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Chapter 2

ADMINISTRATION AND DATA/INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

2.1 SCHOOL REFERENCE NUMBERS

2.1.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]

 

POLICIES

  • The National Education Information Policy (Gazette 26710, 2004) [NP EI]
  • Amendment to The National Education Policy (Government Gazette 33426, 2012) [NP AEI]

2.1.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on School Reference Numbers

  1. Each school will be allocated an Education Management Information System (acronym, EMIS) number from the Chief Directorate: Education and Training Provisioning of the relevant provincial department.
  2. This number should be used in all correspondence, surveys, etc. An additional number will be added to the EMIS number.  This number is for the annual survey and is made up of more digits (reflecting the province and magisterial district).

2.2 STATISTICS AND SURVEYS

2.2.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The South African Constitution Act 108 of 1996 [SAC]
    Chapter 2, Section 32, 1(a) and (b), and 2
  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
    Chapter 7, Section 59, (1) and (2) determines that schools have to provide information to anyone, especially to the Head of Education in the province.
  • Promotion to the Access Of Information Act, No. 2 of 2000 [PAIA
    Promotion to the Access of Information Act states clearly that the Department must provide information to anyone that requires that information.
  • Manual on the Promotion of Access to Information Act [M PAIA]

FreeState

CIRCULARS

  • Circular MG: 15/2012 – The Importance of Data Collected by Surveys and the Role of Principals In This Regard… [Reference B2 15/2012]

2.2.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Statistics And Surveys

  1. The Department of Basic Education is legally required to annually collect data from schools. The purpose of this data collection process is to plan effectively for the provision of quality education to all learners.  Educational Planning has an impact on the provision of learner and teacher support material (LTSM), payment of salaries to educators and the organisational structure of the Department.  Information therefore required for education planning must be accurate, timely, needs-driven, useful, relevant and accessible.
  2. Education Management Information System is a function and unit in the Department of Basic Education responsible for developing and maintaining an integrated education information system for the management of education. The Department of Basic Education is legally required to collect data from schools in order to plan effectively for the provision of quality education to all learners. Education Planning ranges from the provision of books to learners, the payment of salaries to educators right up to the organisational structure of the Department. Therefore the information required for education planning must be accurate, timely, relevant and accessible.  The Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) unit, in conjunction with other sections in the Department, is responsible for capturing, analysing and storing this data.
  3. The integrated information system is accomplished through the acquisition, processing, dissemination and reporting of quality education data.
    • It is used for:
    • Education planning and decision-making,
    • Financial allocation (including the equitable share)
    • Accounting, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of relevant education policies; provide information to evaluate indicators
    • Tool for the Minister and the Department to provide answers to parliamentary questions
    • National education information needs
  4. There are six regular surveys, which are conducted by EMIS. These are: The Snap Survey (the Tenth Day), the Annual Survey, Educator information, Grade 1 admissions, Quarterly return on learner attendance and Leave of educators. Ad hoc surveys can also be requested from time to time as the need arises.
  5. The raw data supplied by schools to EMIS is processed, analysed and stored in a data bank. Specific information can then be extracted from the data bank on request and made available to the different sections of the National Department and other users. The information captured by EMIS covers three broad categories: Learners, Educators and Physical Infrastructure.
    • Provincial surveys
      There are six regular surveys, which are conducted by EMIS. These are: the Snap Survey (Tenth Day), The Annual Survey, Educator information, Grade 1 admissions, Quarterly return on learner attendance and Leave of educators. In addition to these surveys there are also ad hoc surveys, which may be conducted as the need arises. In all these surveys specific and accurate data must be provided.  The survey forms will be sent to the schools annually through the District Offices. The principal is responsible for the prompt, thorough and correct completion of the survey form and must certify the information accordingly.
    • Snap Survey: This survey is conducted on the 10th school day of each year and collects basic aggregated information on learner and educator statistics for ordinary schools. Ordinary schools are schools that offer any combination of grades between grade R and grade 12, both public and independent. It is a criminal offence to supply incorrect information on this form.
    • Annual Survey: This survey is conducted on the 1st Tuesday of March of the year. It is the main survey of schools and is very detailed. Detailed disaggregated data is collected from ordinary schools. Data includes disaggregation by grade, gender, age, population group, medium of instruction, home language etc. The annual survey remains the main source of information for EMIS. Due to the size and scope of the survey data is only available for reporting from September of each year. Collected data is used for the provisioning of educators to schools for the following academic year, the funding of ordinary schools and various other projects. Principals of all public schools, including LSEN schools, must complete an annual survey, applicable to their schools, and return it to the District Office.  Principals must adhere to the return dates as far as possible so as to assist the District Offices in reaching their own deadlines.
    • Educator information
      This form is part of the EMIS 1.2 annual survey and gathers data on educators. Each educator at a school is required to complete it.
    • Quarterly return of learner attendance
      This form collects data on the daily attendance of learners. It is a summary of learner attendance during each quarter of the year. The completed form must be returned to the District Office on the last day of each term.
    • Quarterly return of educators and nonteaching staff leave
      This form collects data on approved leave of educators. It is a summary, which the principal has to submit to the District Office at the end of each term.
  6. Principals should see to it that copies are kept of all statistical submissions. In the case of electronic submissions, it is essential that backup copies are made of the discs or that hardcopy printouts are made for the purpose of safekeeping.
  7. Where the tasks above are delegated, principals should check that the information is correct and that totals balance. All copies of forms should also be checked.  The principal remains responsible even if he/she delegates the task to a staff member.
  8. The national EMIS unit – in co-ordination and alignment with and inputs from provincial EMIS units -has the further responsibility to:
    • Determine and develop the national EMIS policy and education information standards and to ensure its compliancy
    • National education information user needs;
    • Compile and designs data collection instruments
    • Verify, validate and quality assure education data
    • Integrate and consolidate education information
    • Publish and report education information
    • National EMIS provides support and guidance to the provincial EMIS functions
  9. EMIS Organization; Coordination and Supporting Bodies
    EMIS units were established in each of the tiers of government departments, namely, national and provincial. The National Education Information Policy (Gazette 26710, 2004) designates the National and Provincial
    EMIS Officers to coordinate, control and release official statistical data to all its users. The EMIS policy is currently being amended to designate district and institutional Information Officers to serve a similar function as those of national and provincial EMIS officers, in future.
    On four occasions in the financial year EMIS national meets with its provincial counterparts to manage, plan and align activities of the enterprise.
  10. EMIS information Users
    EMIS units (Provincial and national) regularly provide services to other components in education as well as education information to:

