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LCQ11: Employment of staff in aided schools
     Following is a question by the Hon Ho Kai-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, in the Legislative Council today (May 2):
     Regarding the employment of staff in aided schools, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective numbers of teaching staff and non-teaching staff employed by aided schools at the beginning of the current school year, with a breakdown by type of school (i.e. secondary and primary schools), type of position, salary level and mode of employment; the respective ratios of the number of these two types of staff to that of students; and
(2) whether the authorities conducted reviews in the past five years of the establishment and salary structures of the various types of teaching staff and non-teaching staff employed by aided schools; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
     Our reply to the questions raised by the Hon Ho Kai-ming is as follows:
(1) A breakdown of the number of teachers employed by aided schools (rounded to the nearest 10) by type of school, type of position and mode of employment, and the student-to-teacher ratio of aided schools in the 2017/18 school year are set out below:
Type of school Type of position Mode of employment Student-to-teacher ratio*#
Graduate teacher* Non-graduate teacher* Teacher within establishment* Teacher outside establishment*
Primary 8 490 11 190 17 890 1 780 13.8 : 1
Secondary 16 310 4 390 18 600 2 100 11.5 : 1
* Estimate for the 2017/18 school year. Figures by type of position do not add up to the totals calculated by mode of employment owing to rounding.
# The student-to-teacher ratio listed above is calculated on the basis of the total number of teachers (i.e. including teachers within and outside the establishment) in school.
     The Education Bureau (EDB) provides schools with operating expenses block grant and other grants for specific educational purposes which enable schools to employ and deploy teaching and non-teaching staff outside the establishment flexibly to promote student learning and whole-person development. In view of the specific circumstances of schools, schools may recruit additional teaching and non-teaching staff with those grants to cater for school-based needs. We have not captured detailed information in this regard. In the same vein, we are unable to provide statistical information on teaching and non-teaching staff by salary level, but the salaries of aided school staff within the establishment are all along determined by the Codes of Aid and subject to rules and regulations issued by the EDB.
(2) The grade structure and pay scale of staff within the establishment are established after taking into account a score of factors, such as entry qualification requirements, academic qualifications, year of service and duties. As the subject of grade structure is complex and involves a wide scope of issues, we have communicated closely with the school sector and improved the provision of staff resources on a need basis in response to the calls of the sector, the challenges of school administration and public expectation on quality education over the years. For example, we have established the deputy head rank, enhanced the teacher-to-class ratio (such as increasing the teacher-to-class ratio for public sector primary and secondary schools, including special schools, by 0.1 across-the-board starting from the 2017/18 school year), created additional posts to facilitate or coordinate the implementation of new education policies or initiatives (such as Special Educational Needs Coordinator), enhanced the ratio of graduate teacher posts, and provided regular posts in place of relevant cash grants and time-limited posts (such as the Career and Life Planning Grant, the Senior Secondary Curriculum Support Grant and the Primary School Curriculum Leader post).  
     As for staff employed outside the establishment, schools may determine the ranks and salaries of staff in the light of their school-based situation.
     The EDB set up the Task Force on Professional Development of Teachers (Task Force) in November 2017, to follow up on the review of professional development of teachers announced in "The Chief Executive's 2017 Policy Address". Members of the Task Force include representatives from primary, secondary and special schools, school sponsoring bodies, teacher education universities, teacher groups, and an expert on human resources as well as the EDB’s representative. The work of the Task Force includes establishing a platform to discuss and gauge professional views on enhancing and promoting professional development of teachers, and making recommendations to the Secretary for Education on related issues. In addition to exploring feasible options of establishing a professional ladder for teachers, the study areas of the Task Force also cover the ranking arrangement of school management of primary, secondary and special schools as well as the timetable for an all-graduate teaching force.
     The Task Force attaches great importance to the views of the community. In January 2018, a number of focus group meetings were held with various stakeholders to listen to their views. Between June and August 2018, the Task Force will also conduct an extensive consultation on preliminary recommendations to be drawn up in due course. It aims at completing its work by end-2018 for submission of a report with relevant recommendations to the EDB.
Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:21
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