Primary 1 Planning

hold handYou’ve planned for everything since your baby came into this world, now might be the most crucial event to plan. Your child’s Primary school registration.

An interesting and popular issue of discussion regularly rotates around discussing which the best and most popular schools are your children enrolling in next year? In case you’re not aware, if you’re not in the Alumni and not within 1km of your target school, chances are you’d need to withstand some stressful balloting.

In the many clients that we’ve worked with, buying close to our target Primary school is one of the TOP reason, others being nearby a certain MRT station, or close to their workplace or a specific district. We’d not be talking about parents with an elder sibling already enrolled in a primary school as the younger sibling would be guaranteed a position of the same school too. That’s Phase 1. If you don’t have this privilege, read on.

Let’s cut to the important information now.  We’d be concentrating on parents that are enrolling their FIRST child into a primary school, If you’re alumni of a certain school and planning to enrol in that school for your child, well you’ve already won half the battle. Congratuations in advance, you’re in phase 2A(1)

PHASE 2A(1) (registration for 2018 P1 students)

(a) For a child whose parent is a former student of the primary school and who has joined the alumni association as a member not later than 30 June 2017

(b) For a child whose parent is a member of the School Advisory / Management Committee

However, recently there are reports that even Alumni status needs to be balloted at certain schoolsshocked emoji jpgAlumni balloting

Business owner Kam Sook Wei, who registered her son in Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) which has filled 167 out of 270 vacancies, said on Wednesday: “Based on history, the alumni phase is a walkthrough and there shouldn’t be a need to ballot, although you never know what could happen because it is a ‘dragon year’, so fertility rates are higher.”


Allocation of places

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will reserve 40 places in every primary school for registrants in Phase 2B and 2C to ensure continued open access to all primary schools. The 40 places will be reserved for Phase 2B and 2C (20 places for each phase) before the start of the P1 Registration Exercise.

At the end of Phase 2A(2), 50% of the remaining places (including the 40 reserved places) will be allocated for Phase 2B and the other 50% for Phase 2C registrants in a school. In the event that there are vacancies left at the end of Phase 2B, the remaining vacancies will be carried forward to Phase 2C.


Balloting will be conducted if the number of applications to a school exceeds the number of vacancies available in any of the phases from Phase 2A(1) to Phase 2C Supplementary. In this kind of cases, distance would be the deciding factor for the child, in fact distance is a deciding factor whenever it’s over-subscribed.

Living inside 1 km of the school will give your child a higher chance.

PD p1 infographicLevel of Descending priority (applies in every phase)

  1. Parents are Singapore Citizens (SC) within 1km
  2. Parents are Singapore Citizens (SC) within 1km to 2km
  3. Parents are Singapore Citizens (SC) outside 2km
  4. Parents are Permanent Resident  (PR) within 1km
  5. Parents are Permanent Resident  (PR) within 1km to 2km
  6. Parents are Permanent Resident  (PR) outside 2km

As you can see, distance and citizenship plays a huge part in determining your chances.

Now lets get into the real-estate aspect. Once you’ve decided on which school, should you rent or buy?

Would you Rent or Buy?

Renting –  at least 30 months from the commencement of the Primary One Registration Exercise

Buying – this is much more complicated than the first option. However, many would choose to purchase over renting as renting long term (at least 30 months) would cost a sum that rivals mortgage installments

Case study

School : Catholic High School (BISHAN)

Rental expenses for a HDB flat is asking for $2,600/mth or if you would prefer a condo a fully furnished 678 sqft condo unit asking $3,300/mth. Multiply by 30 and you’d incur $78,000 for a HDB rental and $99,000 for the condo unit.

For most parents, they would choose to buy instead, as they figured they would not be there for just 30 months. They’d be there for at least 6 years or more and if another younger sibling comes into the plan, they might be staying 10 years or more. There’s a high chance a property might appreciate during this period and you could sell for a profit at the end of the whole primary school episode. (not to mention that properties within 1km of reputable schools are always high in demand).


What you must do if you’re thinking of purchasing.

1. Give ample time for planning – Discuss with your family, which school to go to, join the alumni whenever possible. At least plan 1 year in advance if there’s a need to sell your current property. Check out this webpage by MOE for reference to the school of choice. It shows the available seats in each phase. Check Vacancies by phases here.

A unofficial chart to see over-subscription rate for each school, taking into account the registration history for past 12 years data (2006 to 2017) at Kiasuparents forum.

*note: use at own risk, we at PropertyDiscovery does not endorse data by

2. Plan your finances. We couldn’t stress this enough. Do not over-stretch and over-burden your family. Check your in-principal approval loan amount. Set a budget, how much loan can you take, should you keep or sell your current place, does paying ABSD make sense if you decide to keep your current place.

At PropertyDiscovery we are able to help you plan to buy near your school of choice at the budget 

3. Decide on the type of property. Buy new or buy resale? Freehold or Leasehold? Buy HDB or Private Property? Condo or Apartment? 

Planning helps to minimise stress and impulsive decisions


Plan early, urgency and lack of time would increase chances of making wrong decisions and taking unnecessary risks. Try to get within 1km, as home-distance applies in all phases, even in phase 2A(1) where there already cases of balloting in the news article linked here.

You would be ensured the safest bet if you’ve joined Alumni AND within 1km.

If not Alumni, your best chance would be to get within 1km and go for phase 2B (Parent volunteer), 2C registration. Distance is absolutely crucial. If unsure about property matters e.g. HDB or Private property better? Should we sell our current home and move? How much can we loan to buy? We just bought our HDB less than 5 years ago, how now? Should we rent instead?

Get in touch with us, we at PropertyDiscovery would be more than happy to help you through this stressful phase. Feel free to contact us using the whatsapp button below, or using the traditional form below

Some Frequently asked Questions

Q: Would MOE recognise your purchase if it’s still under construction?

Ans: The new home address can be used provided that you are able to produce evidence from the relevant authority that you have committed to the purchase of this property. In addition, you have to sign a letter of undertaking to move into the new property within two years of the child’s entry into Primary One (P1).

Q: How can I find out the actual distance between my primary school of choice and my residence?

Ans: Parents can check the home-school distance category from the Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) OneMap SchoolQuery Service. Please refer to the following on how to use OneMap:

  1. Go to the OneMap website
  2. Select the SchoolQuery service
  3. Read the “School Query – Disclaimer” information and click “I Agree”
  4. Click “Find Schools Near a Building” option
  5. Enter the residential address in the “Search and Explore” box. Your address will be displayed in the dropdown address list
  6. Select your address. A list of “Schools within 1km” and “Schools between 1-2km” will be displayed.

Be our next satisfied client! 

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