Published August 20, 2008

More land, buildings for foreign schools

4 state buildings, 3 land parcels tagged; government inviting FSS proposals


THE government wants more foreign schools in Singapore to provide places for children of the growing number of expatriates moving here to work.

Four more state buildings and three land parcels have been identified for use as Foreign System Schools (FSS).

The buildings are the former Upper Serangoon Secondary School in Upper Serangoon Road, Nan Chiau High School in Kim Yam Road, Fuchun Primary School in Woodlands Centre Road and Jurong Town Primary School in Hu Ching Road.

Except for the Upper Serangoon Road property, the buildings will be leased for an initial three years, with the option to renew for two further three-year terms. The land parcels - at Yishun Avenue 1, Hougang Avenue 1 and Bukit Batok Road - have lease periods of 30 years.

These seven sites will add to the 19 international schools that already use state property, such as the Canadian International School, United World College of South East Asia, and the Avondale Grammar School.

The seven additional sites were chosen based on locality, convenience, availability, space and ease of adaptability.

In a joint statement yesterday, the Economic Development Board and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said that they are inviting proposals via a request-for-interest exercise.

Proposals will be assessed on such factors as quality, ability to meet market demand, investment commitments and, crucially, a commitment to start classes by next year.

'Singapore's strong economic growth over the years has attracted an influx of foreign talent,' the two agencies said.

'In recognition of increasing demand for FSS in Singapore, there is keen interest among existing FSS and new players to expand and set up new operations.'

The woes of many expatriates trying to secure places for children in international schools here have been reported many times recently. Most FSS are full and have long waiting lists.

In 2006, there were 875,500 expatriates in Singapore, up sharply from 798,000 the year before.

Interested FSS are invited to submit proposals for specific sites and can do so for more than one site.

SLA's director of land operations (private) Teo Cher Hian, said: 'We recognise that FSS are important infrastructure to attract global talent to live and work in Singapore. Adapting former vacant schools for use as FSS not only optimises land resources but also provides immediate solutions to cater to growing demand, since they are purpose-built with playing fields and other facilities.'

EDB said that the exercise is not one-off and that more schools will be attracted to the island in line with market demand.

For more information on the available sites, visit