The Proactive Principals of Knysna initiative was launched during a workshop with the KILT team and the Knysna school principals in June 2017.

Now an active group of 17 committed principals, this initial forum enabled all participants to get to know each other, understand the role of KILT and its expectations, and identify short- and medium-term objectives and long-term priorities with a five-year horizon.

Common challenges for high and primary schools were identified. The need for learner support was seen to be crucial. Participants recognised that reading comprehension, irrespective of home language, was way below required levels and seriously impacts exam and evaluation results. Extra support should cover Grade 10-12, and children with high potential should be identified and supported throughout their school life.

The use of information technology and e-learning was explored, and the group emphasised the need to provide staff development for principals and their deputies, teachers, administrators and general staff.

The principals agreed to develop an overarching charter of values so that all participating schools could identify with a common set of values and goals. They also identified monitoring and evaluation as essential to ensuring that all involved learned from the programme.

Monthly meetings of school principals continue, and joint events are held as part of their parent and community outreach. Interaction among schools has increased, enhancing their ability to share best practice and experiences, and provide support to each other throughout the Knysna school network.

“I am excited to be part of the Proactive Principals as it gives Knysna High School a platform from which to develop partnerships. I look forward to the engagement with fellow principals and the community at large where we are striving to make our schools better for everyone. Education is the cornerstone of society and I believe that, working with these amazing people, we are closer to achieving the dream of a truly dynamic, diverse, respectful and caring society.”
Mark Mosdell, Principal, Knysna High School