Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ17: Nursing manpower for special schools with boarding sections

     Following is a question by the Hon Joseph Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, in the Legislative Council today (January 23):


     At present, some special schools provide boarding services and also employ allied health and nursing staff to take care of the special needs of the boarders (including those who lack self-care skills or have complicated and severe health problems). Regarding the nursing manpower for boarding special schools, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of boarders in special schools in the territory at present and, among them, the respective numbers of those lacking self-care skills and those having complicated and severe health problems;

(b) the total number of nurses employed by boarding special schools in the territory at present and, among them, the respective numbers of those on day shift and those on night shift (with a breakdown by type of schools); and

(c) the existing criteria adopted by the authorities for assessing the nursing manpower required by various types of boarding special schools, and the student-to-nurse target ratio (with a breakdown by type of schools); whether the authorities have reviewed the aforesaid criteria and ratio to ensure that there are sufficient nurses in boarding special schools to provide nursing services for the students?



     Regarding the question raised by the Hon Joseph Lee Kok-long, our reply is as follows:

(a) Under the prevailing policy, subject to the assessment and recommendation of the professionals and with parents' consent, the Education Bureau (EDB) will refer students with severe or multiple disabilities for placement in special schools for more intensive support.

     At present, there are 60 aided special schools in Hong Kong, of which 20 have a boarding section providing boarding service for students with long-term boarding needs. As at September 2012, there were about 1 000 boarders in special schools. Students of special schools, including those with boarding needs, generally require more intensive personal care than students of ordinary schools. As such, the EDB has been providing special schools with nurses and other specialist staff such as speech therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, etc., to facilitate students' studies at school. The school/boarding sections also have other non-teaching staff establishments, such as teaching assistants, houseparents and janitors, etc. to offer various support. Given individual students' varying needs and the possible changes in their conditions during the school year, school nurses have to provide nursing services according to their specific circumstances. Schools may also deploy other staff as appropriate to provide support accordingly.

(b) and (c) We recognise that students of different types of special schools have different learning and nursing needs. Therefore, in accordance with the Code of Aid for Special Schools, the EDB has been providing different types of special schools and boarding sections of these schools with different nurse establishment as listed at Annex A.

     The number of nurses employed by the special schools with a boarding section in the 2012/13 school year (not including supply nurses employed by schools) is listed at Annex B.

     We have been maintaining communication with special schools to gauge the situation of their school/boarding sections. We are also discussing with relevant government department how to jointly assist schools in taking care of students with intensive nursing needs. We will continue to explore with special schools viable options to further enhance the support service.

Ends/Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:51


Print this page