Singapore

EtonHouse to set up school in Orchard

Education group expands footprint beyond pre-schools by opening fifth international school

EtonHouse International Education Group, known for its pre-schools, is further expanding its footprint into primary, secondary and pre-university education - it is seeking approval to open another international school offering primary, secondary and pre-university classes in Tanglin Road, opposite the St Regis hotel.

It will be the fifth school opened by the group to offer classes to children of expatriates beyond pre-school.

EtonHouse has run an international secondary school - at Broadrick Road - since 1995, but in recent years opened three schools to meet the demands of expatriate parents who were unable to get their children into Ministry of Education-run schools.

It started two new primary schools in Thomson and Sentosa and launched Middleton International School to offer primary school education at affordable fees of $18,000 a year.

The fee is 40 per cent less than the average fee of $30,000 charged by top-end international schools here.

Explaining EtonHouse's expansion, Mr Ng Yi Xian, executive director of the group, said there has been growing demand among EtonHouse pre-school parents to provide a through train pathway for their children.

"When we started primary, it was in response to our pre-school parents wanting continuity into the primary years.

"Moving into secondary and high school is also in response to our families who value our primary school education and want their children to gain from the same experience throughout their schooling," he said.

The group currently has 10 campuses offering early years education in Singapore.

Dr Yvonne McNulty, senior lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, who studies global mobility, said EtonHouse has identified a gap in the international school market.

She noted that an increasing number of expatriates here are on local packages that do not cover housing and children's school fees.

"With the high cost of living in Singapore, international schooling at the pricey institutions is often out of their reach, especially if they have two or three children."

TREND

The Straits Times reported two years ago on the trend of foreigners being turned away from local schools.

MOE recently revealed that some 1,800 international pupils who applied to enter Primary 1 this year were rejected.

Mr Ng agreed that affordability is a concern for parents, and tuition fees will start at $27,480 a year for the primary years at the new Orchard school.

"With more international schools we can benefit from economies of scale and pass on the benefit to parents in the form of fees," he said.

The first batch of students at the primary level are expected to commence classes in March next year. The school will be a "boutique" school and will enrol 300 students.

It will prepare students for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education, the equivalent of the O levels, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

EducationPRE-SCHOOLSOrchard