The implementation of teacher support teams at schools : issues and experiences.
Teacher Support Teams have recently been established at all schools within the Republic of South Africa. Their success, however, has been mixed and some have ceased to function at all. It has therefore been the purpose of this research project to evaluate the current status of implementation at a sample of schools within one circuit of the Ilembe district within the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education. This study therefore reports on the degree of success experienced by schools in the operation of Teacher Support Teams as they have grappled with the harsh realities of the communities that they serve. Many problems and obstacles serve to impede their progress and it is the intention of this study to learn from these experiences. In so doing, one is in a position to provide added and valued support to such schools. Lastly, the research aims to assess whether there are significant differences between the experiences and the nature of interventions between primary and secondary schools. A survey methodology was conducted that utilised a standardised questionnaire and thereafter, a semi-structured interview. Both quantitative and qualitative data provided an insight into the issues confronting Teacher Support Teams, and thereby allowed for recommendations to follow that could assist in future advocacy programmes. A critique of current theoretical frameworks is provided, followed by a more pragmatic approach that is suggested as an alternative to better suit the context of South African schools.