    • Minister of Education, Department of Education and Provincial Education Departments
    • Other government departments and state agencies at national, provincial and local level
    • National Treasury: Allocation of the Equitable share for provinces
    • Legislative and constituent bodies
    • Regulatory bodies
    • Civil society organisations
    • Local and international education agencies
    • Learners, educators and community groups including school and college governing bodies
    • Business and the private sector
    • Unions; partners and stakeholders in education

2.3 DUTIES OF SCHOOLS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION

2.3.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) [SAC]
    Chapter 2, Section 32, 1(a) and (b), and 2
  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
    Chapter 7, Section 59, (1) and (2) determines that schools have to provide information to anyone, especially to the Superintendent-General.

    • A school must make information available for inspection by any person, in so far as such information is required for the exercise and protection of such person’s rights.
    • Every school must provide such information about the school as is reasonably required by the Head of Department or the Director-General of the National Department of Basic Education in consultation with the Head of Department.
  •  Promotion to the Access of Information Act, No. 2 of 2000 [PAIA]
    This act states clearly that the National Department of Education must provide information to anyone that requires that information.
  • Mediation In Certain Divorce Matters Act, 1987 as amended in Government Gazette No. 27406, March 2005 [MCDM]

Mpumalanga

POLICY

  • Mpumalanga Department of Education: Whistle Blowing Policy, 2014 [Reference B6 Whistle Blowing]

2.3.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on the Duties of Schools to Provide Information

It is the duty of schools to provide information where and when needed.  It should be provided in a simple and accurate format according to the specified time schedules

  1. We can distinguish between information on learners, parents, staff members, finances, the curriculum, the SGB, academic results, resources and extra curriculum activities.
  2. The following information may be included in an educational report:
    • Personal particulars – name, grade, date of birth, ID number, address, name and address of parent/ guardian
    • Academic record – a detailed report indicating whether the pupil has passed/failed
    • Referrals – for example to the School Based Support Team (SBST) or District Based Support Team (DBST). The notes on these referrals should contain dates, reasons, steps taken and outcome. Disciplinary hearings and records may be included
    • Grooming – appearance
    • Behaviour – adjustment to school, hostel life and extracurricular activities
    • Relationships – a comprehensive description of the child’s self-image and recommendations in respect thereof, where necessary.
  3. Evidence by departmental officials in court cases involving learners
    The Department of Basic Education prefers that staff do not give evidence in court cases involving learners, but that they rather make the learner’s educational report available to the court.
    However, should a departmental official receive a summons to appear in court, or learn that a summons is being considered, the official may not refuse.  The following procedure will apply in such a case:

