Chapter 12



12.4.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998, Chapter B [EEA]



  • ¬†Revised Policy on the Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (Government (Gazette No. 38487, 2015) [NP 38487/2015]
  • Policy on the South African Standard for Principalship, Government Gazette No. 39827, dated 18 March 2016 [NP SASP]



12.4.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Educators

  1. Collective roles of teachers in a school (Appendix A: Revised Policy on the Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications)
    These roles should be understood as everyday functions of the collective of all educators at a school. They seldom have to be carried out completely, in all their detail, or all of the time by individual educators. However, individual educators will carry out the roles appropriate to their specific position in the school. All classroom teachers will develop in the seven roles as appropriate to their practice. The roles of teachers are:

    • Specialist in a phase, subject discipline or practice
      The educator will be well grounded in the knowledge, skills, values, principles, methods and procedures relevant to the phase, subject, discipline or practice. The educator will know about different approaches to teaching and learning (and, where appropriate, research and management), and how these may be used in ways which are appropriate for the learners and the context. The educator will have a well developed understanding of the knowledge appropriate to the specialisation.
    • Learning mediator
      The educator will mediate learning in a manner which is sensitive to the diverse needs of learners including those with barriers to learning), construct learning environments that are appropriately contextualised and inspirational and communicate effectively, showing recognition of, and respect for the differences among learners. In addition, an educator will demonstrate sound knowledge of subject content and various principles, strategies and resources appropriate to teaching in a South African context.
    • Interpreter and designer of learning programmes and materials
      The educator will understand and interpret provided learning programmes, design original learning programmes, identify the requirements for a specific context of learning and select and prepare suitable textual and visual resources for learning. The educator will also select the sequence and pace of learning in a manner sensitive to the differing needs of both the subject and the learners.
    • Leader, administrator and manager
    • The educator will make decisions appropriately to his/her level, manage learning in the classroom, carry out classroom administrative duties efficiently and participate in school decision-making structures. These competencies will be performed in ways which are democratic, which support learners and colleagues and which demonstrate responsiveness to changing circumstances and needs.
    • Scholar, researcher and lifelong learner
    • The educator will achieve ongoing personal, academic, occupational and professional growth, through pursuing reflective study and research in their chosen field, in broader professional and educational matters and in other related fields.
    • Assessor
      The educator will understand that assessment is an essential feature of the teaching and learning process and know how to integrate it into this process. The educator will have an understanding of the purposes, methods and effects of assessment and be able to provide helpful feedback to learners. The educator will design and manage both formative and summative assessments in ways that are appropriate to the level and purpose of the learning and meet the requirements of accrediting bodies. The educator will keep detailed and diagnostic records of assessment results. The educator will understand how to interpret and use assessment results. The educator will understand how to interpret and use assessment results to feed into processes for the improvement of learning programmes.
    • Community, citizenship and pastoral role
      The educator will practise and promote a critical, committed and ethical attitude towards developing a sense of respect and responsibility towards others. The educator will uphold the Constitution and promote democratic values and practices in schools and society. Within the school, the educator will demonstrate an ability to develop a supportive and empowering environment for the learner, and respond to the educational and other needs of learners and fellow-educators. Furthermore, the educator will develop supportive relationships with parents and other key persons and organisations, based on a critical understanding of community and environmental development issues. One critical dimension of this role is HIV/AIDS education.
  2. Basic Competencies of a Beginner Teacher (Appendix C: Revised Policy on the Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications)
    The following are the minimum set of competencies of a beginner teacher.

    • Newly qualified teachers must have a sound subject knowledge.
    • Newly qualified teachers must know how to teach their subject(s) and how to select, determine the sequence and pace of content in accordance with both subject and learner needs.
    • Newly qualified teachers must know who their learners are and how they learn; they must understand their individual needs and tailor their teaching accordingly.
    • Newly qualified teachers must know how to communicate effectively in general, as well as in relation to their subject(s), in order to mediate learning.
    • Newly qualified teachers must have highly developed literacy, numeracy, and Information Technology (IT) skills.
    • Newly qualified teachers must be knowledgeable about the school curriculum and be able to unpack its specialised content, as well as being able to use available resources appropriately, so as to plan and design suitable learning programmes.
    • Newly qualified teachers must understand diversity in the South African context in order to teach in a manner that includes all learners. They must also be able to identify learning or social problems and work in partnership with professional service providers to address these.
    • Newly qualified teachers must be able to manage classrooms effectively across diverse contexts in order to ensure a conducive learning environment.
    • Newly qualified teachers must be able to assess learners in reliable and varied ways, as well as being able to use the results of assessment to improve teaching and learning.
    • Newly qualified teachers must have a positive work ethic, display appropriate values and conduct themselves in a manner that befits, enhances and develops the teaching profession.
    • Newly qualified teachers must be able to reflect critically on their own practice, in theoretically informed ways and in conjunction with their professional community of colleagues in order to constantly improve and adapt to evolving circumstances.


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