P1 Registration Changes Regarding Permanent Resident Intake: Are Permanent Residents’ Chances At Stake?

It’s that time of the year again where we register our little children for Primary 1 (P1) enrolment. This registration process has multiple phases (1, 2A, 2B, 2C etc.)! This year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) is introducing a cap of about 25%-30% for the school’s planned P1 intake on Permanent Resident Intake in Phases 2C and 2C Supplementary for 10 schools.

The 10 schools having this cap this year are:

Bukit Timah Primary School

Bukit View Primary School

Changkat Primary School

Greendale Primary School

Marymount Convent School

North Spring Primary School

Opera Estate Primary School

Pioneer Primary School

Tanjong Katong Primary School

Xingnan Primary School

For these 10 schools in Phases 2C and 2C Supplementary, MOE will publish the maximum number of vacancies available to Permanent Resident (PR) children on the vacancies and balloting page. The maximum number of vacancies available to Permanent Residents (PRs) in Phase 2C and 2C Supplementary will omit the number of PR children successfully admitted in earlier phases.

This new implementation will only take effect in Phase 2C and 2C Supplementary when the majority of PR children will be registering, as the number of PR children eligible to register in earlier phases for these affected schools is typically small and only accounts for below 25%-30% of the planned P1 intake.

Thankfully, the introduction of this cap will not affect the priority Singaporean Citizen children have over PR children. Where there are more registrants than vacancies in any of the registration phases, Singaporean Citizen children will still always be given priority and will be admitted into primary schools first. Afterwhich, the factor of home-to-school distance will then be considered to decide between Singaporean Citizen children themselves and between PR children themselves respectively.

And as usual, unsuccessful registrants in any phase of the registration exercise will be eligible to register again for the next phase. The phases in the registration process are as follows: Phase 1, Phase 2A(1), Phase 2A(2), Phase 2B, Phase 2C, and Phase 2C Supplementary.

This cap has sparked concerns and fears among PRs in Singapore: will their chances of admitting their child into their desired Singapore school be lowered? Fortunately, the situation is not as bleak as it seems.

Past Statistics Have Proven Little to No Negative Effect

While the intake of PR children in every school fluctuates from year to year as it depends on the number of applicants and the number of places available, the intake of PRs for the 10 chosen schools was close to 25%-30% of their planned P1 enrolment in the last one to three years.

Hence, the vast majority of primary schools and PR children will not be affected by this cap as their past patterns of PR admissions are well below the cap of 25% – 30%. Only a small number of PR children who register for the few schools with the cap may not be able to secure a place at those specific schools, depending on the demand and availability of vacancies in that year. These PR children can choose to register for another nearby school instead. Though, rest assured that most of the PR children who register at those few schools will still be able to secure a place there.

Everyone’s Interest At Heart

The reason for this cap was not because the MOE wanted to create fear amongst Permanent Residents in Singapore. Rather, but rather because it was noticed that there might be a possible over-concentration of PR children in our primary schools which would not make up the most conducive environment for all.

So in order to better facilitate the integration of PR children into Singapore and encourage better exchanges of interaction between SC children and PR children, the cap on the percentage of PRs in the 10 Primary Schools selected will be the one of the first steps the MOE will be taking!

Permanent Resident Children Are Not Neglected

The MOE never wants to have any Singapore Citizens (SC) or PR be neglected and be unable to obtain a place in one of our national schools. If your child is unsuccessful in Phase 2C Supplementary, they will be posted to a school with available vacancy.

Also, just a side note: PR children who register in earlier phases need not be too concerned about the cap, because PR children can continue to register in the same school as their siblings for example!

FamilyTutor as a private tuition agency sincerely hopes that every child will be able to enroll in a Singapore school! We believe that every primary school in Singapore is a good primary school, and we will support your child’s journey whenever needed.

For your information, the ‘Current Affairs’ series covers the latest news and developments in the realm of education, added with a dash of discussion and a sprinkle of opinion!



Zoe is an undergraduate student in Singapore who loves thinking deeply and translating them into writing. She hopes her reflective opinions and sound advice weaved into relevant articles will be useful for you in one way or another!

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