1. In 2001, the Department of Education (DoE) published Education White Paper 6 on Special Needs Education, "Building an Inclusive Education and Training System".

2. The timeframe for the full implementation of Education White Paper 6 is 20 years. The strategic implementation plan was divided into the following phases:

  1. Short term: This phase included advocacy regarding inclusive education, a national audit of special schools and specialised support and the identification of 30 districts in the country for field-testing, three of which were in the Western Cape.
  2. Medium term: This phase included the conversion of selected special schools into resource centres, ordinary/mainstream schools into demonstration fullservice/inclusive schools, the transformation of the roles of district-based support staff and the establishment of institutional-level or school-based support teams at schools. This phase also included the building of capacity in the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and provincial departments to lay the foundation of the inclusive education system and developing an appropriate and costeffective funding strategy.
  3. Long term: This phase involves the roll-out of inclusive education by increasing the number of special school resource centres and full-service/inclusive schools, building the capacity and transforming the roles of all specialised support staff in all districts, and including out of school children who are disabled in education programmes.
3. Institutional arrangements to promote an inclusive system of education include full-service/inclusive schools, special school resource centres and district-based support teams.

4. As we are entering the roll-out phase, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has embarked on a Human Resource Development Plan to build capacity for the expansion of inclusive education starting with the orientation of designated full-service/inclusive schools, designated special school resource centres and specialised support staff.

5. The Revised Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) tool was gazetted in December 2014. Many children in South Africa are vulnerable or facing one or more barriers to learning preventing full and equal access to education. The SIAS aims to respond to those needs in a consistent and standardised way by providing procedures and tools for supporting learners.

6. A transversal provincial training team from the WCED was trained in 2015 in SIAS and curriculum differentiation by the Department of Basic Education. The provincial training team will be co-ordinating the rolling out of training to schools and relevant officials. Further information regarding training of schools, beginning in the June/July holidays in 2016 will follow.

7. An online inclusive education course is being developed. Further information to follow.

8. Inclusive education human resource development will continue in ensuing years with all ordinary public schools receiving training and incrementally being developed into full-service/inclusive schools that will be able to support learners with mild to moderate special educational needs.

9. Additional support to schools will be provided by inclusive education outreach teams based at special school resource centres and district-based support teams.

10. Learners with high support needs will continue to be supported in strengthened special schools.

11. Special schools will offer workshops in their area of expertise and full-service/inclusive schools will offer good practice workshops. These will be advertised on the Inclusive and Specialised Education Support page on the WCED website and via the district offices.

12. The policy and guideline documents for inclusive education may be accessed on the WCED website (Inclusive and Specialised Education Support/policy and guideline documents.html).

13. Kindly bring the contents of this minute to the attention of all relevant personnel.

DATE: 2016:03:23