My paper focuses on the intervention programme used by the staff and school management team of a South African township school to ensure that final-year learners exposed to an environment of multiple deprivation are adequately prepared for the year-end standardised examination. Analysis of interview data confirms literature findings on the debilitating effect of multiple deprivation, in the form of absolute poverty, on learners’ chances of learning successfully. Research findings reveal strategies related to an intervention programme to prepare final-year learners for the year-end examination. The intervention programme, consisting of Saturday morning and school holiday morning classes and a study camp event a fortnight before the final examination commences, counteracts inhibiting home and environment conditions, to support learners holistically to achieve acceptable academic outcomes. However, the negative influence on learner diligence of an extended final school year and the constraint on knowledge and skills attainment of a pass mark of only 30% for some subjects are adverse factors limiting the chances of social mobility for learners with multiple deprivation.
Keywords: absolute poverty, final-year learners, intervention programme, multiple deprivation, social mobility, township environment