III. ADMINISTRATION OF AIDED SPECIAL SCHOOLS
Permanent Secretary to regulate admission of pupils
48. Admission and allocation of places to aided special schools shall be regulated as the Permanent Secretary may determine, and as shown at Appendix 1.
49. Suspension and expulsion of pupils from an aided special school shall be regulated as the Permanent Secretary may determine, and as shown at Appendix 1.
Schools to accept teaching practice arrangements
50. Schools should co-operate, whenever possible, in the training of teachers by accepting for teaching practice student teachers undergoing training in the Hong Kong Institute of Education and the local universities. Consultation with the institutions concerned should be arranged prior to the placement of student teachers.
Use of school premises
51. (a) The premises of an aided special school shall be used only for the approved activities of such school, except as may be permitted in writing by the Permanent Secretary.
(b) Classrooms and ancillary facilities should be made available at the request of the Permanent Secretary for the operation of evening courses run by non-profit-making school operators commissioned by the Education Bureau. In making his requests, the Permanent Secretary will take into consideration any special difficulties and existing commitments, and will fully consult the school authorities concerned. In this connection, schools concerned may charge appropriate remuneration in respect of hire charges and electricity charges.
Permanent Secretary to be notified of appointment and dismissal of staff
52. (a) Appointment and dismissal of staff shall be in accordance with regulations 76, 77 and 78 of the Education Regulations, in conformity with this Code of Aid and in accordance with such instructions as the Permanent Secretary may from time to time issue.
(b) All appointments, resignations and dismissals shall be promptly notified to the Permanent Secretary. Such notification shall be in writing, stating the effective dates and indicating, where applicable, the period of notice given. Schools should issue to staff leaving the employment a document certifying the particulars of his/her employment including, wherever applicable, the monthly salary, salary point, incremental date and leave balance.
(c) For the purpose of processing applications from teachers for withdrawal of provident fund, the School Management Committee shall also inform the Permanent Secretary when a teacher -
(i) is compulsorily retired, or dismissed or the contract is terminated (on completion or otherwise); or
(ii) retires voluntarily, resigns, or terminates the contract (on completion or otherwise), in order to avoid compulsory retirement, dismissal, or contract termination, on account of professional misconduct or being convicted of an offence.
53. (a) The School Management Committee may approve the appointment of staff paid out of the Salaries Grant in accordance with the provisions of this Code of Aid and any requirements the Permanent Secretary may determine, except for the following staff whose appointment shall be subject to the approval of the Permanent Secretary –
(i) School Heads;
(ii) direct appointment of staff to promotion ranks;
(iii) registered teachers by merit of ten years recognised teaching experience;
(iv) unqualified teachers;
(v) staff above the age of sixty; and
(vi) temporary Native-speaking English Teachers.
(b) The School Head shall check the eligibility of a person for appointment in accordance with the requirements of this Code of Aid and any instructions the Permanent Secretary may from time to time issue. Schools shall be responsible for assessing the salaries of staff. The School Head shall verify the salary assessment and inform the Permanent Secretary of the salary particulars of staff paid out of the Salaries Grant in a prescribed form for grant purposes.
54. (a) All teaching staff, specialist staff, artisans, cooks and workshop attendants (other than supply staff) shall, before appointment, undergo a medical examination including a chest X-ray examination by a registered medical practitioner.
(b) All other staff (other than supply staff) shall, before appointment, undergo a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner.
(c) Serving registered teachers on transfer from one aided school to another without break of service will not be required to attend an X-ray examination or present a medical certificate on appointment.
(d) The School Management Committee may exempt the following employees from pre-employment X-ray examination-
(i) Staff members who can show that they have undergone a chest X-ray examination not more than twelve months before their dates of appointment. The X-ray should not show signs of active tuberculosis.
(ii) Staff members in possession of a certificate from a registered medical practitioner, confirming that they are pregnant. Exemption granted to staff in this category will continue until the end of their subsequent maternity leave, at which time they should be instructed to make their own arrangements for X-ray examination.
