The Singapore government recognizes that more Singaporean families are venturing abroad to seize business and employment opportunities. Hence, they have implemented policies to support all returning Singaporean children into the local education system.
For children following their parents in an overseas posting, it is recommended to apply for a Leave of Absence (LOA). This is a scheme to facilitate Returning Singaporeans in their re-admission into the same school. For those under such schemes, Returning Singaporeans will re-join the former school directly upon his return. This will make the adjustment process less disruptive for returning Singaporeans.
Some lead time is required for application into Primary One. The Primary One Registration Exercise is usually held from July to September in the preceding year. Hence, it is prudent for parents to prepare in advance.
For the other levels in primary schools, the schools will generally not admit students in the final term of the academic year. This is to prevent undue stress on the child to catch up with his peers. So, any application during the final term will be for admission in the following year.
For Returning Singaporeans who have no particular school preference, MOE will guarantee your child a place in a school near to your residence, subject to available vacancies. After the confirmation of the place, the child may be required to take part in school-based assessment tests and/or interview to determine which level and class are suitable for the child.
Some students may have a preference for certain popular schools or schools belonging to the alma mater of their parents. They have to apply via a centralized placement exercise, known as the School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans-Secondary, held towards the end of the year. The admission is for the start of the following academic year.
For Returning Singaporeans who do not have any particular school preference, they could apply to MOE for admission into a school near their residence. This is also for children who come back during the school year. After three working days, the MOE will identify a list of secondary schools and revert to the student for selection. Once a school place is confirmed, it will be guaranteed and reserved for your child.
For entry into Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute, Returning Singaporeans are required to sit for the School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans – Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute (SPERS-JC/MI), a centralized placement exercise conducted in November each year. The application opens in July each year. Junior colleges also accept students on the basis of talents and achievements that may not be demonstrated at the GCE ‘O’ Level Examination. For such cases, he has to apply via the Direct School Admission – Junior Colleges (DSA-JC) exercise.
The entry into Polytechnic and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) also require students to sit for an admission exercise. They are Polytechnic Early Admissions Exercise (POLY EAE) and Institute of Technical Education Early Admissions Exercise (ITE EAE) respectively. Apart from academic grades, these educational institutes take into account the aptitude and interest level of the student before accepting him into a suitable course.