Public Schools vs Private Schools In Singapore

If you are identifying if Public schools or Private schools in Singapore is the best choice of education system for your child, then you have reached the right place. Let's explore together about the K 12 education system in Singapore.

The education system in Singapore is considered among the world's finest receiving global acknowledgement and praise. Singapore Schools flourished from being a low-skill labour-driven market during the Independence era to creating an incredibly advanced education system over the past 50 years.

Local public schools in Singapore focus on academic excellence and strive to bring out the best results in students. Whereas, best private schools in Singapore are emerging to cater to the diverse educational needs of the expat families that relocate in Singapore from across the world.

Every parent wants their child to have the best educational experience. The definition of the term “best” does differ from person to person. Some look for a creative and engaging environment, while others would prefer a focussed and futuristic setting. Whatever your need, you will be able to find the right fit for your child in Singapore!

Public School

250+ primary and secondary public schools

Students learn all about Singaporean culture

MOE curriculum

Adopts results-driven approach to teaching

Encourages bilingualism, but focuses on Mandarin

Priority placement for Singaporean citizens

Average class size of 40

Larger teacher to student ratios

Teachers assigned by the MOE

Adhere to the MOE's strict guidelines

Private School

40+ private schools

Strong focus on global learning and internationalism

Holistic and international curriculum

Focus on extracurricular activities, sport and the arts

Wider choice of second and third languages

Priority placement for expats/foreigners

Modern facilities, state of the art technology, etc

Average class size of 25

Lower teacher to student ratios

International team of teachers

Have a considerable degree of autonomy

Chat with counsellor

Top Scholarships

Global Future Ready Merit Scholarship


91% and Above

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Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Global Skills Scholarship


Talent Based - Technology

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9GEMS Holistic Development Scholarship


Talent Based - 9 GEMS

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Quality Education- It Matters!

Public schools in Singapore rank among the top schools in the world. The rigorous focus on mathematics and science brings out excellent academic results. The teachers appointed by the MOE are result-driven and emphasize subject mastery. Public schools offer a highly disciplined educational environment where students are trained to perform well on standardized examinations. These schools majorly focus on academics.

However, private schools in Singapore have a more holistic and international curriculum focusing on global learning and internationalism. They go beyond academic excellence. The diversity in curriculum choices and the goals of each school vary widely. Thus, the quality and outcome of each school differ. If you’ve been to one of the private schools in Singapore, you are only familiar with the offerings of that particular school. Every international school has its unique way of imbibing a holistic educational experience.

Each school will produce different kinds of graduates. At GIIS, we have adopted a holistic 9 GEMS holistic educational framework to ensure overall student development. With a strong focus on academic excellence, GIIS encourages students to excel in sports, extracurricular activities, skill-based activities, leadership skills, artistic skills, community care, etc. The idea is to help students in vocational and career progression during their school years.

Student Handbook 2024-2025

Perks of Public and Private Schools in Singapore: Why Must You Consider Them?


Public Schools

Although public schools welcome international students, international students are bound to pay a tuition fee. The citizens of ASEAN nations pay a certain amount, but if you’re a non-Singaporean student, you will end up paying a higher price.

Private Schools

Private Schools seldom enjoy government subsidies. Therefore, the cost of learning at private schools is slightly higher than in public schools. However, institutions do develop affiliations with sponsors to provide financial assistance.


Public Schools

Public universities have higher barriers to entry. As in most countries, priority is given to the citizens of the country. International students must keep a backup plan ready in case they are waitlisted in favor of local families. Moreover, foreigners cannot solicit a school. International students get placed in schools allocated by the Ministry of Education.

Private Schools

Private schools offer an effortless and uncomplicated admission process. Their admission teams are helpful and provide the right guidance at every step of the process. Expat families may choose the ideal school for their child by taking virtual tours and doing some research on the school's qualities such as infrastructure, location, teaching staff, prices, reviews, and testimonials.

Academic Year

Public Schools

The holiday season for Singapore public schools is in September, December, March, and June. The academic year calendar is followed from January to December. So, international families or expats may find this schedule contradictory with their native calendars.

Private Schools

Private schools have the autonomy to choose their academic year in advance. August-July is the most sought-after season. This well-known academic calendar corresponds to the schools in the northern hemisphere.


Public Schools

Singapore's public schools are acclaimed and appreciated for their educational excellence. They provide a strong emphasis on academic success, with a special emphasis on the math and science curriculum. They train students to pass and excel in foundation and standard examinations.

Private Schools

International school curriculums are focused on developing children holistically. An internationally recognized curriculum like IB helps students bag better job opportunities and settle in places all across the globe. When your child wants to shift or change schools, international schools are easily accessible in every country.

Choose a School That is the ‘Right Fit’ for Your Child

In Singapore’s diverse educational landscape, send your child into a school that focuses on holistic development to open doors of opportunities for the child’s future.

It’s a Huge Decision to Make- Carefully Research and Think About it!

If you need more assistance or information to help you make an informed decision, let us know. Our school admission team is ever ready to help and guide you to make the best choices. You can also visit us and take a tour of the school and understand the values we provide. Counseling will help us realize what your child is best interested in. As a result, we can polish their skills and bring out the best in them. Our empathetic admission team will help you ease the admission process and settle. Our school welcomes and embraces the vibrant and multicultural community to ensure that the child loves to wake up and attend school every single day!