Class Act is run by the two executive trustees and has a small reception and support staff who are employed on a permanent basis. Other than that, Class Act has access to a wide pool of expert managers, materials developers, writers, fieldworkers, trainers, coaches and researchers. Staff are contracted on a project to project basis, to ensure that the best available person is retained for every job, and to keep the company overhead as low as possible.
Each one of our trustees brings a particular, valuable skills set to the board. Despite different backgrounds and experiences, the board is united by a passionate need to improve education in South Africa.
Although staff and management teams fluctuate from project to project, the ‘Class Act Family’ remains tightly knit, and management teams will often include at least one of the following core members!
Reception & Support Staff
Our offices are kept running smoothly by a small but dedicated staff, who are always willing to turn their hands to any job in order to meet deadlines!
At the heart of all work done by Class Act is the following philosophy:
Make no assumptions, listen and watch before taking action or speaking.
Be as consultative and collaborative as possible.
Be analytical, thoughtful and reflective – measure results in a rigorous way.
Share lessons learnt with the broader community.
Be innovative, design and test new solutions to complex problems.
Invest in the development of people and communities.
Care for staff members and reward good or emerging practises.
Strategically situate the organisation in current educational trends and debates.
Strive to be an acknowledged and significant player in the field of education in Africa.
Build national responsibility and pride.
‘I remember the first time I went to township schools. It was in 1988 when I was involved in a research project at the University of Cape Town. I had already been teaching for 8 years in an independent school and naively felt that I could help teachers in Khayelitsha improve their practise. I had a lot to learn! I remember being shocked by the conditions in the schools, and was saddened by all the lost potential that I saw in the children around me. I wanted to learn more and to make a difference, and clearly, I had to leave the classroom and join the NGO world in order to do this.
Working in Class Act has given me the opportunity to learn more about the complexities of education throughout South Africa. I have watched countless lessons in a range of schools, developed and tested more educational materials than I can remember, and made more mistakes than I can count! But I have learnt!
The analytical and reflective discourse that characterises Class Act has helped me to develop a deep understanding of curriculum and educational management issues. We now have tried and tested solutions that do help teachers improve their practise. We are also in a position to help school managers and district officials offer meaningful support to teachers. And while we are still on our development journey, Class Act now has a successful track record with the results being grounded in rigorous evaluation data. We look forward to learning more and continuing to make a positive difference in the lives of many children and teachers.’
Dr Lorraine Marneweck, Executive Director
‘As soon as I started teaching children of all races, from a wide spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds, I saw for myself that education truly is the key to the transformation of our country. I also realised that it is easy to change the life of an individual child by putting him or her into a better school. The transformation of a completely inequitable and dysfunctional system of education is however, possibly the greatest challenge that South Africa faces.
It requires incredible determination, fortitude, creativity, reflection and an enormous amount of hard work to make a difference. Through years of action research, and by surrounding ourselves with a fantastic team of like-minded people, Class Act is finally at a place where we are making a real difference in the lives of thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of children.
Our solutions development unit has also made huge strides in developing innovative, and more recently, technologically based programmes to address the complex challenges we encounter on a daily basis. We look forward to bringing excellent teaching and programmes to even the most marginalised classrooms.’