School readiness assessment and school placement assessments are similar assessments conducted for preschool-aged children during the transition to formal schooling. Older children already enrolled in a school might obtain a school placement assessment if their current setting does not seem to be suiting them well. These assessments are conducted by medical or allied health professionals to assess a suitable school placement for your child, and their readiness for school. The professionals would look at the child’s intellectual abilities (IQ), adaptive skills including motor, social, emotional and communication skills and provide a recommendation for school placement. These assessments are available at KKH Department of Child Development, NUH Child Development Unit, some EIPIC centers and with private practitioners.
As children have their own learning needs, each special education (SPED) school will need to assess the suitability of its curriculum for the child.
Applying to a school
Each SPED school has its own application timeline. Visit their websites for the latest information.
All applications to SPED schools should be made using the standardised SPED school application form and submitted to your child’s first choice SPED school only. You can indicate up to 3 choices of SPED schools which are suitable for your child’s profile. Learn more about applying to SPED schools.
If your child’s professional has recommended a SPED school, then mainstream is not a suitable option for your child. Thus, it is not advisable to participate in the P1 registration exercise. There are sufficient places in SPED schools, however, not necessarily in your first-choice school.
You may contact the school for an update of your application status.
All mainstream primary schools are resourced to support students with mild special educational needs. Children with mild special educational needs, who have the cognitive ability to access national curriculum and able to learn in large group settings, can register for enrolment in mainstream schools via the MOE Primary 1 (P1) registration exercise which typically takes place from July to August annually. Learn more about P1 registration.
Children with moderate-to-severe special educational needs or have higher support needs should apply to a SPED school. You need not participate in the annual MOE P1 registration exercise if you have applied to SPED schools.
You are encouraged to share information on your child’s special educational needs once registration in the school has been confirmed. To enable the school to plan and provide the necessary transition support for your child, it is important to inform them of your child’s needs and provide relevant documents such as medical or psychological reports as early as possible. You can contact the school at the point of admission to discuss your child’s needs.
To register your child for SPED school, please submit the original special education school application form along with the following documents:
- A photocopy of:
- Child's birth certificate, re-entry permit or Dependant's Pass
- Child's deed poll, if they have changed their name
- Parents' or guardians' NRIC or passport
- Parents' or guardians' employment pass, if applicable
- Report book or progress reports
- School report
- Medical or psychological reports
- Photocopy of certificate of legal guardianship, if applicable
During the circuit breaker period, schools would not be open for open houses or school visits. You can learn more about the support available in mainstream schools and SPED schools. You may also visit the schools’ websites to find out more about each school, or Schoolbag to find out more about programmes and support in mainstream and SPED schools.
After your child is enrolled in the school, you may contact the school directly to discuss the plan to introduce your child to the school’s environment, programmes and relevant school personnel, if necessary.
Applying to MOE Kindergarten@Mayflower for children with hearing loss
MK@Mayflower will provide dedicated support for children with bilateral moderate-to-profound hearing loss who require early signing instruction. The HL (Signing) programme at MK@Mayflower aims to build basic first language proficiency in Singapore Sign Language (SgSL). Through a dedicated signing teacher, the children will have access to instructions in SgSL to build their signing proficiency to learn the MK curriculum. While they learn the same curriculum as their hearing peers, HL (Signing) children can also access Speech and Language Therapy and the audiological services they need.
There will also be opportunities for the children to participate in activities and events organised for the hearing loss community. The children will benefit from interactions with their hearing peers in and outside of MK classroom lessons, enabling them to develop greater self-confidence and social skills.
You may consider enrolling your child with hearing loss in MK@Mayflower if they:
- Have bilateral moderate-to-profound hearing loss.
- Use signing as a primary mode for communication.
You should seek a consultation with the Department of Child Development of KK Women's and Children’s Hospital (DCD-KKH) or the Child Development Unit of National University Hospital (CDU-NUH) on your child’s suitability for the support, including whether they will be able to access the national curriculum.
You should seek a consultation with the Department of Child Development of KK Women's and Children’s Hospital (DCD-KKH) or the Child Development Unit of National University Hospital (CDU-NUH) on your child’s suitability for the support. The admissions processes will involve hospital referrals followed by a joint hospital-MOE review of each child’s suitability for admission. If suitable, your child will be offered a place in MK@Mayflower through direct admission. If not, the hospitals will inform you of alternative options, including EIPIC.
EIPIC provides therapy and educational support services for infants and young children with special needs. Learn more about EIPIC and EIPIC centres.
Applying for deferment
If you feel that your child may not be ready for P1 mainstream or SPED schooling, you should consult your child’s paediatrician, psychologist or therapist, and preschool teacher, to better understand if it would be more beneficial for your child to be deferred for 1 year or be enrolled in a SPED school.
If your child is assessed as not ready or not suitable for formal schooling due to their medical conditions, special educational needs, delayed or slower progression or other circumstances, you can apply to defer their commencement of Primary 1 or Junior 1 by one year. You will need to apply for a deferment between January and September of the year before your child is due to start, and your application must be supported by a qualified health professional. Learn more about applying for deferment.
If your application is approved, you should ensure that your child continues to receive the appropriate intervention or early education during the deferment period.
Yes, if you have not received formal approval for deferment, you should still proceed with P1 registration if your child has mild special educational needs, or apply directly to a SPED school if your child has moderate-to-severe special educational needs.
If your application for deferment is subsequently approved, inform the school that your child has registered with.
All requests for deferment must be submitted to our Compulsory Education Unit with the relevant medical or psychological assessment reports.
If you obtain approval for deferment after your child has secured a place in a mainstream or SPED school, you should inform the school that you have obtained approval for your child's deferment.
- For mainstream schools, check with the school on the procedures for your child's eventual admission. Children who have successfully secured a school place through the P1 registration exercise are not allowed to participate in the subsequent year’s P1 registration exercise.
- For SPED schools, your child’s place will be released upon your notification of the approval for your child's deferment. Places in SPED schools will not be retained for children who are granted deferment, and you have to re-apply towards the end of your child’s deferment.
Applying for school transfer
If you are seeking admission into another school, including mainstream school, for your child who is an existing student of a SPED school, you must directly approach your child's current school for assistance. Transferring your child to another school is an important decision, as the change in environment can disrupt the quality of education. Your child's SPED school is committed to help students pursue their education goals and it is best placed to advise on your child's learning needs. The request for school transfer should be supported by your child's current school, updated psychological report, or both. Please contact your child's current school for more information on how to request for a transfer.