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The Schools Development Unit was established in 2000 with the goal of improving teaching and learning in the South African school system. As a unit in the University’s School of Education it draws on academic teaching and research expertise to help tackle the systemic and structural challenges that blight our education landscape, and manifest in poor or inadequate teaching and learning. Through teacher development, schools-based interventions, professional consulting services and dynamic materials, the SDU works to close the achievement gap between well-resourced and disadvantaged schools.

While based in the Cape Town Metropole, we work across all eight education districts in the Western Cape as well as in the Northern Cape. Our reach extends to work across all grades and phases of formal schooling and a range of interventions which vary from working in individual schools to spanning the entire Western Cape.

Our guiding principles

  • What happens in schools can and does make a difference
  • Teachers have the most significant positive impact on schooling outcomes, especially in poor communities
  • Developing teacher expertise means sustainable learner development over generations
  • School leadership & management is crucial to learner and school success

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