SINGAPORE - Come 2030, Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) will be moving from its current Barker Road campus in Newton to Tengah, as part of a major effort by the school to be accessible to as many pupils as possible.
The new ACS Primary, to be located in the up and coming Housing Board town in the west of Singapore, will also accept girls from the same year for the first time.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced this on Thursday along with plans for the opening and relocation of six schools to meet growing demand for places from 2026.
Noting that the relocation of ACS Primary is a significant move, the ministry said it had been in discussion with ACS since early 2022 to relocate one of its primary schools to serve the wider community. This followed changes to the Primary 1 registration exercise in the same year to allocate more places to children with no prior links to schools.
The relocated ACS Primary will start operations in 2030 with only new Primary 1 pupils, in other words, those born in 2023. The school will have a larger capacity of 11 Primary 1 classes, up from eight currently.
The school at Tengah will be located together with a new special education (Sped) school, for students with autism spectrum disorder who can access the national curriculum. The Sped school will be run by the Methodist Welfare Services in partnership with ACS.
MOE said at a press briefing on Thursday that pupils at the current Barker Road campus will not need to make the 12km shift to Tengah. To minimise disruptions, existing pupils will remain until graduation in Primary 6.
Both school sites - at Barker Road and Tengah - will for a number of years be run concurrently. The Barker Road campus will continue to admit only younger male siblings for Primary 1 from 2030, as long as they have an older sibling studying at the same school, for the convenience of families of existing pupils.
At the same time, both male and female siblings of existing ACS Primary pupils will be eligible for Phase 1 priority for Primary 1 registration at the Tengah campus.
The plan is for the original ACS Primary campus to consolidate with ACS (Junior), which is also in Newton, in 2033, before combining their operations at the Barker Road campus tentatively in 2039.
In a statement on Thursday, Mr Richard Seow, chairman of the ACS Board of Governors, said: “From its founding, Bishop Oldham’s vision for ACS was to serve the needs of the nation and the community by filling a critical gap and to develop servant leaders.
“With the changes announced by MOE today, we are strengthening the school’s commitment to these values. ACS has always set out to be a beacon of truth and light, to serve those most in need and this is best done by increasing the diversity of our student base.”
He added: “By relocating ACS(P) to Tengah to serve a new neighbourhood as a co-ed school, the ACS family will serve more students’ educational and co-curricular needs. This achieves a more inclusive educational offering as one of Singapore’s mission schools.”
Special education has been another area that ACS has been mulling over, said Mr Seow.
“We are deeply grateful to have this honour of serving students with special needs by providing them with quality education. It is a vision the ACS Board of Governors have had for a long while now and we are truly appreciative that our constant discussions with MOE over the years have culminated in this humbling opportunity to serve humanity in a new way,” he said.
“With access to resources and cutting-edge Sped pedagogies, we aim to contribute to the upliftment of special education in Singapore.”
The Sped school, which has not been named, is set to begin operations in 2026 at an interim site that previously housed Chua Chu Kang Secondary School. It will then relocate to its permanent campus at Tengah, tentatively in 2031.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.