How do I select the right school for my child

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Types of SEN supported in Mainstream and SPED Schools

Children with mild SEN can receive education in the mainstream schools while children with moderate-to-severe SEN may find their educational needs better served in SPED schools. Your choice of school depends on your child’s behavioural needs, and the type of support he/she requires. Your child’s cognitive ability and adaptive skills are also important considerations when choosing a school.

A child is considered to have mild SEN and is suitable for a mainstream schools if:

  • He/She has the cognitive ability to access the mainstream curriculum; AND
  • His/Her learning needs can be met with minimal adaptation to the mainstream curriculum or learning environment (e.g. is able to access mainstream curriculum material with the use of assistive devices); AND
  • He/She has the adaptive skills to cope with the mainstream learning environment (e.g. is able to learn in large group learning settings and has independent self-help skills).

You may refer to the page on Mainstream Schools for more information on the provisions and support provided by mainstream schools.

A child is considered to have moderate-to-severe SEN and is suitable for an appropriate SPED school when his/her SEN requires any of the following:

  • A specialised curriculum (e.g. functional academics, life skills, adaptive, pre-vocational, community living, Braille instruction).
  • Extensive redesign or specially-designed instruction (e.g. use of sign language, extensive use of work schedules and visual schedules).
  • Specific expertise and provisions to support the student’s behavioural and/or adaptive functioning level (e.g. intensive therapy services, low student-teacher ratio.

You may refer to the page on SPED schools for more information on the provisions and support provided by SPED schools.

You may also speak with professionals and your child’s teachers to seek their recommendations. You are encouraged to visit schools’ websites and open houses to find out more about the schools to help you identify the most suitable school setting for your child.

If your child is of school-going age but assessed to be unsuitable to attend any mainstream or SPED school due to the severity of their SEN, you may apply for exemption from Compulsory Education.