Question NW2442 to the Minister of Basic Education

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09 July 2015 - NW2442

Profile picture: Boshoff, Ms SH

Boshoff, Ms SH to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1) For each province, (a) how many provincial education departments have developed district-based support teams to support the implementation of the Education White Paper 6 of July 2001, (b) are the specified teams fully functional in accordance with the Framework for the Establishment of District-based Support Teams and (c) how many (i) staff members and (ii) principals at schools for learners with special educational needs are assisting the district-based support teams; (2) which provinces supply her department with comprehensive records of all schools for learners with special educational needs; (3) for each province, (a) how many schools have provided the relevant district offices with the relevant progression and promotion schedules and (b) what measures are in place from district level to ensure that learners at the specified schools are benefitting educationally; (4) for each province, how many of the district-based support teams liaise with other government departments such as (a) Health and (b) Social Development to provide support to schools for learners with special educational needs through the services of health professionals?


(1)(a) All nine provinces have developed District-Based Support Teams (DBSTs) to support the implementation of Education White Paper 6 of July 2001 as has been reported in the Progress Report on the Implementation of Education White Paper 6 of May 2015.

(b) A survey conducted on the functionality of District-Based Support Teams has shown that all 81 Districts in the country have functional District-Based Support Teams. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is currently in the process of collecting detailed information on the constitution of each District-Based Support Teams so as to ensure that there is transversal representation.

(c) In the absence of norms for representation of (i) teachers and (i) principals of special schools on the DBSTs, no statistics can be provided. However. District offices involve expert teachers and lead principals of special schools in capacity building programmes of the DBST on an ad hoc basis.

(2) All nine provinces submit comprehensive data on special schools to the DBE on an annual basis through the Annual Special School Survey which is completed in September of each year.

(3) The Directorate: Education Management and Governance monitors that:

(a) all schools submit progression and promotion schedules to the district offices; and

(b) The Inclusive Education Units ensure, with the support of the Curriculum Units, that learners, who are repeating and have been progressed without meeting the grade requirements, are supported through the School-Based Support Teams. The DBE is currently in the process of finalising guidelines to support schools and teachers to provide effective support to these learners who have additional support needs, in line with the Policy on Screening, Identification. Assessment and Support (SIAS) of 2014.

(4) All District-Based Support Teams liaise with:

(a) the Department of Health through the Integrated School Health Programme as well as with;

(b) the regional offices of the Department of Social Development. The DBE is currently collaborating with the Department of Health to align the services of health professionals appointed respectively by the Departments of Basic Education and Health so as to make optimal use of these scarce services.

The Policy on Screening. Identification. Assessment and Support (SIAS) outlines the roles and responsibilities of these three government departments in this regard.

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