    • The person who is being summoned should inform the District Office. The District Director will refer the case to the Legal Section in the provincial department who will assist the person being summoned.
    • In cases where the Department of Basic Education is directly involved, even greater care should be exercised. The other party’s attorney should be advised to deal directly with the Department’s attorney.
    • Should the Department of Welfare require information, it should apply in writing. Confidential information should be handled discreetly.
  4. Contact and co-operation between family advocates and counsellors, Principals of schools and Heads of Education Aid Centres
    • The Act on Mediation in Certain Divorce Matters (No. 24 of 1987) makes provision, in divorce proceedings where dependent children are involved, for family advocates to interview such children. The family advocates do this to make informed recommendations to the court on custody, control and supervision, access rights and other important aspects which concern the children.
    • To ensure that the child is the ultimate beneficiary of the legal process as it applies to divorce cases, family advocates and counsellors are permitted to contact Principals. Should they be contacted, Principals should furnish the information without delay, even if it is requested by telephone.
  5. Furnishing the addresses of parents
    A principal may furnish the addresses of parents at his discretion, but is under no obligation to do so.
  6. Furnishing information to parents and educators
    • The Department of Basic Education publishes educationally orientated guides as the need arises.
    • Principals should ensure that the information contained herein reaches the designated people.
    • The school should keep at least one copy of these guides/brochures for further reference.
    • The right of parents/educators and learners to timely information is enshrined in the SA Schools Act
  7. Furnishing information to the media
    • The principal, SGB and SMT is responsible for the public image of the school, and should foster and maintain good media relations.
    • Principals, educators and spokespeople of the SGB may respond to media enquiries which do not concern government policy and which will not embarrass any members of the school community. Principals should consult with their district manager and be up to date with provincial policy and circulars in this respect.
    • Emergency protocol – Visit /contact by press or other media
      • Direct all enquiries or visitors to the principal’s office.
      • Ask for proof of their identity.
      • Establish what they want at the school.
      • If it appears that they want to photograph or film anything or want a comment on anything that is contentious or potentially harmful to the school or the department explain that you are not prepared to assist and refer them firmly and politely to the district office / EDO.
    • Principals and SGB’s may approach the media, especially the local media, to cover important events. These may include:
      • the appointment, promotion or departure of the Principal or other staff members
      • events concerning the school’s history
      • the inauguration of new facilities
      • the announcement of capital projects, renovation and extensions
      • advertising of concerts, fêtes and functions
      • interschool competitions hosted by the school
      • unique school traditions
      • community projects of the school
      • individual achievements of pupils and staff members
      • venues and times of sports matches and their results
      • team and individual learner achievements.

2.4 THE SCHOOL JOURNAL AND THE HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL

2.4.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]
    The Principal must ensure that a School Journal is kept containing a record of all important events connected with the school.

 

GUIDELINES

  • Personnel Administration Measures, Chapter A, Annex A.7 (3.1.4) [PAM]

2.4.2Guidelines for the Development of School Policy on the School Journal/School Logbook/Diary and the History of the School

  1. The Journal/School logbook/Diary
    • It is essential that a diary be kept at each school in which events are recorded by the principal of the school. The school journal is an official document and should be kept in a safe and secure place.
    • What is to be recorded?
      • The opening and closing of the school each term and the number of pupils officially enrolled on those days, as well as the enrolment figure of the school on the tenth school day of the year.
      • Names of the schools staff members, changes of staff and any important reorganization of work during the year.
      • Visits by dignitaries and senior officials of the Department should sign the school journal in their official capacity.
      • Exceptional achievements by educators or pupils of the school.
      • Any unusual temporary closing of the school.
      • General matters such as building additions to the school of hostel, school concerts, sports, meetings, school excursions, epidemics, additional buildings, functions to celebrate special days, etc.
    • What should not be recorded?
    • The school journal may not be used for recording details of any disciplinary measures taken by the principal or the Department/ governing body against an educator or a pupil of the school.
    • Visitors’ book
    • A separate visitors’ book may be kept.
  2. History of the school
    • A school is expected to record its history in one way or another. If the history of a school is not documented, valuable and interesting information is lost.
    • The following is an outline of how the history of the school should be recorded and kept.
      • The history of the school, from its origin, should be recorded as completely as possible in a book.
      • The principal himself should keep the book up to date or delegate the task to a member of staff.
      • The following may afford rich sources of information for research and should be carefully studied and used in order to place the school’s history on record:
        • Commemorative magazines and annuals;
        • School journals;
        • Minutes of SGB meetings, minutes of Representative Council of Learner’s meetings;
        • Correspondence;
        • Photographs and newspaper clippings reflecting school activities;
        • Photographs of memorial stones, monuments, foundation stones, buildings, etc.
        • Tape and sound recordings of operettas, choirs, speeches, etc.
        • Articles in school museums;
        • Admission registers and annual returns;
        • Reports on professional visits;
        • Education and school documents;
        • Records of interviews with ex-principals, ex-educators, ex-pupils and ex-parents of the school;
        • Programmes of – and invitations to functions;
        • Research into the school’s history should include, amongst other things, the following:
        • The development of the school building and school site;
        • Brief biographies of former principals;
        • Exceptional achievements (academic, sporting, cultural and social) in various spheres of school life, for example fetes, festivals and meetings;
        • Amusing incidents;
        • Other relevant events.
    • The book should be kept up to date regularly and in chronological order, with written particulars of school activities, and illustrated where possible by photographs and newspaper clippings.
    • Schools which have computer facilities may store and access such information electronically.