(e) The purpose of the above examinations is not to discriminate against any employee or job applicant with a disability. Employers are advised to note the relevant provisions of the Code of Practice on Employment issued by the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Head to verify qualifications, experience and date of birth
55. (a) The Head of an aided special school shall inquire into, examine and verify the certificates and testimonials of an applicant for appointment of any grade of staff in the school, and shall verify any previous experience claimed by such applicant, making reference for this purpose to the applicant’s former employer(s) as appropriate.
(b) The Head of an aided special school shall verify the date of birth of any person employed to any grade of staff in the school, and shall require such person to produce for inspection a birth certificate, statutory declaration, the Hong Kong Identity Card, or such other documents as may appear necessary for this purpose.
(c) Schools shall keep all copies of certificates and testimonials, appointment forms and any other relevant documents in respect of all staff employed for inspection as and when required.
Qualifications for various grades of staff
56. Qualifications required for eligibility for employment as staff in an aided special school are shown at Appendix 4.
Preference to be given to persons possessing professional qualifications
57. The School Management Committee shall, in considering the appointment of teaching staff, seek to give preference to persons who, in addition to the minimum qualification for employment, possess a professional qualification in special education.
58. (a) Subject to the approval of the Permanent Secretary, the School Management Committee may, if a qualified person is not available to fill a vacant teaching post, temporarily employ an unqualified person as a teacher. The salary for such an unqualified teacher shall be as shown at Appendix 3.
(b) Notwithstanding (a), no person shall be employed to teach in a workshop unless qualified to teach technical subjects.
59. (a) A teacher shall, on appointment to an aided special school, be furnished with a contract of service and, in addition, or alternatively, a letter of appointment. Such contract of service or letter of appointment shall be signed by the Supervisor of the school and shall be countersigned by the teacher on appointment.
(b) Such contract of service or letter of appointment shall not be subject to annual renewal. Schools may make it clear in the contract that, subject to the agreement between the teacher concerned and the School Management Committee, the contract may be renewed at regular intervals.
(c) Such contract of service or letter of appointment shall specify :
i) the name of the special school and of the employer, this being the School Management Committee or, if any school has only one manager, that manager;
ii) the date from which the appointment is to have effect;
iii) requirements, if any, relating to probation;
iv) the conditions of service and, if applicable, any specific language proficiency requirements;
v) the salary to be paid on commencement of the appointment, and any salary scale relating to the post, including the annual incremental date;
vi) whether such teacher is to contribute to a provident fund; and if so, what such contribution shall be;
vii) the entitlement of such teacher to paid sick leave, maternity leave or paternity leave; (updated on 1 September 2016)
viii) conditions of termination of appointment and the minimum period of notice of termination of the contract to be given by either party wishing to terminate such contract as specified under Section 61;
ix) the conditions relating to payment of salary on the resignation or dismissal of such teacher as specified under Section 61;
x) that such teacher shall act in accordance with the terms of the Education Ordinance and of subsidiary legislation made under that Ordinance, of this Code of Aid and of such instructions as the Permanent Secretary may from time to time issue regarding the conduct of aided special schools.
60. A teacher on first appointment to an aided special school shall serve a probationary period of two years, after which the employment of such teacher shall be permanent, subject to such provisions regarding termination of employment as may be contained in such teacher’s contract of service or letter of appointment.
61. (a) The employment of a teacher who is serving a period of probation shall be terminable by the giving of one month’s notice either by the School Management Committee at which such teacher is employed, or by the teacher.
(b) The employment of an unqualified teacher under the terms of Section 58 of this Code of Aid shall be terminable by the giving of one month’s notice either by the School Management Committee or by the teacher, subject to such provisions regarding termination of employment as may be contained in such teacher’s contract of service or letter of appointment.
(c) The employment of a teacher who has satisfactorily completed a probationary period, shall be terminable by the giving of three months’ notice in writing by the School Management Committee or by the teacher.
(d) A teacher employed for a period of not less than two years as specified in a contract of service or letter of appointment shall, at least three months before the expiry of such specified period, inform the School Management Committee whether or not he wishes to seek a renewal of the contract of service. The School Management Committee shall similarly, at least three months before the expiry of such specified period, inform the teacher whether or not it intends to propose renewal of the contract of service relating to his employment.
