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Graduate Teacher Posts in Aided Primary Schools


In 1993, the Government accepted the Education Commission's recommendation in its Report No. 5 to turn up to 35% of its primary school teaching posts into graduate posts by 2007 with a view to providing schools with the knowledge and skills required for effective leadership and maintaining the attractiveness of the teaching career in primary education.

Since the 1994/95 school year, a new graduate grade of Primary School Master/Mistress (PSM) grade has been created in public sector primary schools. 

In the 1997 Policy Address, Government has committed to advance the target year for having 35% of primary teaching posts upgraded to graduate posts from 2007 to 2001.

By the 2001/02 school year, we have already achieved the target of upgrading 35% of primary teaching posts to graduate posts. 

To raise the status and professional standards of teachers for enhancement of the overall quality of education, it was announced in the 2007 Policy Address to increase the ratio of graduate teacher posts in public sector primary schools by two phases, i.e. to 45% in the 2008/09 school year and to 50% in the 2009/10 school year.  It was also announced in the Policy Address to create a new deputy head rank in the public sector primary schools as soon as possible.  As such, the rank of Senior Primary School Master/Mistress (SPSM) was created in the 2008/09 school year to enhance the quality of primary school education services.


As announced in the 2015 Policy Address, starting from the 2015/16 school year, the ratio of graduate teacher posts in public sector primary schools will be increased by phases in three years to attract more talent to join the teaching force of primary education so as to enhance the quality of teaching.  In this regard, the ratio of graduate teacher posts has been increased to 55%, 60% and 65% in the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 school years respectively.  



The Primary School Master/Mistress Grade

The grade structure and salary scales of the PSM grade are as follows:



Master Pay Scale(Point)

Headmaster/Headmistress I (HM I)


Headmaster/Headmistress II (HM II)


[with effect from 1 September 2008 ]

Senior Primary School Master/Mistress (SPSM)


[rank created with effect from 1 September 2008 ]

Primary School Master/Mistress (PSM)


Assistant Primary School Master/Mistress (APSM)


[15-29 with effect from 1 October 2010]


A school already provided with a graduate post in the PSM grade will have a non-graduate post in the corresponding rank in the Certificated Master/Mistress (CM) grade deleted from its teaching staff establishment, e.g. HM I to be offset by Principal Assistant Master/Mistress (PAM); HM II by Senior Assistant Master/Mistress (SAM); SPSM and PSM by Assistant Master/Mistress (AM) and APSM by CM.


When appointing teachers to the graduate teacher posts, schools should refer to the following:

Appendix I: Teaching Establishment in Aided Primary Schools (including Special Schools)

Appendix II: Examples of recommended grade structure for whole-day, bi-sessional ordinary schools and special schools (only the more common school sizes are shown)


Appendix III(a): Guidelines for Regrading Serving Teachers to PSM Grade (flow chart)

Appendix III(b): Guidelines for Regrading Serving SGTs to PSM Grade at Sponsor Level (flow chart)

Appendix III (Annex A): Assessment Proforma for Regrading Serving Teacher/SGT to PSM Grade

Appendix IV: Guidelines for Promoting Teachers to SPSM Rank (flow chart)

Appendix IV (Annex A): Assessment Proforma for Promoting Teachers to SPSM Rank

Appendix V: Promotion/Appointment Arrangement for School Heads and Deputy Heads


Powerpoint (Chinese version only) presented at the briefing sessions on 3 June and 5 June 2008   

  1. Enhancement of Graduate Teacher Ratio in Primary Schools
  2. Creation of a Senior Primary School Master/Mistress Rank for Deputy Heads in Aided Primary Schools

 Powerpoint (Chinese version only) presented at the briefing session on 6 June 2008

  1. Enhancement of Graduate Teacher Ratios in Special Schools and Creation of SPSM Rank in the Primary Section of  Special Schools




Should you have any enquiries, please contact the respective Senior School Development Officers. 

Last revision date: 20 September 2018
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