We hope you enjoyed reading about where SAS students come from in Part 1 of our annual "Student Demographics" article. This week we further explore our community's characteristics by looking at what brings SAS families to Singapore, who pays the bills, how long students stay, and where families live.
What brings SAS families to Singapore?
Most SAS students are living in Singapore because of a parent's job. The three most common employment sectors reported by SAS parents are finance, with 25.3% of parents' primary jobs; information, communication, and technology (ICT), with 13.2%; and manufacturing (semiconductors, electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals), with 12.8%. This year, reflecting regional economic trends, ICT pulled ahead of manufacturing. Sectors accounting for 5% to 7% of SAS parents' jobs include professional services (accounting, consulting, law, relocation, and outsourcing); government (including the US embassy and navy); and SAS itself.
Reflecting industry trends, the oil, gas, and energy sector and the consumer goods sector now each account for less than 5% of SAS parents' reported jobs. Other sectors employing smaller numbers of SAS parents include trade, higher education, property and architecture, shipping and logistics, healthcare, hotels and entertainment, religious or charity non-profits, food and beverage, and mining. Seven percent of SAS parents provided no data on employment this year, while 0.3% reported themselves self-employed. The chart below shows changes over the past decade in SAS families' primary jobs.
Trends in SAS parents' jobs
By sector, as reported to school
Who pays the fees for SAS students?
In the last decade, many multinational companies have moved away from including direct school payments in their expatriate pay packages. Because of this, the percentage of students whose SAS school fees are paid directly by their parents' companies has decreased: while ten years ago, over half our students were directly sponsored by parents' companies, this year just over a quarter were. However, we estimate that another 20% of our students' fees are fully or partially covered through parents' pay packages or by reimbursement, bringing the total of de facto company-sponsored students to around 50%. That means that around half of our students' parents are paying school fees independently, with no direct or indirect company sponsorship.
How long do students stay at SAS?
This year, the average tenure of all currently enrolled students rose from 4.4 to 4.6 years, continuing an upward trend in recent years. This number assumes that current students will stay through this entire school year. It also includes our youngest students, who can only have been enrolled as long as there have been grades to serve them (a preschool student, for example, can only have been here one year). We believe this number, our highest in over a decade, indicates satisfaction with the school and a relatively stable employment climate for SAS families. The average tenure of students who left at the end of 2020–21 also rose, to 5.6 years. This number is calculated in June and includes our graduating seniors as well as other departing students.
Average years of enrollment over time
Looking at current students' tenure by grade level, it is not surprising that it increases each year in the lower grades, hitting the overall average at seventh grade. Middle and high school students' tenures continue to increase, most obviously in twelfth grade. This indicates that many families make special efforts to keep their children at SAS through the socially and academically critical years leading to graduation.
Average years of enrollment by grade, 2021–22
How many students who started at SAS with my children will graduate with them?
Children who enter SAS in the younger grades will see many friends move away over the years, but some will remain right through to graduation day. This year, out of our senior class of 291, we have 48 students who started here in either the Early Childhood Center (now ELC) or kindergarten: 12 enrolled in preschool, 5 in pre-kindergarten, and 31 in kindergarten. A further 43 arrived in grades 1 and 2, and 44 joined in grades 3 through 5. Altogether, nearly half of our seniors started at SAS in elementary school. Around one-quarter started in middle school, and one-quarter joined us in high school.
Of course, the later a student enters SAS, the more classmates they will have who have been here the same amount of time or longer. And there is a positive aspect to our student body's fluidity: many SAS students find that they become skilled at making new friends and more open, flexible and resilient as they go through life.
Entry point of current seniors
Where do SAS students live?
The largest concentration of SAS families is found in the area bounded by the PIE, CTE, AYE, and Clementi Road. This part of the island includes neighborhoods near roads such as Bukit Timah, Dunearn, Newton, Stevens, Orchard, Tanglin, Grange, Holland, and River Valley, as well as near the American Club. The Woodlands neighborhood is also popular with SAS families, accounting for around 515 students, or 13% of enrollment. Other areas with notable concentrations of SAS families include Sembawang, Upper Bukit Timah, Yio Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio, East Coast Parkway, and Sentosa.
2021–22 distribution of SAS families in Singapore
Each dot indicates a house, condo, or apartment building housing at least one SAS student
We hope you have enjoyed learning more about this year's SAS community. As always, please send comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles to Chief Operating Officer Matthew Rogers at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.