Mary’s knowledge, skills, and decades of experience in education mark her as one of South Africa’s leading education experts. She is a regular advisor to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on a broad range of issues including curriculum related matters. She assisted the DBE in its curriculum recovery strategy necessitated by COVID. As Executive Director of PILO, an organisation focused on the improvement of curriculum recovery, Mary is a thought leader in shaping policy around improved curriculum development. She has extensive knowledge of the challenges around curriculum development in South Africa and profound understanding of the National Curriculum Statement and Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPs).
Her work with the provincial departments has centred on building the capacity of the education system to be able to support teachers in the application and implementation of the CAPS curriculum. Mary has taken part in the design, implementation, and review of numerous evaluation studies on education. The National Education Collaboration Trust’s evaluation of PILOs programme in KwaZulu Natal concludes that the PILO intervention likely did lead to improved curriculum coverage. Mary’s leading insight into the curriculum issues facing South Africa, her commitment and dedication to school improvement and her ability to motivate and rally teams of talented people around her, place her as a truly effective leader in this field.