Original Research

‘Minding the gap?’ A national foundation phase teacher supply and demand analysis: 2012-2020

Whitfield Green, Michael Adendorff, B Mathebula
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 4, No 3 | a222 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v4i3.222 | © 2014 Whitfield Green, Michael Adendorff, B Mathebula | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 March 2015 | Published: 30 December 2014

About the author(s)

Whitfield Green, Department of Higher Education and Training, South Africa
Michael Adendorff,
B Mathebula,

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This paper explores the extent to which foundation phase teacher supply meets demand in South Africa, against a backdrop of considerable change in an education system endeavouring to fulfil the needs of a 21st century society while still battling with significant inequalities in the distribution of skills. The primary purpose of the paper is to use recently sourced teacher education data from a range of national databases to determine to what extent state-led interventions are assisting to meet the foundation phase teacher supply and demand challenge. The data, as well as the more qualitative aspects of their context, are analysed at the macro (national) level to present a more nuanced picture of foundation phase teacher supply and demand. The study attempts to move beyond simply basing an analysis of supply and demand on teacher attrition, and takes into account multiple variables that should be considered in supply and demand planning. It also goes beyond simply matching supply to demand in the most recent year for which data is available, to forecasting a future scenario which will need to be planned for. The paper concludes by suggesting steps that should be taken to ensure a better match between supply and demand.


teacher supply and demand, foundation phase, multivariate model, mother tongue instruction, recruitment planning


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