Conceptualising a framework for school leaders as they foster an inclusive education culture in schools

Keywords: Key words: inclusive education, inclusivity, school management teams, school leaders, screening identification assessment and support policy, school based support team



The need to identify and address South African school leaders’ challenges in developing an inclusive education culture frames the purpose for the current study. A qualitative methodology using a multiple case study design in three secondary schools was employed. Data collection ensued through focus group interviews with School Management Teams (SMTs) and teachers. The findings highlight areas, which both challenge and overwhelm SMTs. These areas include the inadequate implementation of the Screening, Identification Assessment and Support (SIAS) policy, the need for parent support for inclusivity, and inclusive pedagogy limitations. Furthermore, there is a need for human and financial resources to support inclusive education. The study proposes a framework that clarifies the role of the SMT in facilitating inclusivity. The framework posits the need for visionary, strategic and social justice leadership, focuses on ways to transform the school culture and offers practical guidance for translating the SIAS policy into practice.   

Author Biography

Suraiya R Naicker, University of Johannesburg

Dr SR Naicker PhD (Education Leadership and Management) at the University of Johannesburg. She is currently Head of the Department whose current interest is in Distributive Leadership, education change, and systems theory in education. Amongst others, she made publication with Professor Mestry in 2015 (Exploring distributive leadership in South African public primary schools and in 2013 (Teachers' reflections on distributive leadership in public primary schools. She is a supervisor to many students at the University of Johannesburg including the current PhD student Seipati Ramango who has completed her studies and is awaiting graduation.

Research Articles