Psycho-Social Support | Western Cape Education Department

The Directorate: Specialised Education offers a range of services for learners who experience barriers to learning, require additional support, are vulnerable, as well as capacity building for educators to provide for these learners. These services include:

  • psychological, social work, education therapy, learning support, positive behaviour programmes and clinical services.
  • education programmes in ordinary schools (including full-service | inclusive schools) and special schools.

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The directorate manages 71 special schools. Specialised Support Services are also based at district offices in all 8 education districts of the Western Cape. Four of the district offices are in the metro region of Cape Town and 4 are in the rural areas. Each circuit in a district has a team comprising a social worker, psychologist and learning support advisor. Other services at district level include a manager for specialised support services, senior therapist, senior psychologist, senior social worker, learning support coordinator and a HIV Care and Support Coordinator.

The WCED policy is to provide support to the learners in the ordinary schools as far as possible, taking the support to the learners rather than the learner to the support. Itinerant learning support teachers provide support in ordinary schools. Selected ordinary schools, have been developed into full-service | inclusive schools to provide moderate level support. Only learners with high support needs are placed at special schools. Designated special school resource centres have outreach teams that support ordinary schools, particularly full-service | inclusive schools.

Learners access services according to their level of need via the WCED support pathway which incorporates the national Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support protocol. Applications for high level support are via school-based support teams to the district-based support team.

There is collaboration with the departments of health and social development to access supplementary services and to implement the integrated school health programme.

The directorate with other role-players is striving to develop an inclusive education system with support available in a range of settings for all those learners who require this.

Guide to Specialised Support Services

Support Pathway: Post Covid-19 School Lockdown

Back to School

Back to School Guidelines

Guidelines for COVID-19 Psycho-Social Support

The COVID-19 Psycho-social support plan is a detailed and multi-levelled plan to support teaching in responding to the social and emotional needs of learners upon their return to schools. The mantra of "Maslow before Bloom" put the psycho-social needs of the child in priority focus whilst allowing the learner to reclaim their positions within education.

Guidelines for School Managers and School Management Teams

These important letters, notices and guidelines were issued to principals, school management teams and school governing bodies in preparation for the re-opening of schools after the COVID-19 schools lockdown period.

WCED Orientation Manual | 4 May 2020

PSS Learner Check-In forms

The Psycho-Social Support (PSS) Learner Check-in forms are tools for teachers to engage in conversation with learners upon return to gauge learner well-being.

Classroom Survey

Support Pathway: Post Covid-19 School Lockdown

Dr Andre Rowan explains how to complete the PSS Forms.

Videos to enhance Psycho-Social Support in the Classroom

Videos with Psycho-Social Support guidelines

The videos below were scripted and prepared by the ISLES Team of the Cape Winelands Education District and can be viewed by clicking on the link above.

  • Sukkkel om goed te proe or ruik?
  • Do not go out! Stay home!
  • ISLES Post Lockdown for schools Part 1
  • ISLES Post Lockdown support Part 2
  • ISLES Post Lockdown support Part 3 Support Pathway

Classroom Intervention Activities

COVID-19-related care resources

Trauma Informed Schools

Life Orientation Resource material

COVID-19 Funny videos

Clinical and General Healthcare Services

Inclusive Education Policies and Guidelines

Therapy Services

Learning Support

Cape Winelands Digital Resourcing

Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (CTLI)

The CTLI offers courses for teachers, principals, deputy principals and heads of department. Visit the website to engage some of the training possibilities.

Solution Focused Institute of South Africa

The institute is run by Dr Jacqui von Cziffra-Bergs and is committed to training psychologists, social workers, counsellors and teachers in Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) thinking and techniques.

My Online Therapist

A team of occupational therapists, speech therapists, educational psychologists, remedial teachers and special needs facilitators providing quality services online for children, parents and teachers in their home or school.