2.5 CORRESPONDENCE AND FILING

2.5.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
    Chapter 7, Section 59, (1) and (2) determines that schools have to provide information to anyone, especially to the Head of the Department.
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]
    Chapter A, Section 4.2, (e), (i) determines that the Principal must ensure that Departmental circulars and other information received which affect members of the staff are brought to their attention as soon as possible and are stored in an accessible manner.

EasternCape

CIRCULAR

  • Circular 17 of 2016 Electronic Records [Reference B1 17/2016]

2.5.2Guidelines for the Development of School Policy on Correspondence

  1. Format of correspondence to officials
    • All letters addressed to officials should be dated and typed or written in ink.
    • A letter should deal with only one subject.
    • A letter concerning an educator should give the full name of the educator and his/her Persal number, as well as a heading indicating the aim and content of the letter.
    • Any letter in reply to a Departmental letter or referring to previous correspondence should quote the reference number of the Departmental letter concerned.
    • All correspondence of an official nature to the Department should be signed or countersigned by the principal or on his behalf by an officer authorised by him.
    • Letters from staff employed by educational institutions should contain the following information: Persal number, name and initials of the sender imprint and institution where employed. Please add a subject line to your letter to the Department as this helps to speed up matters.
    • Personal letters of staff members to the Department should be endorsed by the principal if they cannot be dealt with internally.
  2. Correspondence to the District Office and District Managers
    • Official correspondence to the district office should be directed to the District Director (For attention: The name of the relevant official, usually the EDO/IDSO). Only in instances where the district office has repeatedly failed to respond to any correspondence should it be by-passed. Failure to follow proper channels of communication tends to delay rather than speed up appropriate action as the matter is simply referred back to the correct level. It also tends to lead to strained relations with the district office.
    • Correspondence on the following matters should be addressed to the District Director:
      • Discipline, organisation and the general well-being of the school.
      • Requisitions
      • IQMS
      • Differences of opinion or internal disputes
  3. Enquiries made by teaching staff
    • It is, in the first instance, the duty of heads of educational institutions / offices to answer enquiries made by the staff.
    • When a principal is unable to answer a query he should, depending on the nature of the query, contact the district office or the Department in order to settle the matter.
    • To ensure that an interview with officials of the Department is conducted most effectively, it is advisable to make an appointment in advance with the section concerned.
    • If the principal considers it essential that any member of staff should go to the district office or Department during school hours, he should contact the school’s IDSO.
    • Contact details of office bearers
      The contact details of the MECs and heads of departments are at REFERENCE C under reference code SP CONTACTS.

2.5.3Guidelines for the Development Of School Policy on a Filing System

(Refer to REFERENCE C under reference code SP FILING for an example of a complete filing system)

  1. Main items
    Because of the volume of correspondence and the variety of forms and records which have to be dealt with, it is essential that principals implement a functional filing system.  A suggested system consists of the following main items:

    • Media Services;
    • Examinations and Promotions;
    • Financial;
    • Buildings and Grounds;
    • Reports:
    • Class visit reports
    • Learning Area Coordinator reports
    • Whole School Evaluation reports
    • Learner Activities;
    • Medical Services;
    • Furniture and Equipment;
    • LTSM;
    • Staff;
    • Councils and Committees;
    • School Organization;
    • School Attendance;
    • Subjects;
    • Transport;
    • Hostel Organization;
    • Farming Activities.
  2. Explanatory notes on the above:
    • A file should be opened for every section. The further division of this section into Sub-sections should be done according to the needs of the school.
    • Certain subjects, sections or sub-sections are not applicable to all schools, and it is not necessary to open the file concerned. Where a school, for example, has no farming implementers, that file is omitted.
    • To avoid future confusion, care should be taken to ensure that all correspondence is filed in the correct files and that the number of the file appears on all the school’s correspondence. Example:
    • Reports of Learning Area Coordinators should be filed in the relevant learning area file and not in the file for professional reports.
    • Admission and transfer of pupils fall under School Attendance.
    • When a file is full, it should be closed and a new volume of the file, with the same name and number, should be opened. The old file becomes Volume I and the new one Volume II.  Closed volumes should be filed for future reference in the same numerical order as that used in the filing system.
    • A control card should be opened for each file and kept in the file. When a file is handed to a particular person, the details should be noted on the control card which should then be filed in the filing cabinet.  When the file is returned, the date should be noted on the card which should then be replaced in the file.
    • Every file should have an index and a record of instructions.

