The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT), was formed by Britain's Department for Education and Skills to support secondary schools that offer specialist schooling. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust aims to foster excellence among learners and build partnerships between schools for the purposes of sharing knowledge. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust offered the Khanya Project and Khanya schools free membership of its International Affiliation Scheme.
In September 2003 the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SST) and the Khanya Project gave their partnership significant impetus at a SSAT-sponsored conference, held in South Africa, at which principals of SSAT-affiliated schools and 21 Khanya partner schools met. The SSAT delegation began their visit with an orientation meeting with the Western Cape Education Department and the Khanya Project team and then visited schools where Khanya Project facilitates curriculum delivery using Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Delegates were pleasantly surprised by the passionate, enthusiastic use of ICT and the limited resources in schools. Since this approach to ICT in education is rarely effective elsewhere in the world, the delegates were keen to establish the reason for the Khanya Project's relative success.
The residential conference was held at the Lord Charles Somerset Hotel in Somerset West and had 'Managing Change' as its theme. Principals from both organisations delivered presentations on the ingenious way that they have challenged change in their schools. Alan November, a world-renowned expert on the use of ICT in education, was the main speaker.
SSAT-affiliated schools, the Khanya Project and many of its partner schools are already sharing knowledge, skills, experiences, projects and plans for projects between schools in the two countries. The Khanya Project and its partner schools are delighted to use the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust donations comprising laptop computers, a data projector, and sets of Data Harvest equipment to facilitate science projects in schools effectively. At a mini-conference (25 February 2004), the SSAT-sponsored Cobus Bezuidenhout Award, in memory of the late Khanya Project Curriculum Co-ordinator, was presented to a Khanya Project employee for innovation and excellence. This has now become an annual award in recognition of these qualities within the Khanya Project.
Alan Mills of the SSAT comments on the partnership: 'Khanya Project and the SSAT have joined together for this project because we share so many objectives and so many ambitions. We both aim to narrow the digital divide. We believe that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will change society and the world. We hope this project will help.'