The WSD aims to bring about sustainable and systemic change in a group of schools (normally 12-15 schools) in a geographic area in order to improve learning outcomes. This is a 3 year programme that includes community engagement, leadership development (training, coaching, mentoring and action learning assignments) for principals, Senior Management Team members, School governors and a selected group of community leaders. It also has a focused intervention of mentoring for Mathematics and English teachers. Principals and Deputy Principals are enrolled in the Principals Leadership Programme whilst the other role players are engaged in more informal adult learning processes.

Outline of interventions

The interventions are comprehensive in nature and address leadership, governance and pedagogic needs in the primary and secondary schools in the area. The interventions will reach community leaders, leaders of the ECD centres that feed the Primary Schools, SGB members, school principals and deputy principals, School Management Teams and educators involved in the teaching of numeracy, literacy, mathematics and English.

  1. The District will ensure that the schools receive special attention from District officials and these officials will work collaboratively with the SEED team. In addition SEED will build the capacity of the District officials through training, coaching and mentoring to ensure that there is adequate ongoing support for the schools after the project is completed.
  2. Leadership Development interventions include:
    a. The Principal Leadership Programme presently in the process of being accredited by University of Stellenbosch Business School –Executive Development (USB-ED)
    b. Leadership and skills development training for School Management Teams (SMTs) and School Governing Bodies (SGBs)
    c. Individual coaching
    d. Group coaching
    e. Leadership Forums aimed at key target groups e.g. Community members, leaders of ECD Centers and Principals
    f. Communities of Practice (self-led) aimed at School Principals and SGB Chairpersons. To assist in the formation of these, SEED will appoint (and train if necessary) a local coaches who lives in the area.
  3. Mentoring interventions include
    a. A lead mentor who will be an experienced and successful former principal who will mentor the principals of the schools, supervise the subject mentors and liaise with District Managers and community stakeholders
    b. A mentor for Foundation Phase who will mentor educators with a particular focus on reading for comprehension and numeracy skills. This mentor will also engage with the leaders of the ECD Centers
    c. A mentor for Intermediate Phase who will mentor educators from Grade 4-7 with a particular focus on Mathematics and English
    d. A mentor for GET and FET Mathematics
    e. A mentor for GET and FET English First Additional Language
    f. Mentors will encourage and facilitate the formation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) for educators within the specified subjects
    g. The Lead Mentor will work closely with the Circuit Manager to ensure knowledge transfer, liaison and to strengthen responsiveness to schools’ needs
    h. Subject Mentors will work closely with the District subject advisors ensuring knowledge transfer and liaison.
    i. Mentors will receive coaching from SEED coaches throughout the programme
  4. Team development and support for mentors
    a. Key to the success of the project is the quality and performance of the mentors. We have included a number of activities to ensure accountability and growth in the team
    • All mentors will be enrolled in the SEED School Coaching and Mentoring Programme which is accredited by USB-ED (unless they have already completed the programme). As part of the programme they will be coached by experienced leadership coaches who have also been part of SEED programmes in the past. This programmes encourages reflective practice.
    • The mentors’ team will meet every Friday for a team meeting where strategies for schools will be discussed and issues addressed. Dr Al Witten will perform a supervision role for the team and will form part of the Friday meetings on a regular basis. Other SEED team members (e.g. coaches and facilitators) will meet with the team when appropriate so as to ensure integration of interventions
    • The mentors will attend a number of the SEED Leadership development sessions which form part of the intervention so as to be familiar with the input that principals, deputies and SMT members are receiving.
    • The mentors will be taken through the full DDD Train-the-Trainer programme (run by New Leaders Foundation) in order to be able to support the SMTs and educators with developing targeted interventions and monitoring their effectiveness.