September 12, 2012
MOE Removes Secondary School Banding and Revamps School Awards
The Ministry of Education (MOE) will abolish the banding of secondary schools by academic results with immediate effect. It will also remove the Masterplan of Awards (MoA) and reduce the number of school awards from 2014. Instead, MOE will place more emphasis on recognising best practices by schools in delivering a well-rounded education.
The awards that will be removed include the Sustained Achievement Award1, the School Excellence Award2, and the Gold, Silver, Bronze Academic Value-Added Awards.
These changes are in line with MOE’s efforts to enable every school to be a good school in delivering a student-centric, values-driven education.
Removing School Banding
Since 2004, secondary schools have been placed into academic bands each year, based on the performance of their students at the GCE O Level in the preceding year.
Developing the students’ knowledge and skills in the academic area remains an important core task for schools. However, MOE recognises that a school’s effectiveness in academic education is better measured by its academic value-added than by its absolute academic band, as the student intake profile varies across different schools. MOE will therefore abolish the academic banding of secondary schools, but will continue to monitor and recognise schools’ ability to value-add to their students academically. This takes immediate effect.
Recognising Schools’ Best Practices
Under the MoA, a total of 252 schools were recognised for their efforts and achievements in delivering a holistic education through various awards3 presented by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, at the MOE Work Plan Seminar today.
The four schools that received the School Distinction Award (SDA) are Fairfield Methodist School (Primary), Keming Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School and Kranji Secondary School.
Three schools were conferred the PARTNERS (PARents, Teachers and NEighbourhood Resources in Synergy) (Outstanding) Award. They are Catholic High School, Nan Hua High School and National Junior College.
The Lee Hsien Loong Award for Innovations in the Normal Course (LHL AIN) was presented to three schools—Pasir Ris Secondary School, Ping Yi Secondary School and Riverside Secondary School. Details of the awards and the schools’ programmes are in Annex A.
Simplified Way of Recognising Schools from 2014
MOE will remove the MoA from 2014, but will continue to recognise good school practices under a simplified recognition system. Both the School Excellence Award and the Sustained Achievement Award will be removed. Similarly, MOE will also remove the Gold, Silver and Bronze Achievement Awards4 for Academic Value-Added for secondary schools and Junior Colleges, while continuing to monitor and recognise schools with academic value added. In addition, emphasis will be placed on recognising best practices of schools in five key aspects:
- Best Practice in Teaching and Learning
- Best Practice in Student All-Round Development
- Best Practice in Staff Development and Well Being
- Best Practice in Character and Citizenship Education (new)
- Best Practice in Partnership (new)
To support sharing across schools, MOE will set up an online Good School Practices (GSP) repository to allow schools to learn about the good practices in other schools so that they can adapt and customise the programmes and processes for their own use.
Information on Schools
When deciding their secondary school choices, parents and students usually consider a number of factors including distance from their homes and transport arrangements, the schools’ ethos, the intake cut-off points and PSLE point range of secondary schools, whether the school has CCAs and programmes that match their children’s’ learning needs and interests, and the schools’ academic value-added and other non-academic achievements.
To help parents and their children make informed choices in their selection of secondary schools, MOE will continue to make available relevant information on schools in the enhanced School Information Service (SIS), a search engine on MOE’s website, as well as in the Secondary 1 Posting Booklets. The overview of the schools in the Secondary 1 Posting Booklet and schools’ websites contain detailed descriptions of the programmes and strengths of every school. Parents can also find out more about the schools at their open houses.