When it comes to moving to Singapore with children, then one of your top priorities will be the best schooling option for them. The standard of education across Singapore is relatively high, and there will be a number of factors that will influence your decision about which type of school your child will attend. These factors will include catchment area and your proximity to schools, commuting options for your child to get to school, the part of Singapore you’re moving to and whether your child is fluent in the native language – or young enough to learn it.
There are options in public, private and international schools in Singapore, but it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of each before enrolling your child. If you’re in need of help finding a school in your area in Singapore, then our school search tool can help you.
Public & Private Schools
Expat children can enrol in both public and private schools in Singapore, and with a high standard of education in the country and many of the teachers speaking English, this has begun to increase in popularity amongst expats living in the country. However, one con of public and private schools is that availability can be quite limited, with the very best schools in the country having long waiting lists and preference given to citizens of the country. Even if you do become a citizen and a permanent resident in Singapore, preference will be given to Singaporeans before places in schools are granted to expats.
However, local public schools and even private schools are generally cheaper than international schools, and families who are planning on living in Singapore for a long time may want to consider this option. However, there are a few nuances that you will need to be prepared for when it comes to enrolling your children in one of these public or private schools. There is often a lot of pressure placed on students in these schools with the top schools regularly dismissing underperforming students and even those who only achieve average results. In addition to this, corporate punishment is also legal and employed, which is something that you will have to adapt to if you want your child to be enrolled at a public or private school in Singapore.
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Due to the large expat community in Singapore, there are a number of international schools that have appeared over the years. Many expats tend to prefer to send their children to these schools due to the limited availability and intensive schooling that the public and private schools provide. International schools in Singapore have a good reputation and generally try hard to replicate the education that the students would receive in their home country.
If you’re moving to Singapore but do not plan on being there for a long period of time, then international schools are generally a better choice due to the fact that they will mimic the curriculum in your child’s home country to ensure that when you return your child is not left behind. However, the very best international schools in the country will also have long waiting lists, some of which span a few years, so it is best to enrol your child at one of the other international schools until a spot at a more prestigious school appears.
One of the only cons of international schools in Singapore is the expensive fees that come attached, however, if you are moving abroad to pursue an assignment, you may be able to negotiate an allowance in your contract to supplement your child’s school fees if there isn’t one already. For more information on how we can help you with your children’s schooling in Singapore, contact a member of the local team