(e) A teacher who terminates his employment without having given such notice of intention so to terminate as may be required by the terms of this Code of Aid or of the contract of service or letter of appointment relating to his employment, shall be liable to pay one month’s salary in lieu of notice to be credited to the school’s Salaries Grant Account. Nevertheless, the School Management Committee may waive the said payment if the teacher’s explanation is justified and inform the Permanent Secretary of such a waiver and the reasons thereof.
(f) The School Management Committee may, subject to the provisions of the Employment Ordinance, suspend a teacher from his normal duties for a period of not exceeding 14 days under the following circumstances:
i) in cases where criminal proceedings of a serious nature have been, or are likely to be instituted;
ii) in cases where the teacher’s serious misconduct is under investigation and it would be against the interest of the school for him to continue to teach in the classroom.
In case of (i), where the criminal proceedings are not concluded within 14 days, the period of suspension on half pay may be extended till the end of such proceedings. The School Management Committee may decide whether or not to suspend the teacher on half pay and such payment of salaries shall be subject to the approval of the Permanent Secretary.
(g) The School Management Committee shall only dismiss a teacher for good and sufficient reasons (see Appendices 7and 8). A teacher shall be liable to summary dismissal if it appears to the School Management Committee that he has been convicted of a criminal offence or has committed a grave breach of duty.
62. The appointment of specialist staff and school executive officers to aided special schools should follow the principles outlined in Sections 59-61, where applicable.
(updated on 1 September 2019)
63. (a) All non-specialist staff employed from the Salaries Grant in accordance with the approved establishment and pay scales for these staff shall retire at the age of sixty, except in special cases and with the approval of the Permanent Secretary.
(b) All other staff, including the Head, teachers, laboratory technicians, specialist staff and school executive officers of an aided special school, shall retire at the end of the school year in which he reaches the age of sixty. Under exceptional circumstances, the Permanent Secretary may on the recommendation of the School Management Committee and subject to the submission of a satisfactory medical certificate as to fitness, permit such staff to continue in service for a period of one school year after the end of that in which he reaches the age of sixty, and for further periods each of one school year, up to the end of the school year in which he reaches the age of sixty-five.
Promotion and regrading
64. (a) Except for promotion to the post of the School Head and direct entry to a promotion post which shall be subject to the approval of the Permanent Secretary, the School Management Committee may approve promotion of all staff members and regrading of non-graduate teachers to take up a post of the graduate grade in accordance with the provisions in this Code of Aid.
(b) The School Management Committee is required to put in place fair and open procedures in processing all cases of promotion and regrading in compliance with any such instructions as the Permanent Secretary may from time to time issue. The Supervisor shall inform the Education Bureau in a prescribed form of all cases of promotion and regrading.
65. The conditions under which teaching and other staff may become eligible for promotion to higher ranks of appointment are set out at Appendix 5. A teacher in service who becomes eligible for appointment to a higher grade by reason of the acquisition of further qualifications will be considered for appointment to the higher grade. However, a special school may not exceed the overall entitlement in respect of grades and ranks of appointment as shown at Appendix 2.
66. (a) The School Management Committee may, in accordance with the rules set out at Appendix 5, approve the appointment of full-time graduate teachers to fill vacant promotion-grade posts in the rank of Senior Graduate Master/Mistress on an acting basis. Allowance for such acting appointment will be treated as salary for provident fund purposes.
(b) The School Management Committee may also approve full-time regular teachers for acting appointments to approved functional posts when such posts are left vacant arising from approved leave or wastage. Acting allowance will only be granted if a teacher has taken up an acting appointment for 30 consecutive calendar days or more. The approved functional posts in aided secondary special schools or the secondary section of combined level special schools cover posts in the rank of Principal I, Principal II, Principal Graduate Master/Mistress, and Senior Graduate Master/Mistress; while those in aided primary special schools or the primary section of combined level special schools cover Headmaster/Headmistress I, Headmaster/Headmistress II, Senior Primary School Master/Mistress and Primary School Master/Mistress. Arrangements for acting appointments and allowances are set out at Appendix 3. Such acting allowances will be treated as salary for provident fund purposes. (updated on 1 September 2019)
67. Staff employed full-time in a special school administered under the terms of this Code of Aid shall not engage in outside duties except with the prior approval of the Supervisor, who must be satisfied that such duties contribute to the public good and are not such as to interfere with the efficient performance of the staff’s normal duties. Records of such approval should be kept by the school.
