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The Schools Improvement Initiative (SII) draws on the university’s broader resources to assist the Western Cape Education Department in improving the quality of education in this Province. The SII’s model of school improvement is sought through the development of strong university-school partnerships.

The Initiative is intended to strengthen the capacity of the Schools Development Unit (SDU) in the School of Education to respond more effectively to the crisis in education in this country. The appointment of the SDU Director, Dr Jonathan Clark, as head of the SII will ensure that the strategic goals of the unit are aligned with those of the broader SII.

In addition to taking responsibility for the range of SII initiatives, Dr Clark is also to communicate with internal and external stakeholders with respect to the university’s work in school improvement, including policy advocacy. He will add his voice to that of his colleagues in the School of Education and will draw on their considerable expertise to ensure that the SII has a broad perspective on the complex and more systemic underlying issues confronting the South African education system. We anticipate that the SII will continue to build our institutional capacity to understand the problems schools are facing, and develop the information and analytic base required to respond to these difficulties.