The Role of Institute Level Support Teams on Addressing Barriers to Learning and Provide Support in Schools. Are They Functional?

Jacomina Motitswe

Abstract


Inclusive Education was adopted as a global strategy for addressing the learning needs of all vulnerable and marginalised learners at the Salamanca World Conference on Special Needs Education in Spain in 1994. The message from the Salamanca statement was not focusing on fitting the learner into the school system, but on critiquing and changing the system itself or its relationship to social justice and equity in an attempt to accommodate the unique and diverse learning needs of all learners (Ainscow, 2004). When the Education White Paper was published in 2001, it was with great anticipation that within the first 5 years all the systems would have been put in place for the full- range scale implementation of an inclusive education system at all levels within a period of twenty years (Schoeman, 2012). The education White Paper 6 came up with strategies of transferring all aspects of the education system such as improving special schools by converting them to resource centres, developing full-service schools , and establishing institute level support teams and District based support teams to provide co-ordinated professional support services. In accordance to the White paper 6 ( DoE, 2001) all schools are expected to have functional Institute level support teams which comprise of school management, educators, parents or caregivers, community members and learners where applicable. The role of the ILST as envisaged by the White Paper 6 is to ensure an enabling environment for teaching and learning, to provide support programmes for addressing barriers to learning. The aim of the study was to investigate the functionality of the ILST in an inclusive school. A qualitative research approach was done whereby observation, focus group interview and document analysis were used to collect data. The results showed that the ILST still need an intensive and critical training on inclusive practices to provide support services and to address barriers to learning.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n8p259


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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