Paper Title
Do School Mangement Teams Understand their Roles in Dealing with Inclusive Learning Support? A South African Case Study

Inclusive school settings, characterised by diverse and distinct layers of complexity, typify the South African education environment. Consequently, it is imperative that managers in inclusive schools possess competencies to provide learning support to Special education needs (SEN) learners while addressing the barriers to learning. Copious research studies focus on teachers providing learning support as critical to these learners achieving academically, however, a lack of management competencies to address SEN learners’ learning support is evident. This study aims at illuminating the competencies that SMTs of clustering pubic primary schools should possess to render learning support to Special Education Needs (SEN) learners. The theory underpinning this research is the ecosystem theory which suggests that inclusive learning support should not only be directed at individual learners but extended to all systems that surround the learner. Employing a qualitative interpretive methodology, the study utilised a case study design where four clustering schools in an education district in the Free State Province of South Africa were purposefully selected. Employing focus group interviews, group discussion and semi-structured interviews as the research tools, the target population comprised School Management teams (SMTs) and School-Based support Teams (SBSTs) to yield the data for this study. A key finding revealed that SMTs of the public primary schools researched in the Motheo District cluster are not fully attentive to the managerial competencies required to render inclusive learning support. Key terms- Inclusive Education, School Management Team, Inclusive Learning Support, Management Tasks, Clustering public primary schools.