Percentage of special needs children receiving education in mainstream and special education schools

Published Date: 15 August 2016 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Sun Xueling, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC


To ask the Acting Minister for Education (Schools) (a) what percentage of special needs children are currently receiving education in mainstream schools and in special education schools; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider building more special needs schools in housing areas with a higher proportion of children and hence a likely higher proportion of special needs children.


Students with special educational needs (SEN) are enrolled in both mainstream and Special Education (SPED) schools. Currently, there are about 18,000 students who have learning difficulties or mild special educational needs enrolled in mainstream schools, comprising about 75% of all students diagnosed with SEN. Those with moderate to severe SEN are supported in SPED schools run by government-funded Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs). These schools are equipped with special facilities as well as specially trained teachers and allied professionals to meet the needs of their students who require a customised curriculum and specialised interventions.

As part of the continual effort to meet the evolving needs of children with special needs and enhance the learning environment in SPED schools, MOE has over the years supported and funded the setting up of new SPED schools and the expansion of existing ones to enhance accessibility to quality SPED.

The 20 Government-funded SPED schools run by VWOs collectively serve a range of disability profiles, and are organised primarily by disability types and the programmes they provide to meet the needs of their students. The SPED schools are geographically distributed across Singapore and the majority are currently located in public housing areas with access to public transport.

MOE will continue to work closely with the VWOs in monitoring the SPED school vacancy and infrastructural situation to ensure that students with disabilities have timely access to SPED. Where there is a need for additional school campuses to cater to students with specific disabilities, we will continue to site them in locations where there is ease of access by students and their parents/care-givers.

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