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Newsletter 149 - Circular D2 - Underperforming schools

The following fourteen (14) newsletters will focus on the performance of the South African domestic schooling system. Three pieces of important data will be the focus namely a circular from the Basic Education Minister to all political role-players school managers, governors and school administrators; a circular to school managers and governors from the Western Cape Education Department and the third is a report by NEEDU on “Schools That Work II”). Also refer to a previous Newsletter 128

Newsletter will focus on Circular D2 of 2017 (1)

Newsletter will focus on Circular 41/2017 dated 14 October 2017 (2)

Newsletters will focus on NEEDU report 2017 covering aspects of

  1. Introduction & Summary (3)
  2. Best practices 1-6
    1. Partnerships (4)
    2. Learners (5)
    3. Creating an enabling environment (6)
    4. School leadership (7)
    5. Professional Development (8)
    6. Quality of teaching (9)
  3. What makes schools that work tick? (10)
  4. Conclusion (11)
  5. Recommendations
    1. Schools (12)
    2. District Office (13)
    3. National & Provincial Education Departments (14)



The purpose of the circular is the identification, management and support of underperforming schools;

The legislative framework cited includes;

  • Chapter 2 section 29.1 of SA Constitution
  • Employment of Educators Act
  • National policy on WSE
  • Section 3 & 8 of the NEPA
  • Section 15 & 58 of SASA

The circular also declare policy on “consequence management” to be dealt with in terms of existing policies wrt;

  • SASA – reference to principal accountability
  • EEA – incapacity
  • LRA – schedule 8


  1. Primary school is deemed underperforming if less than 60% learners perform in literacy & numeracy (LOLT) at Level 4 & above
  2. High school is deemed underperforming if learner performance in NSC is below 60% AND it produces less than 30% bachelors & diploma passes.
  3. A chronically underperforming school under performs for three consecutive years – conditions are a WSE assessment, targeted support and involvement of all stakeholders to turn school around.


Implementation date is 01 January 2018 and MEC’s to report to DBE by 31 March annually.