Logistically, The GPLMS is a vast and complex project. The project started in January 2011 as a Foundation Phase language project, working with approximately 811 schools and 7500 teachers. Even then, the project and service providers had to track significant amounts of data, primarily to:

  • Distribute the correct reading resources and phonics workbooks to each school (up to 5 languages in one school)
  • Employ and match coaches to teachers depending on the home language support required

In addition, the project supported the principle of involving many publishers, so within one language, up to four sets of publisher materials were purchased and distributed to schools according to language. A total number of 18 sets of publisher materials spread across 10 languages had to be tracked. This also affected the way coaches were appointed, as a coach would only work with one set of publisher materials.


Service Providers

Six language service providers were appointed to deliver on this project, so the GPLMS also had to track the relationship between service providers, coaches and schools.

From the onset of the project, one of the larger service providers built a database to manage the data for its schools, teachers, supervisors and coaches.

In January 2012, a year after inception, the project expanded to include Foundation Phase Mathematics and Intersen Phase Language and Mathematics. This meant the appointment of seven new service provider and 250 new coaches, working with an additional 6000 teachers.


Intersen Phase

Although the GPLMS offers only English support from grade 4 – 7, additional tracking is required to know whether English is offered at home language or first additional language level. Again, to support and involve a maximum number of publishers, different reading books were purchased for each of the three mega districts.

The Intersen Phase language programme started with a 12 week ‘Catch-up Programme’ in January 2011. This involved a pre and post baseline test, and so the GPLMS decided that a proper database system was required to manage all data.

To facilitate this, the existing service provider database was taken over and extended for use by the entire GPLMS project.



The GPLMS now has a robust .NET database built on a SQL platform to track details of approximately:

  • 990 participating schools
  • 13 500 teachers
  • 13 service providers
  • 26 supervisors
  • 450 coaches
  • 13 FP language programmes
  • 2 IP language programmes
  • Materials distributed through the project
  • Training offered by the project
  • Teacher progress reports as submitted by coaches
  • Annual standardised assessment results


Monthly reports are generated, analysed and used to inform GPLMS management decisions.

Additional benefits of this strategy are that:

  • Coaches and teachers are starting to understand the importance of good data management and the potential power of data.
  • The computer and data management skills of supervisors and coaches are becoming increasingly proficient.