International Primary School in Singapore Fees | Fees 2020 & 2021

Are you looking for international primary school fees in Singapore? Confused about the different international primary school fees? Do you need help choosing an international primary school in Singapore? If yes, then you are in the right place! Our international primary school in Singapore fee guide will help you get all the answers parents are looking for.

International Primary School in Singapore Fees

School fees are one of the factors expat parents look at when choosing a school in Singapore. When comparing school fees, it is important to check entrance, additional and miscellaneous fees. These can add up quickly. Our guide covers most of the common fee types for schools in Singapore as well as invoicing and payment setups. Each school is slightly different and getting an accurate school fee breakdown for the first year of enrolment is important.

Our experienced Admissions consultants will be happy to send you a school fee breakdown for your family. Submit your child’s date of birth, curriculum choice and planned entry date and you will receive an email with the school fee breakdown. Click here for more information.

Total annual school fees

33540 SGD

Annual tuition fees 28250 SGD
Annual development levy fee 5040 SGD
Annual material and excursion fees 250 SGD

From the second year onwards, there is a 50% discount on the annual development levy fee for all students.

Other IB Primary school fees
Fee item Fee (SGD)
Entrance fee 2945 One-time
English as an Additional Language (EAL) support programme 2000 Per semester
Learning support 1690 Per semester
After-school programme (CCA) 260 Per activity, per semester
School bus 843-1300 Per semester

How many international schools are there in Singapore?

Choosing an international school in Singapore is a difficult decision for families to make. There are over 50 international primary schools on the island! Most international primary schools in Singapore follow the International Baccalaureate (IB), British or International Primary Curriculum (IPC) systems. There are also a small number of international schools that offer national curricula such as German, Dutch or French national curriculums.

How much are international school fees in Singapore?

School fees for primary schools in Singapore range from around 20000 SGD to over 50000 SGD per year depending on the international school setup, facilities and what is included in the primary school programme. In this guide on international school fees in Singapore, we will look at primary schools which are typically for students aged 5 or 6 to 11 or 12 years old. Remember some international schools in Singapore follow a 12-grade system with primary starting at grade 1 and some primary schools follow a 13-year system with year 2 being the equivalent of grade 1 in a 12-grade system.

Another difference between international schools in Singapore is the school calendar. Most schools in Singapore follow the northern hemisphere calendar (August to June). There are some schools like Australian International School Singapore (AIS) that follow the southern hemisphere calendar (January to November) and also schools like the Global Indian International school (GIIS) which follow an April to February / March school calendar.

For more information on the differences between a 12 and 13 grade international school system, please read our Admissions FAQ help page or you can arrange a free study consultation with one of our experienced Admissions Officers.

Primary school fees what is included?

Generally, there are two school fees setups for primary schools in Singapore. There are schools that invoice each school trip, material or books separately to the main international school fee invoice and there are international schools that include most miscellaneous fees within the main school fee invoice.

Entrance, enrolment and confirmation fees for primary grades

Starting at an international school in Singapore can be an expensive time for expat families. It is important that families check how much application, testing or enrolment fees are as these can add up quickly. On average international schools in Singapore charge almost 6000 SGD in entrance fees, with the highest being over 10000 SGD. This is in addition to the first school fee invoice.

The application fee at GESS is 200 SGD and the enrolment fee to confirm the student’s place is 2745 SGD for a total Entrance fee of 2945 SGD.

School fees or tuition fees

Whether it is an IB school in Singapore or any other international curriculum the school fees are generally set depending on the programmes and facilities offered and not which curriculum is selected by the school.

School fee payments

School fees or tuition fees are usually invoiced 2, 3 or 4 times per year depending on the school’s setup. Some international schools follow a 2-semester model with 2 school fee invoices, some have a 3 or 4 term school calendar setup with a corresponding number of invoices. Almost all schools require an advance payment of the school fees. In Singapore, schools are prohibited from charging families a deposit by law under the Private Education Act.

A limited number of international schools allow parents to pay the school fees monthly using a GIRO payment system. At GESS, there are two school fee invoices per year and families can opt to pay monthly using the GIRO system.

