A NEW rule requiring children to live for at least 21/2 years at the addresses they used to apply for primary school has been introduced, with parents largely supportive of the change.

Beginning this year, those who gain priority admission to schools based on distance need to live at the address for at least 30 months from the start of the Primary 1 registration exercise.

Those with a yet-to-be-completed property also have to live at the new address for as long, but this can start only from when they move in and not from the registration, subject to certain limits.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) did not set any specific time period previously. If this condition is not met, MOE may transfer the child to another school.

When asked, MOE said the distance priority has always been given with the expectation that the family will live at the address declared for Primary 1 registration.

While the MOE’s intent is that this should be for as long as the child is in primary school, it “recognised the practical challenges of imposing an explicit ‘minimum stay’ that would meet the policy intent while not making it overly onerous and rigid”.

For Primary 1 registration, schools conduct a ballot when the number of applicants exceeds available places. Those who live nearer the school – usually within 1km – get priority in the ballot.


Article and photo : Straits Times   (MAY 25, 2015)