Special Educational Needs

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Overview of Support for Children with Special Educational Needs

Our goal is for each child to maximise his/her potential in an educational setting that is most appropriate to his/her educational needs. We recognise that children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) have varying abilities and diverse learning needs, and we want to enable and prepare all children with SEN to pursue a productive and meaningful life in our society.

To support the wide spectrum of learning needs of children with SEN, there is a range of educational programmes and services available in mainstream schools and Special Education (SPED) schools:

  • Mainstream Schools: For children with mild SEN and have the cognitive abilities and adequate adaptive skills to learn in large-group settings.
  • SPED Schools: For children who require more intensive and specialised assistance in their education. There are currently 19 Government-funded SPED schools run by 12 Social Service Organisations (SSOs)

You may wish to refer to the full guide on Special Education Schools in Singapore and the programmes they offer.

You may also refer to the Parents’ Guide for Children with SEN to better understand your child’s SEN and the appropriate education that will meet his/her unique learning needs.

Compulsory Education

From 2019, all children with moderate-to-severe SEN born after 1st January 2012 will be included within the Compulsory Education (CE) framework. This means that these children with moderate-to-severe SEN are required to regularly attend a Government-funded SPED school, unless they are granted exemption from CE.

To ensure the smooth implementation of CE for children with moderate-to-severe SEN, an Implementation Advisory Panel (IAP) was formed in December 2016. The panel had made recommendations in the areas of exemption from CE and placement of children with SEN in appropriate educational settings. The full IAP report was presented to the Minister for Education in November 2017.

Contact Information

You may refer to the list of Frequently Asked Questions on SEN for more information. For other enquiries or feedback on support for children with SEN in SPED schools, you may contact the Special Education Branch at MOE_seb@moe.gov.sg.

For enquiries on support for SEN in mainstream schools, you may contact the Psychological Services Branch at MOE_Psychological_Services@moe.gov.sg.

For enquires on Compulsory Education, you may contact the Compulsory Education Unit at MOE_CEU@moe.gov.sg.