False addresses and P1 registration: MOE rules and Q&As on using rental addresses

False addresses and P1 registration: MOE rules and Q&As on using rental addresses

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has made it clear that children who gain entry into schools through distance priority should be living "in the address used for registration during their primary school education".

As for whether pupils have to reside at the same address for all six years of their primary education, an MOE had clarified before that it will assess instances on a case-by-case basis.

There are very few proven cases of parents who use false addresses. But any parent found to have done so will be referred to the police for investigation, and the child transferred to another school.

In 2007, a lawyer was jailed for renting a condominium unit in Bukit Timah solely for the purpose of registering his child in a nearby school.

The lawyer, Tan Sok Ling, and his family, were living in Bedok in 2003 when he decided to rent a place within the 1km radius of the Bukit Timah school in order to enrol his daughter there.

He managed to find a unit at Maplewoods Condominium and paid a $1,600 monthly rent for 41/2 months from April 2003. He told the property agent that he was not going to live there but wanted to use the address.

After signing the licence agreement, he went to the Siglap Neighbourhood Police Post on July 6 that year to change his address to the Bukit Timah one when he knew that it was false.

His daughter was admitted to the school. But later that year, an MOE official lodged a police report stating that two applicants at the 2003 Primary 1 registration exercise had used the same address.

Another similar case was in 2004 in which an air stewardess was fined $1,000 for lying about her address to get her daughter into a popular Special Assistance Plan school. The girl was later transferred to a school in her neighbourhood.

For giving false information to a public servant, the maximum penalty is one year's jail and a $5,000 fine.

MOE said: "MOE takes a serious view of such alleged cases and any parent found to have provided false information during the Primary One Registration Exercise will be referred to the Police for investigation. A child who is successfully registered in a school based on false information given will be transferred to another school with available vacancies after all eligible children have been registered."

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