If you’re lucky enough to register your child in your choice Primary school under phase 1 (his/her sibling is studying in the same school), or even phase 2A, where the parent is a former student or part of the school’s alumni association, chances are, you probably won’t need to ballot for a pot..
That said, five primary schools are likely to conduct balloting exercises this year, even after phase 2A. The schools are CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School, Nanyang Primary, Nan Hua Primary, Red Swastika School and Catholic High School.
The competition gets even more intense from Phase 2B. The Ministry of Education reserves 40 spots in every Primary school for those registering in phases 2B and 2C. At the end of each phase, parents can check the number of vacancies still available in their preferred school.
If it looks like there will be more applicants than places in a particular phase, parents should be prepared for a ballot.
If it looks like there will be more applicants than places in a particular phase, parents should be prepared for a ballot. The schools that will need to ballot to allocate places will be listed here after each phase.
Huang Kai Ling, whose daughter is in Primary 1 this year, says her balloting experience last year was very stressful. “From what I recall, about 10 per cent of those who applied under phase 2b would not get a place – so I was extremely nervous!”
Huang’s daughter is in a relatively popular girl’s school, and she was under phase 2b as her church is affiliated to the school. “I didn’t really have a second choice, and my daughter was set on going there, too. It would have been awful to have been disappointed.”
Huang says that although she went to work the day the balloting results were released, her mind was in a daze the entire day. “I was so anxious, I felt like throwing up and couldn’t work. When I got the notice that she had been accepted into the school, I was so, so relieved.”
During the ballot, several factors will be taken into account:
1. Singapore Citizenship
If the total number of applications exceed the number of vacancies in a particular phase, priority is first given to Singapore Citizens, then to Singapore Permanent Residents.
2. Home-school distance
If the number of applicants exceeds the vacancies for Singapore Citizens, a ballot will be carried out based on the home-school distance, in the following order of priority:
· Children living within 1 km of the school of choice.
· Children living between 1 km and 2 km of the school of choice.
· Children living outside 2 km of the school of choice.
Priority is given first to Singapore Citizens, then to Singapore Permanent Residents.
For example, a school has 90 applicants vying for 80 vacancies in a particular phase. Of those applying, 75 are Singapore Citizens and 15 are Singapore Permanent Residents. All 75 Singapore Citizens will be admitted. However, the remaining 15 Singapore Permanent Residents would have to ballot ― based on home-school distance ― for the remaining five places.
In another example, a school has 85 applicants for 70 vacancies in a particular phase. Of those applying, 72 are Singapore citizens, while the remaining 13 are Singapore Permanent Residents.
For the Singapore citizens, if 40 live within 1km of the school, another 25 live within 1km and 2km of the school, and seven live beyond 2km of the school, the 65 applicants living within 2km of the school will be admitted first. The seven who live beyond 2km would need to ballot for the remaining five vacancies. The 13 Permanent Residents will not get a place, even without needing to ballot
Parents don’t have to be present at the balloting conducted by the schools. Instead, the school will inform you of the balloting outcome by post, before the next phase. You should check with the school if you don’t receive any notification.
If you are unsuccessful in a ballot, you will be able to submit an application later for another phase.
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