Government Plan for Mainstream schools with special-needs officers

[Updated: 20-Nov-2008]

In 2004, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced the following initiatives to support children with special educational needs in mainstream schools.

The Ministry of Eduction (MOE) started the following initiatives since 2004 to support children with special educational needs in mainstream schools:

  • Deployment of Special Needs Officers (SNOs) to support children with mild to moderate dyslexia and autistic spectrum disorder to mainstream schools.
  • Additional funding for designated mainstream schools to cater to students with dyslexia and autistic spectrum disorder.
  • Training of selected primary and secondary school teachers in special needs (TSNs).
Along with this initiative, facilities and resources in our national schools to facilitate the learning of children with special educational needs has been implemented since 2005.
Special Needs Officers (SNOs)
The aim is that by mid 2009, a total of 136 schools (105 primary and 31 secondary schools) will be staffed by SNOs. Schools are resourced based on schools’ level of needs and geographical location, to provide greater choice and convenience to students and their parents.
Plan by 2010:
Schools will be resourced for Greater Support for Special Needs
For Dyslexia
Primary Schools:
– All primary schools will have up to 1 SNO per school.
Secondary Schools:
– 20 Resourced schools will have between 1 to 3 SNOs per school.
For Mild ASD
Primary Schools:
– 20 Resourced schools will have between 1 to 3 SNOs per school.
Secondary Schools
– 12 Resourced schools will have between 1 to 3 SNOs per school.

Role of Special Needs Officers

Special Needs Officers will complement the support classroom teachers presently provide to pupils with special educational needs.

SNOs may, depending on the individual special needs of the students, provide support in the form of:

  • in-class support
  • small group intervention sessions, e.g. reading skills
  • small group skills training (e.g. social skills, study and organisational skills)
  • case management and other administrative duties

SNOs will complement the support classroom teachers presently provide to pupils with special educational needs.

Teachers Trained in Special Needs (TSN)
MOE aims to train 10% teachers in all primary and secondary schools by 2010 and an additional 10% teachers in secondary schools by 2012. This is to support the need for students with other mild special needs (e.g. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, speech and language difficulties) in schools.

The training for teachers in special needs (TSNs) started in June 2005. Since then 1200 teachers have been trained in special needs and another 800 teachers will be undergoing training in May 2008.

As teachers trained in special needs (TSNs), they will be able to:

  • provide individual or small group support to the students with special needs in their form class
  • share strategies and resources with teachers and parents
  • assist with transition of students with special needs from one level to the next, and
  • assist with monitoring of the student’s progress.

The above information are obtained from the MOE website. Please refer to this for updates.

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