Because we are developing mentoring and coaching competencies as well as the disposition of reflective practice, we have found that intakes of between 20 and 25 people are most effective. It is best if CMs from the same District are included in the same intake as this allows them to become part of a learning cohort. Because of a constraint on finances, we were only able to enroll 103 CMs from the Eastern Cape in the first round and we divided them into 4 intakes. We used age as a selection criteria and focused on those who were not close to retirement. We will include all the remaining CMs in the second round of intakes. Although the programme serves CMs we are beginning to see the potential of using CMs who have been through the SCM programme as mentors to new principals once they retire. This ensures that sustainability is built into the system and that there are returns on investment for years to come.
In the Eastern Cape, the funder covered the costs of the programme itself whilst the Department provided the training venue, accommodation for participants and catering. This was a good model as it ensured buy-in from all the key role players. It is helpful to have a launch of the programme in a Province as this builds excitement for and awareness of the programme. It also provides an opportunity for SEED to get participants to complete their Insights personality evaluators and to brief them on the pre-work they need to do before the first study school.