Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe
On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751
DU TOIT, Nina; ELOFF, Irma and MOEN, Melanie. Effectiveness of the school-based support team within an inclusive South African educational system. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2014, vol.54, n.2, pp.341-364. ISSN 2224-7912.
Inclusive education and training is a relatively new system in South Africa, but forms an integral part of a more encompassing education support system. The school support system provides support for learners with learning and development barriers as well as for educators and parents/ caretakers, within the school context and in specific learning environments. This study examines the effectiveness of the school-based support team in five primary mainstream schools in the Western Cape, South Africa, according to certain criteria. Information was gathered by means of structured questionnaires, individual and focus group interviews, field notes and the study of appropriate documents. Eleven criteria were designed to serve collectively as an evaluation instrument. The effectiveness of the five school-based support teams was subsequently assessed and placed in various categories according to a conceptual framework. It was found that the five teams function relatively effectively in most areas. The five teams are effective with regard to their composition. However, the teams function ineffectively concerning the orientation and training of the members, as well as of teachers and parents/caregivers of learners with learning and development barriers. Further research is recommended on support systems in inclusive schools.
Keywords : school-based support team; inclusive education; effectiveness; special needs; barriers to learning.