The National Policy Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa

CHE > Media and Publications > Frameworks Criteria > The National Policy Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa
April, 2007

Scope and purpose of the policy framework

1. This policy framework for teacher education and development in South Africa is designed to equip a teaching profession to meet the needs of a democratic South Africa in the 21st century. It brings clarity and coherence to the complex matrix of teacher education activities, from initial recruitment and preparation to selfmotivated professional development. The policy framework deals with teachers in schools and is not directed at teachers in adult education, early childhood development centres, or Further Education and Training colleges.

2. The policy framework aims to provide an overall strategy for the successful recruitment, retention, and professional development of teachers. More specifically, it aims to ensure that 

  • teachers are properly equipped to undertake their essential and demanding tasks;
  • teachers are able to continually enhance their professional competence and performance;appropriately qualified teachers fill all vacancies in all schools, and that there is a dynamic balance between demand and supply of teachers;
  • there is a community of competent teachers dedicated to providing education of high quality, with high levels of performance as well as ethical and professional standards of conduct; and to
  • teachers are deservedly held in high regard by the people of South Africa.

3. The policy framework draws strongly on the work of the Ministerial Committee on Teacher Education, which was appointed in 2003, and reported to the Minister during 2005. The Committee conducted a wide-ranging study and consulted extensively with key stakeholders, including the South African Council for Educators (SACE); the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA); the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP-SETA); national teachers' unions; the Higher Education South Africa (HE SA) Education Deans' Forum; and NGOs working in teacher education.

4. For purposes of analysis and planning, this document considers teacher education as comprising two complementary sub-systems: Initial Professional Education of Teachers (IPET) and Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD). These are underpinned by a vitally important support system for teacher education and development.