Research Outline

School Transfers in Singapore


To understand the reasons why parents transfer their children from one school to another in Singapore and the research touchpoints that parents go through while researching new schools in Singapore. The information would be used to generate content for an upcoming ebook titled 'Transitioning Schools Within Singapore.'

Early Findings

How Parents Feel About the School System in Singapore

  • As per a survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies in which 1,500 parents of school children in Singapore were interviewed (result of the survey was published in July 2017), 90.8% of the respondents felt that Singapore has one of the best educational systems in the world. Also, 90.4% of the respondents said that most primary schools in Singapore impart a high quality education to children.
  • 81.8% of the respondents in the above survey felt that Singapore's education system provides the same opportunity to students irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds. Interestingly, 81.8% of the respondents felt that the country's education system helped nurture socially responsible citizens.

Causes for Most School Transfers Within Singapore

Main Criteria Looked at by Parents While Researching New Schools

  • As per the above survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies, the quality of teachers was the primary criterion for 94.1% of the parents interviewed. 94.0% of the respondents considered emphasis on character building as the second most-important criterion.
  • Other main criteria for researching a new school were: proximity of location (88.2% of the respondents), support for weaker students (87.6%), and school facilities/infrastructure (83.9%).
  • In contrast to the above criteria, parents considered the school's external network as less important. Alumni, parental, and community support (61.9% of the respondents), competitive environment (61.7%), affiliation with a good secondary school (56.4%), parents' alma mater (42.2%), and affiliation with a religious organization (33.4%) all ranked in the bottom five criteria that parents looked at while researching new schools in Singapore for their children.

Summary of Early Findings

  • From the initial hour of research, we could identify and list the top reasons for school transfers in Singapore and the main criteria looked at by parents while researching a new school. However, even after extensive search, we could not find the research touchpoints that parents go through while researching new schools in Singapore, like school website, blog and their social media presence, word of mouth, articles on 3rd party website, and Facebook groups and other online research forums. This is due to the paucity of surveys of parents in Singapore that looked at their research touchpoints and the lack of availability of such data points/statistic in the public domain.
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports or data points that address the issue of research touchpoints covered by parents while researching new schools in Singapore.