Primary 1 registration: Balloting in 2A2 likely at 5 schools

Parents hoping to place their six-year-olds in five of the most popular primary schools this year may face a ballot next week.

These schools are Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School, Catholic High School, Henry Park Primary and Nanyang Primary.

A total of 19 schools were left with fewer than half of their vacancies after Phase 2A1, the second of seven Primary 1 registration stages, closed yesterday. This is about the same number of schools as last year.

The phase, which follows Phase 1 for children with siblings currently studying in the school, is for children whose parents had joined the school alumni association at least one year ago, or are on the school advisory committee.

The next phase, 2A2, is for children whose parents or siblings are former pupils, or whose parent is a staff member at the school.

A rule introduced in 2014 which requires all primary schools to set aside 40 places for children in the later stages may also put a squeeze on places available for the next phase. The 40 places will be split equally between children registering in Phases 2B and 2C.

Phase 2B is for children whose parents are school volunteers, active community leaders or have ties with church or clan associations directly connected with the schools; Phase 2C is for children with no ties to schools.

In the past two years, balloting has been taking place at an earlier stage of the exercise, partly as a result of this new rule. Last year, parents of 73 children hoping to enter CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School had to go through a ballot for 68 available places at Phase 2A1 - the first time a school has been oversubscribed so early since the phase was introduced in 1999.

After reserving the 40 places, ACS (Primary) has only seven spots left for Phase 2A2, after 119 children registered this week.

Henry Park Primary and CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School each have 20 places left for Phase 2A2, while Catholic High and Nanyang Primary have 28 and 29 spots left for Phase 2A2 respectively.

Last year, parents of 24 children had to ballot for 22 spots at Catholic High during this phase.

Public servant David Lim, 41, successfully registered his son at ACS (Primary) earlier this week.

"It was a close call for us. We almost thought we had to end up balloting at this phase. We chose ACS because the secondary schools that it is affiliated to offer a full gamut of options for different academic paths, from the normal stream to the International Baccalaureate," he said.

This article was first published on Jul 09, 2016.
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