1. Seven government-funded Special Education (SPED) schools will progressively begin operations in new campuses at their permanent sites from 2022, as part of MOE's ongoing efforts to enhance accessibility to SPED for students with moderate-to-severe Special Educational Needs (SEN). MOE had, over the past few years, announced the set-up of these new schools – four new government-funded SPED schools serving students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with intellectual impairment, and three new government-funded SPED schools serving students who have moderate ASD and can access the national curriculum.
2. Mrs Lucy Toh, Divisional Director, Special Educational Needs, MOE, said: "In the years ahead, a small proportion of about 1.5% of our students will continue to need the customised learning environments provided by our SPED Schools. These latest infrastructure developments will bring the number of SPED schools up from 19 to 26 by 2027 and enhance the geographical spread of schools. Parents of these children can be assured that their children will continue to have access to an affordable and high-quality education."
Updates on Four SPED Schools for Students with Moderate-To-Severe SEN Who Have ASD with Intellectual Impairment
3. Between 2017 and 2019, MOE announced that it would work with various Social Service Agencies (SSAs), namely AWWA Ltd (AWWA), Autism Association Singapore (AAS), Rainbow Centre (RC) and Metta Welfare Association (MWA), to set up four new SPED schools to address the growing demand for SPED school places for students who have ASD with intellectual impairment. These four SPED schools1 will begin operations at their respective permanent sites between 2022 and 2024. Each school will provide 25 school places per year and will have an eventual total capacity of 300 places.
4. Between 2017 and 2018, AWWA School 2, Eden School 2 and Rainbow Centre School 3 (run by AWWA, AAS and RC respectively) started operating at their interim sites. Metta School 2, run by MWA, will begin operating at its interim site at the current Metta School site from 2021. All four schools will move to their permanent sites between 2022 and 2024 and will provide up to 1,200 additional places. Please refer to Table 1 for details on when the schools will start operating at their permanent locations.
5. Students at the four schools will have access to the full range of Learning Domains2 in the SPED Customised Curriculum in order to enable them to access independent living, learning and working opportunities after they graduate.
Table 1: Details on Year of Operation at Permanent Location of Four SPED Schools for Students with Moderate-to-Severe SEN who have ASD with Intellectual Impairment
|School3||Social Service Agency||Permanent Location||Year of Operation|
|Eden School 2||Autism Association Singapore (AAS)||Site of former Hong Kah Primary School at Bukit Batok West Ave 2
(currently operating at former Chong Boon Secondary School site)
|AWWA School 2||AWWA Ltd||Site of former Bedok West Primary School at 50 Bedok Reservoir Crescent
(currently operating at Fernvale Gardens School site)
|Rainbow Centre School 3||Rainbow Centre (RC)||Along Admiralty Link/ Admiralty Lane
(currently operating under Rainbow Centre – Yishun Park School (RCYPS) as RCYPS (Woodlands) at former Si Ling Secondary School site)
|Metta School 2||Metta Welfare Association (MWA)||Site of former Coral Primary School at Pasir Ris Street 51
(to start operating under Metta School as Metta School (Maitri Project) at current Metta School from 2021)
Updates on Three Sped Schools for Students with Moderate SEN Who Have Asd and Can Access National Curriculum
6. In 2019, MOE had announced that it was working with various SSAs to set up three new government-funded SPED schools that can support students with moderate SEN who have ASD and can access the national curriculum4. The three SPED schools will start operating at their permanent sites from 2024. Two of the schools are Pathlight School 2 and Pathlight School 3, which are run by Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) (ARC), and the third school will be run by an agency selected through a limited invitation for proposals approach that was open to eligible agencies.
7. Pathlight School 2 will provide 500 primary level school places and 300 post-primary5 level school places, with its permanent location at the former East View Primary School. Pathlight School 3 will provide 500 primary and 400 post-primary level school places, with a new campus to be constructed at Tengah. Pathlight School 2 and 3 will allow students to have a seamless transition from primary to post-primary education within the same school site. No interim site will be set up as the current Pathlight School facilities at the former Chong Boon Primary and Secondary School interim site can accommodate students who will then move to the two permanent sites when they open.
New School to Support Students with moderate SEN who have ASD and can access the National Curriculum
8. Through a limited invitation to agencies for proposals to set up a new school to support students with moderate SEN who have ASD and can access the national curriculum, seven eligible agencies submitted proposals to MOE. The Evaluation Panel6 selected the proposal submitted by the Anglican Diocese of Singapore, and St. Andrew's Mission Hospital (SAMH) will be the SSA running this school.
9. The new school will start operating at the to-be-vacated Yusof Ishak Secondary School7 as its interim site in 2022, providing 75 places per cohort. At steady state at its permanent site in Clementi, it will be able to provide 500 primary and 350 post-primary level school places.
10. Dr Arthur Chern, Group CEO of Singapore Anglican Community Services and SAMH, said: "SAMH is humbled and honoured to be selected to run this school. We will strive to provide the students with not only a firm foundation in the national curriculum, but also important life and vocational skills. Our ultimate aim is to enable them to live an independent life after graduation and be fully integrated into society."
11. Details on these three SPED schools are as follows:
Table 2: Details on Year of Operation at Permanent Location of Three SPED Schools for Students with ASD and can Access National Curriculum
|School8||Social Service Agency||Permanent Location||Year of Operation|
|Pathlight School 2||Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) (ARC)||Site of former East View Primary School
(currently operating at former Chong Boon Primary and Secondary School site)
|Pathlight School 3||Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) (ARC)||Tengah
(to start operating at former Chong Boon Primary and Secondary School site from 2021)
|Name to be confirmed||St. Andrew’s Mission Hospital (SAMH)||Clementi
(to start operating at the to-be-vacated Yusof Ishak Secondary School as its interim site from 2022)
12. MOE is committed to supporting the implementation of the Compulsory Education framework for students with moderate to severe SEN. We will continue to monitor the demand for SPED school places, and work with the SSAs to provide sufficient capacity to cater to specific student profiles. We will also review the facilities in SPED schools to support and enhance the learning and the educational experience of SPED students.
Together with Eden School and St. Andrew’s Autism School, there will be six SPED schools catering to students who have ASD with intellectual impairment from 2021.
The six core learning domains in the SPED Curriculum Framework of Living, Learning and Working in the 21st Century are academic, daily living, physical education and sports, social-emotional, the arts and vocational.
The official names of these schools will be confirmed at the time of school registration, before the schools move to their permanent sites. For now, each new school’s working name is pegged to the name of the SPED school currently operated by the same SSA.
Together with Pathlight School 1, there will be four government-funded SPED schools that support students with moderate SEN who have ASD and can access the national curriculum from 2022.
Post-primary comprises secondary students who will follow the national curriculum and vocational students who will follow a vocational curriculum.
The Evaluation Panel was chaired by the Director-General of Education (DGE), and comprised Director-level representatives from MOE and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), as well as an external SEN specialist.
Yusof Ishak Secondary School will relocate to its new campus in Punggol in January 2022.
The official names of these schools will be confirmed only at the time of school registration, before the schools move to their permanent sites. For now, each new school’s working name is pegged to the name of the SPED school currently operated by the same SSA.