Exemptions from Compulsory Education

For exemptions from Compulsory Education (CE) for a child born:

Exemptions from Compulsory Education (CE) for a Child Born On / Before 1st January 2012

The following categories of children born on or before 1st January 2012 may be exempted from CE:

  • Those who attend Designated Schools

    Children who wish to attend Designated Schools, namely the madrasahs1 currently offering full-time religious education for children of primary school-going age and San Yu Adventist School, are required to seek exemption from CE.

    (NOTE: San Yu Adventist School will not admit Singapore Citizens from the 2016 Primary 1, 2017 Primary 1 and 2018 Primary 1 cohort)

    These Designated Schools have to meet a certain PSLE benchmark for the ‘Designated School’ status, which allows them to continue admitting children exempted from CE at Primary 1.

    Parents are to submit applications for exemption from CE to the Compulsory Education Unit (CEU), Ministry of Education (MOE) through the respective Designated Schools.


  • Those who are Home-schooled

    Children will only be granted exemption from CE to be home-schooled provided the parents are able to satisfy MOE that the two key objectives of CE can be achieved for their children. Parents will have to apply to MOE for their child to be exempted from CE for home-schooling.

    In seeking CE exemption for their child to receive home-schooling, parents are required to furnish information on the curriculum and educational outcomes of the home-schooling programme, including instruction in National Education.

    A child granted exemption from CE to be home-schooled has to sit the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in four subjects (English Language, Mother Tongue Language, Mathematics, Science) at Standard Level.

    A home-schooled child has to meet the same PSLE benchmark as children attending the San Yu Adventist School2, and sit for the National Education Quiz before PSLE.


  • Special Educational Needs

    Children who are not able to attend national primary schools3 due to physical/intellectual/developmental disabilities are exempted from CE. Parents of children with special needs born on or before 1st January 2012 do not need to obtain certificates confirming exemption from CE.


Footnotes
  1. The 4 full-time primary Madrasahs are Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri Al-Islamiah, Madrasah Al-Ma’arif Al-Islamiah, Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah and Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah.

  2. The PSLE benchmark for San Yu Adventist School is pegged at the 33rd percentile aggregate score of pupils who take the 4 subjects at Standard level in national schools in that same year.

  3. A ‘national primary school’ refers to an institution for the provision of full-time primary education. Prior to 2 April 2018, ‘national primary school’ only included Government and Government-aided schools.



Exemptions from Compulsory Education (CE) for A Child Born After 1st January 2012

The following applies to a child born after 1st January 2012. A child of compulsory school age and who is a Singapore citizen residing in Singapore, has to regularly attend a national primary school as a pupil, unless he/she has been exempted from compulsory education (CE). A national primary school can refer to either a:

  • Government or Government-Aided (‘Mainstream’) School: For children without Special Educational Needs (SEN) or with mild SEN and who have the cognitive abilities and adequate adaptive skills to learn in large-group settings.

  • Government-funded special education (SPED) Schools: Schools which provide more intensive and specialised assistance for children with moderate-to-severe SEN1. The Government-funded SPED schools have been recognised as ‘national primary schools’ with effect from 2 April 2018.

The following categories of children born after 1st January 2012 may be exempted from CE:

  • Those who attend Designated Schools

    Children who wish to attend Designated Schools, namely the madrasahs2 currently offering full-time religious education for children of primary school-going age and San Yu Adventist School, are required to seek exemption from CE.

    (NOTE: San Yu Adventist School will not admit Singapore Citizens from the 2016 Primary 1, 2017 Primary 1 and 2018 Primary 1 cohort)

    These Designated Schools have to meet a certain PSLE benchmark for the ‘Designated School’ status, which allows them to continue admitting children exempted from CE at Primary 1.

    Parents are to submit applications for exemption from CE to the Compulsory Education Unit (CEU), Ministry of Education (MOE) through the respective Designated Schools.


  • Those who are Home-schooled

    Parents will have to apply to the Compulsory Education Unit (CEU), MOE for their child to be exempted from CE for home-schooling.

    Children without / with mild SEN
    Children will only be granted exemption from CE to be home-schooled provided the parents are able to satisfy MOE that the two key objectives of CE can be achieved for their children. Parents will have to apply to MOE for their child to be exempted from CE for home-schooling.

    In seeking CE exemption for their child to receive home-schooling, parents are required to furnish information on the curriculum and educational outcomes of the home-schooling programme, including instruction in National Education.

    A child granted exemption from CE to be home-schooled has to sit the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in four subjects (English Language, Mother Tongue Language, Mathematics, Science) at Standard Level.

    A home-schooled child has to meet the same PSLE benchmark as children attending the San Yu Adventist School3, and sit for the National Education Quiz before PSLE.

    Children with moderate-to-severe SEN
    Parents who wish to home-school their child with moderate-to-severe SEN must furnish a proposed Individualised Education Plan (IEP), which references broad principles and desired outcomes found in recognised special education frameworks, e.g. MOE’s SPED Curriculum Framework. Parents must demonstrate that they have the relevant skills and competencies to deliver the educational aspect of the IEP.


  • Those who are unsuitable to attend National Primary Schools

    If a child’s learning needs are professionally assessed to be unable to be met in a national primary school or if a child is not able to attend any national primary school due to severe or complex conditions (including medical conditions), parents will need to seek approval for CE exemption for their child. Parents will need to make their request to CEU, with the relevant supporting documents.


Footnotes
  1. A child is deemed to have moderate-to-severe SEN when all the following criteria are met:
    • The child has a disability that has been diagnosed by a suitably qualified professional;

    • The child shows functional limitations that are significantly below other children his/her age in one or more areas of functioning, including but not limited to: language and communication, social-interactions, adaptive skills, emotional-behavioural, sensory, physical and mobility, cognitive and problem-solving, oracy and literacy skills;

    • The child’s needs require greater customisation and intensive adaptations that are not conventionally available in mainstream schools; and

    • The child’s needs are better met by provisions that are available in the Government-funded SPED Schools.

  2. The 4 full-time primary Madrasahs are Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri Al-Islamiah, Madrasah Al-Ma’arif Al-Islamiah, Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah and Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah.

  3. The PSLE benchmark for San Yu Adventist School is pegged at the 33rd percentile aggregate score of pupils who take the 4 subjects at Standard level in national schools in that same year.