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Chapter 10

LEARNER MATTERS

10.5 LEARNER PROFILES

10.5.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
  • Further Education and Training Act No. 98 of 1996 [FETA]

 

Note:  As provincial policies differ, principals should consult their provincial websites on the completion of the learner profiles

10.5.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Learner Profiles

  1. The object of completing the learner profile is to assist those whose function it is to aid the pupil at all times during and after his school career. Such a record is especially valuable at various stages of a learner’s school career, e.g.:
    • At the end of grade 7;
    • At the end of grade 9;
    • When a pupil leaves school before completing the course; or
    • At the end of the secondary school course.
  2. At these stages both the pupil and the parents concerned need sound advice on:
    • The field of study which the pupil should take;
    • The choice of subjects to be made as well as the level; and
    • The future career of the pupil.
  3. The value of an individual learner profile:
    • Every school is to compile an individual profile on learners who attend the school.
    • The use of such profiles in a school system follows inevitably on the application of certain basic principles of sound education:
      • The principle of educating the pupil as a whole;
      • The principle of individualization, i.e. the observance of individual differences.
    • A Learner Profile is a continuous record of information that gives a holistic impression of a learner and a learner’s progress and performance. It assists the teacher in the next grade or school to understand the learner better and therefore to respond appropriately to the learner.
    • Learner Profiles should be kept at school and will be moved from one school to the next on the request of the principal of the next school. The school management of the receiving school has an obligation to request the Learner’s Profile from the previous school within three months of the learner’s admittance. The Learner Profile for every learner must be safeguarded and should accompany learners throughout their schooling career. The security of the Learner Profiles and the updating of required information rest with the school management.
    • The parents and other stakeholders have a right to access and view the Learner Profile on request. However, this should be done in the presence of the school management. The Learner Profile is a confidential document and should be treated as such. Under no circumstances should sensitive information such as the health status of the learner be divulged to anyone without the written permission of the parent(s) or guardian(s). Under no circumstances should the profile be moved from the school unless it is for reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph.
    • The Provincial Departments of Education are responsible for providing pre-printed files /folders for the Profiles. These pre-printed files/folders should be designed such that a Learner Profile includes the following information:
      • personal information;
      • medical history;
      • schools attended and record of attendance;
      • participation and achievements in extra-curricular activities;
      • areas needing additional support; and
      • learner performance.
    • In cases where the files/folders need repair, the school principal concerned should make a request to the district office for a replacement.
    • The compilation of Learner Profiles should be started at Grade R and should continue until the learner completes Grade 12.
    • Once the learner has passed Grade 12 or exited the schooling system for any reason whatsoever, the learner profile should be stored in the last school attended for a period of three years where after it should be destroyed.
    • The Learner Profile replaces all previous continuous record documents that have been used by schools, such as record cards, tutor cards, Edlab cards, etc.

Note:  This information falls under the definitions of The Protection of Personal Information Act [POPI] – and the school should also develop policies as regards the safeguarding of the personal information of each learner.