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Educational Options

Singapore - Educational Options

Educational options for your family in Singapore

The main options for schooling your children in Singapore are through the public (local) system or the private (international) one. School hours tend to be 08:00 – 13:00 for most junior schools, and 07:45 – 14:00 for older children. 

Places in each are highly sought after, and waiting lists are common. It is advisable to start searching as soon as you can. 

Public (local) schools

Expat children are able to apply for a place at a public school, but for many this is not an option as many teach exclusively in Mandarin, and permanent residents have priority. Annual fees for these schools start from £20-30 per child. 

International (private) schools

Singaporeans place a strong emphasis on education, and their private school system in particular is regarded as of an internationally high standard. About half of these schools teach the British curriculum, and the others tend to follow either the international or American ones. In either case, lessons are taught in English. 

The terms in these schools are the same as those in the UK, so children have a fortnight off at Christmas/New Year, and again at Easter, ahead of a longer summer break.   

Some of these schools have as many as 5,000 pupils, and are known for their fantastic exam results. When applying to these schools, competition is fierce – it is possible that they will turn down modest or even average performances in the admissions tests. 

The fees for these schools are considerably higher than those of public schools, averaging between £4,500 for younger children and £7,000 for those at secondary level per year.

Alternative options

Some parents choose to home school their children, whether for financial reasons or because they are still waiting for a space to become available. 

If neither of these options appeals to you, your other choice is to send your children to a boarding school in your current location. This cost is unlikely to be met by your employer. If you’re prepared to be separated from your children during term times then this could be an option for you, but this is entirely your choice. 



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