Chapter 4



4.5.1Legislative And Policy Framework


  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA] (See 4.5.1(b))
  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA], Section 12(4) & (5) and SASA 2B-12 to 17



  • Education White Paper 6 Special Needs Education: Building an Inclusive Education and Training System (2001) Proclaimed as National Policy in 2001 (Government Gazette No. 22524, 27 July 2001) [WP 6]
  • Language in Education Policy 14 July 1997 [NP LANGUAGE]
  • Policy on the Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support as published in Government Gazette No. 38356 of 19 December 2014 [SIAS]
  • National Policy Pertaining to the conduct, administration and management of the National Senior Certificate Examination published as Government Gazette No 30048 of 6 July 2007 and amended as Government Notices 372 and 373 in Government Gazette, Vol. 587, No 37652 dated 16 May 2014 [NSC], Annexure C1 – Assessment for Learners who Experience Barriers to Learning and Assessment
  • All the documents listed in the other units of this chapter, Chapter 4.1 in particular



  • Guidelines for Responding to Learner Diversity through the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements [NG DCA]
  • Guidelines for Full Service/Inclusive Schools (2010) [NG FSS]
  • Guidelines to ensure quality education and support in Special Schools and Special Schools as Resource Centres [NG QES]
  • Guidelines for the Conduct and Administration of Examinations in SA Sign Language Home Language 2019 [NG SASL]



  • Circular E19 of 2020 Preparations for The Conduct and Administration of South African Sign Language Home Language (SASL HL) November 2020 Examinations [E19/2020]

4.5.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on a Curriculum for Learners With Special Educational Needs (LSEN)

  • Grades R to 9
    • Policy determines that all learners will do the same curriculum, the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) up to Gr 9, and that this curriculum should be adapted to accommodate learners with special educational needs.
    • The adaptation may include a different methodology, adjusted time allocations (e.g. more time spent on language or on Technology, depending on the needs and abilities of the learners) and different ways of assessing the learners’ progress.
    • The development of work schedules is crucial in this regard. It allows teachers to do the required adaptation in terms of the needs of the learners and circumstances at the school (available facilities and equipment).
    • All the subjects as specified by the NCS must be done.
    • It is important to keep in mind that the subjects, although accommodating the needs of learners with special educational needs, must still be aimed at preparing the learners for common assessment conducted by the Department of Basic Education at Grade 3, 6 and 9 level.
  • Grades 10 to 12 – Endorsed National Senior Certificate
    • Policy makes provision for a 5 subject National Senior Certificate for learners with special educational needs, referred to as the Endorsed National Senior Certificate (See NPPPR) .
    • This policy determines that a learner with special educational needs may choose to do either the ordinary 7 subject NSC or the adapted 5 subject NSC.
    • Learners with special educational needs may either be in special schools or in ordinary schools where special care is taken of them.
    • According to the SIAS Policy (see SIAS, P 19) integrated supports services should be available to provide specialised support on high, medium and low intensity and frequency levels across the following broad domains:
      • Vision
      • Hearing
      • Motor
      • Communication
      • Learning and cognition (moderate, severe, and profound intellectual disability or learning disabilities
      • Neurological and neurodevelopmental impairments (including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, attention deficit disorder, specific learning disabilities, foetal alcohol syndrome, traumatic head injury, autism, etc.)
      • Health (including mental health) as part of the integrated school health programme
      • Behaviour and social skills
      • Skills and vocational education
      • Multiple and complex learning and developmental support
  • The Endorsed NSC requires the following:
    • Subjects to be offered:
      • One official language at least at 1st Additional Language Level
      • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
      • Life Orientation
      • Two other subjects listed under Group B in the National Policy Pertaining to the Programme and Promotion Requirements
    • Pass requirements
      • At least 30% in the five subjects as listed above

4.5.3Development of a Technical Occupational Curriculum as an Exit Qualification at NQF Level 1

It is important to distinguish between an adapted curriculum for LSEN and a separate curriculum for LSEN. Through curriculum differentiation, the curriculum can be adapted to cater for the needs of the learner with special needs as far as possible (See NPPPR and the guideline document: Guidelines for Responding to Learner Diversity).

The Department of Basic Education is in the process of developing a learning programme, within the framework of the NSC, for learners with severe intellectual disability and children with profound intellectual disability. These learning programmes are still in draft soon to be published for public comment. These draft learning programmes will be piloted in 2017.

At the same time, a Technical Occupational Curriculum was developed as an exit qualification at NQF Level 1. This proposed qualification would ensure articulation for learners who would like to proceed into FET, NCV or QCTO pathways after Grade 9. The Policy framework as well as the subject policy documents is still in draft and year one of the qualifications will in 2017 pilot in Schools of Skill. The draft policy framework is available on request at


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