working overseas, there are also batches each year that seek to return to Singapore so that their children can benefit from our world class education system.
What are the options for children of Singaporeans looking to come back to Singapore to study?
(1) Apply through P1 admission: For families seeking to send their children to primary school, do note that admission to primary schools can take place at any time during the year. The official school term starts in January and ends in November. Those seeking to enrol in Primary One can do so online during the Primary One registration and then apply for LOA (Leave of Absence) so that they can keep their place in school.
(2) Apply to schools directly: Parents can apply directly to the school to seek admission, they may approach the school of choice directly before September. To seek admission for next academic year, you may approach the respective schools after mid-December. Of course, if your choice school is a popular school, you should be prepared that there may not be vacancies.
How do you enrol your child to Secondary schools in Singapore?
1)Take the SPERS exam: Your child can take the SPERS-SECONDARY or SPERS-JC/MI Exam: The School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans (SPERS) is a centralised merit-based placement exercise conducted for Returning Singaporeans (RS) who wish to join Secondary 1, 2 or 3 at the beginning of the next academic year.
Being a merit-based placement exercise, this means that your child will be assessed on their academic performance during the SPERS exam.
Your child will need to take two papers (English and Math) so as to prepare your child for the SPERS exam. For more details on SPERS-SECONDARY process and flow, check out our SPERS-Secondary page.
For most parents, preparation starts at least a year or six months, you can contact us for our SPERS online tuition and our trained teachers will be allocated to your child on 1 to 1 basis, helping them familiarising them with the latest MOE syllabus.
With the recent changes in the Math and English syllabus, do ensure that your child is learning the RIGHT syllabus. At the Learning Space, our team of highly experienced ex and current MOE teachers can help your children prepare for the SPERS exam, one of the most common group of students we encounter for SPERS are those seeking admission for Secondary One, these groups of students have to be familiar with P6 syllabus which is akin to that of the PSLE.
For SPERS tuition, contact us via whatsapp 9364 6977 or email us
After taking the SPERS exam, parents will receive a list of schools they are eligible to apply for, based on their performance in the tests. Do note that you will need to take the test a year ahead to prepare for the intake, for instance, for 2025 / 2024 admission, parents need to participate in 2024 / 2023 SPERS exam respectively. Do also note that your child cannot join a school for SEC 4 or JC2 as these years are national examination years and no SPERS intake for these years. Do check MOE website for updates for 2024 SPERS exam.
2) Apply through the Assured School Placement (ASP) Service
This means that you can apply to your choice school for admission through the ASP service. Your child need not sit for any centralised test, but most schools (especially popular ones) will conduct school-based assessments or an interview to determine the appropriate level and course or class for your child. Do note that this is a GUARANTEE placement to a school in or near your neighbourhood, your child with be guaranteed with a place in a school with vacancies as near to your residential address as possible, providing you with greater certainty and convenience. It will be worthwhile to note that most prestigious schools have limited vacancies, parents are well advised to not to put all their eggs in one basket.
3) Apply to Privately Funded Schools / International Schools
For students who are returning to Singapore after being educated for a substantial period of time in an overseas curriculum such as Pre-IB / IGCSE syllabus, you can consider enrolling your child to three privately funded schools in Singapore, these are teaching syllabus like international schools BUT they adhere to MOE’s education policies on bilingualism and National Education (NE).
The three privately funded (international) schools are
- Anglo Chinese School ACS International
- Hwa Chong International School
- St Joseph’s Institutional International High School
- You can also consider to apply to international schools but this is subjected to MOE approval. Click here for a complete list of international schools in Singapore.
All in all, no matter which admission route you choose to endeavour upon, you will need to have the right guidance for your child.
Let our strong team of ex and current MOE teachers lead your child to success. Whatsapp us or Contact us for 1 to 1 private tuition today.