Affordability of SPED

Published Date: 05 March 2021 02:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Leon Perera, Aljunied GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) for Government-funded Special Education (SPED) schools, what is (i) the range of school fees and (ii) the mean and median school fees for a student; and (b) after the extension of the Compulsory Education framework to include students with moderate to severe special needs with effect from 2019, what has been the change in average SPED school fees.

Response

  1. There are 19 government-funded Special Education (SPED) schools which are run by Social Services Agencies (SSAs)
  2. SPED schools charge different fees to meet the diverse and specialised learning needs of students, as they customise their programmes and services according to the disability profile of their students. Currently, the majority of SPED schools charge monthly fees ranging from $14 to $20 for Singapore Citizens (SCs). Three SPED schools charge around $60 to $70 per month, and six charge higher monthly fees of between $120 and $250. Across all SPED schools, the mean and median monthly fees are around $120 and $70 respectively.
  3. With the extension of the Compulsory Education Act to children with moderate-to-severe special educational needs (SEN) from 2019, and the increase in Government's funding to SPED schools over the years, SPED schools have been able to achieve stable funding and review their fee positions. In January last year, the SPED schools which charge relatively higher fees reduced their fees by at least 25% for SCs. In the coming years, we will continue to engage schools on reviewing and keeping fees affordable.
  4. Lower income families across all SPED schools requiring financial support with their children's educational expenses are supported by the SPED Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS). Students on SPED FAS receive full waiver of school fees, free textbooks and school attire, school meals and public transport subsidy. They may also be eligible for other support schemes.
  5. MOE will continue to work with SPED schools to ensure accessible and affordable education for children with SEN.
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