Because of its large expatriate community, Singapore is host to manyinternational schools. International and private schools in Singapore generally do not admit Singapore students without permission from the Ministry of Education.
However, on 29 April 2004 the Ministry of Education permitted three new international schools to be set up without permission being needed to admit Singapore students. These schools must follow the compulsory policies set by the Ministry such as playing the national anthem and taking the pledge every morning, as well as following the nation's policies on bilingualism. These schools – Anglo-Chinese School (International), Hwa Chong International School and SJI International School – are private schools run by the boards of other locally renowned institutions. The school fees are 15 to 20 percent lower than those of foreign international schools. Their intake includes students from countries such as Malaysia, India, Indonesia, People's Republic of China,Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Established under the Private Education Act, the Council for Private Education is a statutory board empowered with the legislative power to regulate the private education sector. In addition to its role as the sectoral regulator of private education institutions, the Council facilitates capability development efforts to uplift standards in the local private education industry.
On 20 May 2010,The Council for Private Education (CPE) has registered the first batch of private education institutions (PEIs) under the Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF). Following the launch of the new private education regulatory regime on 21 Dec 2009, all PEIs within the regulatory scope of the Private Education Act are required to register with the CPE under the ERF. Under the Enhanced Registration Framework, private institutions must meet requirements relating to their managers, teachers, courses and examination boards. Out of 308 which applied, less than a third were given the stamp of approval and students are relieved that their school has made the mark. Only 63 ERF applications have been evaluated by the CPE, of which 36 PEIs have been registered for a period of four years, and 26 PEIs have been registered for one year. The registration period awarded to a PEI is dependent on its degree of compliance with the Private Education Regulations.