Through NELI's School Support Programme, SGB members are engaged to build capacity and balance power dynamics for improved school governance. The NELI model of school support is designed as a two-year partnership during which the program provides hands-on capacity building support to a small cohort of SGBs; as well as support to an extended network of SGBs through the SGB Collective forum.
In addition, NELI works to foster a broad-based understanding of SGB roles, responsibilities and potential to improve equality in the South African education system through their Research, Advocacy and Networking Program.
A NELI school partnership is phased as follows:
The NELI team drives phase 1. It begins with the collaborative SGB assessment process using the SGB Assessment Tool. The assessment will identify priority areas for improvement and, together with the school, we will draw up an action plan for NELI support activities for the primary phase of support.
The partner school drives phase 2. These 12-months afford the school an opportunity to maintain their change momentum, for themselves, through adhoc SGB training and support requests.
Activities may include the following interventions, determined by each school’s needs:
- SGB functionality workshops;
- Vision and Mission review support;
- Strategic Planning facilitation and assistance;
- School Stakeholder Engagement workshops;
- Assistance with a review of School Policies;
- Budget assistance;
- Fundraising training and support;
- Sub-committee support; and
- SGB Election preparation assistance.
Once the schools complete this 2-phase partnership they transition to a NELI Network school. The relationship with NELI continues through the SGB Collective, which brings together the SGBs of public schools in a particular neighbourhood to learn from one another, share their successes and frustrations, leverage collective resources, escalate their problems, and access additional training from NGOs.
Our case study demonstrated the ability of this structure to shift the balance of power in member schools by emboldening the members to hold other actors in the system (SMT and Provincial Education Departments) accountable as they are now less isolated.
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CEI approaches in actionPolicy & AnalysisLinking research and evidence with policy or implementationCommunity Engagement
Model details2014Not-for-profitEthics & Values/Religion21st century skills (soft skills)ActivePilot0
Our partner schools are predominantly made up of learners from poor communities on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Scale8The project is currently focused on 2 schools based in the Metro-Central District of Cape Town, as well as an SGB Collective which reaches an additional 6 schools through its members.April, 2017
NELI's plan is to incrementally expand their reach geographically across the Western Cape province through a network of partner schools, SGB collectives and community governors: initially across the Metro districts (2017 – 2020) , then the outer lying districts (2020 – 2022). Through this experience they aim to have a model of SGB support that can be packaged and adopted by the Western Cape Education Department.
Ultimately the aim is to advocate for the inclusion of NELI interventions by the National Department of Basic Education.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Using the SGB Assessment Tool, NELI measures any change between the baseline and annual assessments with their partner schools.
For their Partner School work, NELI currently holds itself accountable to the following eight leadership, governance and community mobilization outcomes:
- Capacitated & functional SGB
- Good Planning
- Good Financial Control
- Good Human Resource Support
- Good Infrastructure and Resource Control
- A Culture conducive to Learning
- Engaged Parents
- Invested Community of Stakeholders
To monitor each outcome, NELI uses the SGB Assessment Tool, which provides a series of measures for each outcome and, in turn, a customized rating scale (0 to 5) for each of the associated measures.
Their tool is available here: https://www.norkitt.net/sgb-assessment