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Inclusive Education Field Test

When Education White Paper 6 was published in 2001, an implementation strategy for the short, medium and long term implementation was outlined.

The first stage of implementation of the policy set out a number of clear objectives and key strategic levers. The detail of the first stage implementation plan are set out in the Management Plan for the Transition to an Inclusive Education System (2005)

The White Paper 6 delineates six strategic levers for the profound systemic change that has to take place in the first stage of implementation: 
  • Strategy 1: Introduction of the inclusion model and targeting to early identification of learners with barriers and intervention in the Foundation and Intermediate Phase.
  • Strategy 2: Mobilisation of the large number of disabled and other vulnerable out-of-school youth.
  • Strategy 3: Phased conversion of 30 primary schools into Full-service Schools.
  • Strategy 4: Establishing district-based support teams.
  • Strategy 5: Qualitative improvement of special schools and their conversion to resource centres with strong linkages to district-based support teams.
  • Strategy 6: Engaging in advocacy and development of educators and all other stakeholders to understand the new approach and the programmes.

For the conversion of the 30 designated Full-Service Schools, the Department commissioned the development of a Full-Service School Environmental Access Manual. This manual was used by Architects and Planners involved in the designing of the conversion of the first set of schools. 12 of the schools will be completed by 2009 and the remainder of the schools will be completed in the course of 2010 - 2011. It is expected that these specifications will inform the planning of all new school buildings in the country. The specifications can be obtained from the Department of Education on request.

The Report on Implementing Inclusive Education in South Africa was presented to the Department of Education by the Project Manager in 2008. The report outlines the achievements in each of the main areas of implementation as well as challenges encountered. Recommendations are made for taking the programme to scale.

An Overview Report was presented to the Heads of Education Committee in 2009 summarising the main findings of the field test and making recommendations to provinces for further implementation