68. (a) A teacher in an aided special school who contributes to the Subsidized Schools Provident Fund is subject to the provisions of the Subsidized Schools Provident Fund Rules made under the Education Ordinance. The benefits which a teacher-contributor may receive from the Fund are briefly reproduced from the Rules at Appendix 13.
(b) A teacher who does not contribute to the Subsidized Schools Provident Fund and who contributes to another provident or superannuation fund approved by the Permanent Secretary may on submission of original receipts in respect of his contribution to such fund, receive from the Government a donation in respect of 50% of his contribution to such fund or 5% of his basic salary in Hong Kong, whichever is the less.
(c) Temporary teachers appointed for 60 days or more and new teachers over the age of 55 on first appointment are required to join the Mandatory Provident Fund scheme.
69. Unless specifically exempted under the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme Ordinance or employed for less than 60 days, all laboratory technicians and non-teaching staff are required to contribute to a registered Mandatory Provident Fund scheme or a scheme registered under the Occupational Retirement Scheme Ordinance.
Supervisors to keep accounts
70. (a) The Supervisor of an aided special school shall be responsible for keeping proper books of accounts, which shall comprise :
i) cash book for government grants and cash book for school funds;
ii) petty cash book for government funds and school funds;
iii) attendance register and register of fees/subscriptions/other charges showing inter alia receipt number and amount of tuition fees, boarding fees, subscriptions and other charges, if any, against the name of each pupil;
iv) revenue receipt counterfoil and Daily Collection Summary in respect of tuition fees, boarding fees, subscriptions, other charges and any other income;
v) payment vouchers in respect of all expenditure;
vi) a register of capital assets;
vii) a register of non-recurrent grants – building; and a register of non-recurrent grants - furniture and equipment;
viii) a general ledger and subsidiary ledgers showing accounts in respect of all items of recurrent income and expenditure;
ix) provident fund records for individual staff;
x) register of hire of school accommodation;
xi) register of donations; and
xii) stock and sales records for exercise books, stationery, etc., if necessary.
(b) All books of accounts, receipts, counterfoils and vouchers shall at all reasonable times be available for inspection by the Permanent Secretary or officers authorized by him in that behalf. Records of a permanent nature, e.g. annual accounts, inventories, records of capital expenditure and Government non-recurrent subsidies, records in connection with special school building funds/donations, etc., shall not be destroyed without prior approval of the Permanent Secretary. However, the following records may be destroyed after a certain period of retention, as specified below :
i) Minimum period of retention - 7 years :
Books of accounts, i.e. cash books, Ledgers, etc.
All types of vouchers, bank statements
ii) Minimum period of retention - 2 years :
Quarterly returns (duplicates),
Fees receipts/school attendance registers,
Register of hire of school accommodation.
(c) Separate books of accounts should be kept for the phasing-outing and the phasing-in schools under the reprovisioning programme.
Accounts not to include provision for depreciation
71. An aided special school shall not make any provision in its accounts for depreciation. Expenditure in respect of a capital asset shall be debited to the relevant capital asset account and shall not be debited to an income and expenditure account.
Supervisor to be responsible for bank account
72. (a) The Supervisor of an aided special school shall keep bank accounts in the name of the school, one of which accounts shall be kept solely in respect of moneys received from the Government.
(b) All disbursements shall, as far as possible, be made by cheque, which shall be signed by the Supervisor and, where there are two or more registered managers, by one other registered manager in addition to the Supervisor.
(c) The Supervisor may keep a reasonable cash balance as specified by the Permanent Secretary from time to time to meet small payments. Alternatively, a further account could be opened for this purpose with cheques signed by the Head and the Deputy Head of the school, duly authorised by the School Management Committee.
School funds to be kept separate
73. Tuition fees or subscriptions or other sums received by an aided special school from the Government or other sources shall not, in any circumstances, be paid into a bank account kept in the name of the Supervisor or other person or persons, whether or not such person or persons are members of the School Management Committee or teaching staff, but shall be paid into the bank account maintained in the name of the school.
