Nov 8, 2019,Today: 3 new special education schools to serve growing needs, fees at 6 schools to be lowered https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/3-new-special-education-schools-serve-growing-needs-fees-6-schools-be-lowered Three new special education (Sped) schools will be set up for students with moderate to severe special needs, to cater to the growing demand for places at these schools, Second Minister for Education Indranee Rajah announced on Friday (Nov 8). One of the three new Sped schools will be run by Metta Welfare Association from 2021, while the other two will be opened by the Ministry of Education (MOE). More details will be announced at a later date. … The move to set up these schools is among a list of new measures aimed at improving inclusion in mainstream schools and to make special education more affordable. The ministry will also extend two peer-support intervention programmes to allow students with special needs in all mainstream primary schools to get more chances to mingle with their peers…. MOE said that this new school will open up 300 more school places for students with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability aged seven to 18 years old…. The other two new Sped schools to be opened under MOE which cater to students with moderate special needs will offer the national primary and secondary curriculum, and there will be a “suitable post-primary programme” for students who are unable to access the national secondary curriculum. To set up one of these two schools, the ministry will be working with the Autism Resource Centre (Singapore), which runs Pathlight School in Ang Mo Kio. This will be in addition to the centre's upcoming second campus in Tampines that was previously announced in July…. Under the Circle of Friends programme — which is a school-based, structured peer-support intervention for students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties — students with special needs will meet weekly with their form teachers and allied educators who specialise in learning and behavioural support, in order to identify and tackle specific learning difficulties…. The Facing Your Fears programme, introduced in 2016 to help students with special education needs who struggle with emerging anxiety, is already conducted in selected secondary schools. … The sessions are conducted by allied educators specialising in learning and behavioural support, who are trained by MOE psychologists and specialists. To date, personnel from about 50 secondary schools have been trained for this programme.