Growing the South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition

Since its inception, BRIDGE’s South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition (SAESC) has made great strides in sharing working classroom practice and instructional leadership ideas amongst its members. There has been much talk in recent months of changing the group’s membership in an effort to spread the work of the CoP to a wider network of schools, without losing its core values and objectives. To this end, the community discussed three possible scenarios:

– The Coalition could stay the same, and deepen the work it is already doing;

– The Coalition could grow a little and replicate cautiously by hosting 2 or 3 CoPs regionally that parallel the Coalition; or

– The Coalition could grow exponentially by creating a more aggressive strategy for sharing its work and practice.

The decision was taken to convene two regional CoPs per year, with the goal to invite schools that share the Coalition’s vision. The first regional meeting was held on the 15th May at four schools in four provinces. One was hosted by Lebone College in the North-West province, the second at St Nicholas Diocesan School in KwaZulu Natal, another at LEAP 5 in Limpopo and the fourth at the Centre of Science and Technology in the Western Cape.

Turn out at the first regional meeting was incredibly promising, with 11 new organisations in attendance. We look forward to more organisations attending as the work of the Coalition spreads, and schools are changed for the better.