74. (a) The Permanent Secretary may require the Supervisor of an aided special school to submit accounts at such times and in such manner as he may determine.
(b) The accounts of an aided special school shall, unless the Permanent Secretary in writing otherwise permits, be audited by certified public accountants/public accountants registered under the Professional Accountants Ordinance; and the audit fee shall be charged against the school’s School and Class Grant Account/Boarding Grant Account as appropriate.
(c) The accounting year covered by the audited accounts shall be from the first day of September of one year to the thirty-first day of August of the next. Schools which are unable to prepare their annual accounts on this basis may apply in writing to the Permanent Secretary for following the traditional financial year basis.
(d) For the purposes of this Code of Aid, the financial year shall be from the first day of April of one year to the thirty-first day of March of the next.
75. The Permanent Secretary may, if a special school fails to submit annual accounts or delays the submission of such accounts without reasonable cause, temporarily withhold payment of such proportion of grant made monthly to the school as he shall determine.
Subscriptions used for development to be separately accounted for
76. (a) If the Permanent Secretary has permitted an aided special school, under the terms of paragraph (c) of Section 15 of this Code of Aid, to transfer Subscriptions to a fund separately kept by the sponsoring body for educational development or other purpose, an audited annual statement of accounts in respect of such fund shall be prepared. The accounting year, to which such accounts shall refer, shall be from the first day of September of one year to the thirty-first day of August of the next, except for financial year basis as approved by the Permanent Secretary.
(b) The Supervisor of such special school, when submitting annual accounts of the school as required by the terms of Section 74 of this Code of Aid, shall attach thereto the audited accounts in respect of such fund; and these accounts shall refer to the same period of time as those of the school, to which they are attached.
77. (a) Where the School Management Committee operates a private section or a boarding section which does not receive financial assistance under this Code of Aid, the accounts of such private section or boarding section shall be kept separately from those of the aided section and audited; and shall specify any subvention received from departments of the Government other than the Education Bureau. The accounting year, to which such accounts shall refer, shall be from the first day of September of one year to the thirty-first day of August of the next, except for financial year basis as approved by the Permanent Secretary.
(b) The Supervisor of an aided special school shall, when submitting accounts, also submit accounts relating to any private section or boarding section of such school; and these accounts shall refer to the same period of time as those of the aided special school.
Recurrent Grants to be refunded and accounts submitted, if special school ceases to be aided
78. The School Management Committee shall, in the event of that school’s ceasing to be an aided school under the terms of this Code of Aid, forthwith repay to the Government any unexpended portion of recurrent grants made to the school, and submit a full set of duly audited accounts for the period up to and including the last day of operation of that school as an aided special school.
Outgoing Supervisor to hand over accounts
79. (a) If at any time for any cause the Supervisor of an aided special school ceases to act as such, he shall hand over all accounts and records relating to the school, together with any cash belonging to the school which may be in his charge, to such other person as the Permanent Secretary may approve as Supervisor, or pending the Permanent Secretary’s approval of such other person as Supervisor, to the School Management Committee.
(b) The Supervisor of an aided special school, on ceasing to act as such, shall prepare a certificate listing all accounts and records relating to the school, and any cash belonging to the school which may have been in his charge. This certificate shall be signed by the outgoing Supervisor and by either such other person as the Permanent Secretary may approve as Supervisor, or pending the Permanent Secretary’s approval of such other person as Supervisor, by a majority of the members of the School Management Committee. A copy of this certificate together with a certificate prepared by the bank at which the school’s accounts are kept, and showing the state of such accounts on the date at which the outgoing Supervisor ceased to act as Supervisor, shall be submitted by the School Management Committee to the Permanent Secretary.
(c) The Permanent Secretary may require the School Management Committee to submit, in such form and within such period of time as he shall prescribe, full accounts in respect of the period up to and including the day on which the outgoing Supervisor ceased to act as Supervisor.
(d) In the event of the Permanent Secretary having required such accounts to be submitted, and the School Management Committee having failed to submit them, the Permanent Secretary may require the outgoing Supervisor and the members of the School Management Committee, or such of them as he shall determine, severally or jointly to refund to the Government such proportion of grants made to the special school during the period in which the outgoing Supervisor acted as Supervisor as he shall assess.