A pilot contextual study of the role of special educational needs coordinators on inclusive practices in Hong Kong school system

Yan Tat LIU, Sing Ying Elson SZETO, Tze Leung Rick LUI, Kuen Fung SIN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


It has been estimated that over 37,000 students with special educational needs (SEN) study in ordinary mainstream school in Hong Kong, with an average of 37 students with SEN in a school. Since 1997, inclusive practice in Hong Kong has been implemented with great determination and wide school coverage. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, in his 2015 Policy Address, further announced a HK$200 million three-year programme titled "Provision of funding for ordinary schools to arrange special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs)". Taken together with the previous policy implemented by the Education Bureau in 2008, of funding additional leadership positions in shaping school-wide development in inclusive education, it has become clear that the SENCOs will play an increasingly important role in strengthening the implementation of inclusive education (IE) in Hong Kong. By using qualitative semi-structured interviews of the SENCO, school principal and six students from each participating school in this pilot study, this paper explored effects of the new SENCOs’ role on and values added to inclusive practices in support of special educational needs in the pilot schools in contrast to the current practices in non-pilot schools. The contextual difference in support of SEN by the pilot and non-pilot schools was particularly noted. Preliminary findings that have a direct bearing on the effectiveness of SENCO’s role, responsibilities and support in the pilot schools that could provide empirical evidences of defining value-added inclusive practices will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


special educational needs
school system
Hong Kong
value added


Liu, Y. T., Szeto, E., Lui, T. L., & Sin, K. F. K. (2017, May). A pilot contextual study of the role of special educational needs coordinators on inclusive practices in Hong Kong school system. Paper presented at the Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference 2017: Education for the future: Creativity, innovation, values, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


  • Educational policy/reform
  • Special education