Allied Educators

Published Date: 11 February 2019 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Yip Pin Xiu, Nominated Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) what is the current ratio of allied educators (AEDs) to students in each school; (b) what are the types of training and resources made accessible to these AEDs; (c) in 2018, how many students required the help of an AED and how were these students identified; and (d) whether the Ministry has plans to increase the number of AEDs in our schools.

Response

1. The number of Allied Educators (AEDs) is currently about 2,000. Our AED force includes School Counsellors (SCs), Student Welfare Officers (SWOs), AEDs for Learning and Behavioural Support [AEDs(LBS)], and AEDs in Teaching and Learning [AEDs(T&L)] in mainstream schools.

2. On average, each school has a team of one SC, and one to two AEDs(LBS). Some schools have an additional SWO to support students with irregular attendance. AEDs have been a great help in supporting socio-emotional, counselling, and special educational needs (SEN) of our students. In terms of training and resources, all our SCs are trained in the Diploma in School Counselling or Masters in Counselling, and all our AEDs(LBS) undergo the Diploma in Special Education training.

3. Students with social and emotional issues may approach the SCs for help on their own, or are referred by their parents, teachers, or peers who have observed signs of distress or other concerns. Schools target the support provided by AEDs(LBS) to students with SEN based on the level of needs. Last year, SCs and AEDs(LBS) had attended to about 67,000 students, or about 15% of our student population, for a range of needs.

4. MOE will continue to recruit and train AEDs to meet students’ needs. But the aggregate number of AEDs is less important than focusing our AED resources on areas where students need the most support. Hence MOE has consciously grown specific groups of AEDs to provide stronger specialised support, while scaling back on the number of AEDs(T&L) to reshape our workforce to deliver optimal educational outcomes for our students. In fact, a number of AEDs(T&L) have been selected to be retrained as AEDs(LBS) by taking up the Diploma in Special Education.

5. Over the last five years, we have grown the number of AEDs(LBS) by over 40%. In recent years, we had also increased the number of SCs, and introduced more SWOs to provide greater support for students who struggle with attendance issues. MOE intends to announce a more detailed plan in the near future on how we will better support the students in our schools who need the most help.

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