Parents who wish to send their children to schools near their homes would now have to live in that registered address for at least 30 months from the start of the registration exercise under the home-school distance priority scheme, according to new regulations announced by the Ministry of Education four days ago.
In previous registration exercises for Primary 1 students, such a rule was apparently not specifically enforced.
On MOE’s website, updated on 20 May 2015, it was stated that:
“In a small number of cases, there may be situations where the families are unable to remain at the address used for registration for the entire duration of the child’s primary school studies.
Even so, a child who gains priority admission into a school through his/her distance category is required to reside at the address used for registration for at least 30 months from the commencement of the P1 registration exercise on 2 July 2015.
If this condition is not met, MOE reserves the right to transfer the child to another school with vacancies, as the priority admission to the first school was based on the declared address used for registration.”
The rule will also apply to families who have purchased a property that has yet to be completed – the 30-month rule will come into effect when the family moves into their completed home.
The new rule will apply to registration for primary school enrolment for January 2016.
Update: We have spoken to MOE to clarify on this matter. The 30 month occupancy period is to apply after the registration period in July. Also, MOE has said that it does not matter how long a family has been staying at the registered address before the registration – the 30 months will start counting from July onwards. We apologies if our headline has suggested otherwise earlier.
MOE has also pointed out that, should families need to move house within the 30 months, they would fall under the category of “small number of cases” as indicated above.