Building / facility fees or capital / development levy fees

Usually, international schools with a large range of facilities such as swimming pools, labs, sports fields and indoor sports halls charge a fee for the maintenance and improvement of the school’s facilities. Some schools such as Stamford American International school Singapore, charge a one-off building or facility fee when the student enrols. Other schools like, GESS or UWC charge an annual development levy fee. At GESS, there is a 50% discount on the annual development levy fee from the student’s second year of enrolment at GESS.

Material fees

Books, IT equipment or in class materials are sometimes included in the primary school fees and parents do not need to buy any stationery or books for their child. At GESS IB Primary school, all in-class materials, the student’s iPad and stationery is provided by the school for an annual fee of 250 SGD. This also includes the many school trips in Singapore that IB primary students go on to connect their studies with the world around them.

Get a free personalised school fee quote now! Enter your child's date of birth, curriculum preference and planned start month and we will send you the grade placement and fee breakdown by email

School uniform

Almost all Singapore international primary schools do not include the school uniform in the school fees. An exception is One World International (OWIS) which includes two sets of uniform in the tuition fees. A school uniform set including sports uniform averages around 200-250 SGD. Some schools in Singapore like GESS, have a school shop at the school where you can try on the uniform and buy directly at the school. Other international schools use a uniform supplier and families go to the supplier’s shop such as Lim’s Uniforms.

After-school programmes, sports and overseas school trips

One of the plus points of studying at an international school in Singapore is the huge range of after-school programmes, sports training and overseas school trips offered. Some schools include standard after-school activities in the school fee or tuition fee, with sports or activities which require specialist equipment or instructors not included in the school fees.

At GESS, over 90 different activities (CCA) are offered to primary school students at a cost of 260 SGD per semester regardless of the activity or equipment required. For sports teams, the school subsidises the cost of the programme and transport in Singapore.

Private music lessons (VIP) are also offered for primary school students with the school selecting experienced music tutors in Singapore and organising the lessons during the school day.

International school fees in Singapore generally do not include overseas school trips and trips are invoiced separately during the school year. Some schools like GESS offer schools trips in Singapore as part of the Primary school fees, other schools will charge separately for each trip.

School bus

How your child will get to school is definitely an area not to be overlooked. All international schools in Singapore offer a supervised school bus service. The school bus fee is not included in the tuition fees and usually charged on a distance basis. One thing to check is if the school offers a door-to-door service for all bus timings or if only the main morning and dismissal bus are door-to-door with the after-school bus only going to central drop-off points. Bus fees range from around 1000 SGD per semester (5 months) to 2000 SGD depending on the primary school and bus provider.

GESS has a door-to-door school bus service for all timings to almost addresses in west and central Singapore. There is a shuttle bus service to the East Coast and Sentosa. The average cost of the bus is approximately 1000 SGD per semester for a return bus.

For expat families that are new to Singapore, it can be challenging to know where to live. Ask the school where families typically live and always check that there is a school bus route available before signing the lease.

English support programmes (EAL)

Singapore expat families come from all around the world and speak many different languages. This is one of the unique advantages of studying at an international school in Singapore. Your child will make friends with other students from many different backgrounds and nationalities.

For students that have not studied in an English medium school before, it is important that you choose an international primary school that offers an English support programme or English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme.

Typically, English support programmes in primary schools are an additional cost for families and the fee will depend on the level of support required. However, in the GESS IB Primary school, the English support programme (EAL) is charged at flat fee of 2000 SGD per semester for all levels of support.

Need help with comparing international schools in Singapore and the different curriculum offerings? Sign up for a free online study consultation today!

Comparing international school fees 2020 and 2021

Each international school in Singapore has a different setup for charging school fees. When shortlisting international schools, make sure you are comparing the full school fees for the first year of enrolment and not just the tuition fees. Don’t forget to add the additional fees like school uniform, bus and additional programme fees too.

If your child will start halfway through 2020 school year or for example in January 2021, check with the international school if the school fee invoice is pro-rated. Depending on your child’s start month, GESS will invoice you a percentage amount of the annual school fees. Some international schools in Singapore will charge by term or pro-rate the school fee invoice by week. It is definitely worth checking with the Admissions department.

A final area to check is school fee increases from 2020 to 2021. This can range from 2-5% per year depending on the school and if an expat family is planning on staying in Singapore for 4-5 years, the fee increases can add up substantially.

At GESS international school fees 2021 will be set by the GESS Association. The GESS Association is largely made up of parents who vote annually on key school strategic items such as school fee increases and the budget.

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