New Leaders Foundation - District Service Support Programme

By improving the support services provided to schools by districts, this program aims to foster systemic change designed to improve learner performance and outcomes.
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Year launched: 
2010
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
New Leaders Foundation

Location Data

State/Province: 
Gauteng
Geography type: 
Program Description: 

District offices are the government’s direct point of support to schools. The district's role and function is to support school teachers, principals, and parents to provide quality teaching and learning. As a result, New Leaders Foundation (NLF) has developed a District Service Support Programme (DSSP) to foster systemic change that will improve learner outcomes through improved district support to schools.

DSSP works to improve the quality of support that districts provide to schools by

  1. developing key district officials into coaches of curriculum delivery and managementand and
  2. capacitating districts to manage and leverage partnerships

Developing coaching capacity: Over a four year period, NLF has been testing and evolving the DSSP in partnership with six districts in Gauteng to support district officials in changing their approach to curriculum management and delivery support to schools. The DSSP provides training in basic management and problem solving skills to all district managers in the six districts and curriculum facilitators (subject specialists who support and develop teachers from Grades R to twelve).

The core component of the model is the immersion of full-time coaches (Immersed Consultants, ICs) into each district. ICs work with district managers to drive coaching as a core management skill through one-on-one mentoring and team sessions. Sessions include preparations, observations of district officials providing support to schools, and reflection. All officials in the program receive 12 days of coaching training over 1.5 years. The model has been refined to ensure future work includes all district curriculum facilitators (~40-60 per district).

Developing partnerships capacity: The DSSP also partners with private sector organisations and NGOs who are working in the schools within each district to align around a common goal and objective of improving learner outcomes.