2.6 THE SAFEKEEPING AND DISPOSAL OF DOCUMENTS

2.6.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 [POPI]

 

GUIDELINES

  • National Guidelines on How to Manage School Records – Volume 3: General Administration Records July 2004 [NG MSR]
    Periods indicated below for storing and destroying of records, only serve as a guideline.  Provincial policies may differ.  It is therefore important that Principals consult provincial websites and policy documents. (See list of website addresses)

2.6.2Guidelines for the Development of School Policy on Safekeeping and Disposal Of Documents

  1. Introduction
    • Periodically it becomes necessary to destroy old documents which are no longer of any use.
    • Documents of historical value should, however, be carefully safeguarded under the direct control of the principal. No such documents may be destroyed, but should be sent to the Education Museum.
  2. The safekeeping and disposal of certain documents
    • The following records should be carefully kept for an indefinite time:
    • School journals
    • Minutes of meetings of school governing bodies.
      After the first meeting of the SGB, the Electoral Officer must place all the election records (ballot slips) in an envelope and seal it. This envelope is handed over to the Principal of the school for safekeeping in the school’s safe. He must keep these records for the duration of the term of office of the SGB.
    • All original documents relating to the establishment and development of the school and those to do with important events at the school, as well as related photographs, drawings, paintings or publications.
  3. The following documents should be carefully preserved in schools for transfer to the Department when a school closes:
    • Admission registers.
    • Financial records
    • Records of any other financial scheme connected with the school.
    • Visitors’ book
  4. The following are to be disposed of as indicated:
    • Learner Profiles should only be sent on request to other schools, including private schools and technical colleges, to which the pupil concerned has been transferred;
    • Attendance registers may be destroyed after 8 years.
    • Financial records may be destroyed 8 years after audit.
    • Tuck shop books and records may be destroyed 8 years after auditing or closing.
    • Copies of returns, statements, schedules and statistics drawn up and submitted according to instructions or on request may be destroyed after 2 years.
    • Professional and other reports may be destroyed after 8 years.
    • Inventories, stock registers, schemes of work and schedules may be destroyed after 8 years.
    • All other documents of a non-permanent nature, correspondence, letters of appointment, applications for leave, correspondence with parents, inquiries, etc., may be destroyed after 3 years.
    • Books which are worn down or which, for some reason, cannot be used any longer for educational purposes should be disposed of as follows:
      • The books should be written off with the approval of the District Director (Section 20 schools) or Governing Body (Section 21 schools).
      • When books are of historical value (particularly old textbooks) or when they can be regarded as Africana, they should be sent to the Media Service for inclusion in the Department Archives. The parcel should be clearly marked “For Archives”.
  5. Books which are still usable should be dealt with as follows:
    • Principals are urgently requested to use these books in their schools again, if possible.
    • Where books can no longer be used by the school, a list of them should be sent to the IDSO who can forward the list to other schools in the district for their information. He/she can also arrange for these books to be transferred to “twinning” schools which can still make use of them.
    • IDSO’s can also make such lists available to their colleagues in adjoining districts so that as many of these books as possible can be put to use again.
    • Books which can no longer be used can be sent for recycling purposes.
  6. Destruction of registers, books and forms
  • Registers and books
    Number of years
    – Consumable stock registers 7 years
    – Attendance register for boarders 3 years
    – Receipt books 7 years
    – Cheque books 7 years
    – Petty cash books 7 years

 

  • Forms
    Number of years
    – Inventories of furniture 7 years
    – Order forms 7 years
    – Invoices of firms 7 years
    – Cashed cheques 7 years
    – Audit reports 7 years
    – Queries on audit reports 7 years
    – Replies to audit reports 7 years

2.7 REPORTS

2.7.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • Housing Amendment Act, 1996 [No. 6 of 1996] Sections 52 and 53 [HAA]
  • National Education Policy Act, No. 27 of 1996 [NEPA]
  • Basic Education Laws Amendment Act, 2011, No. 15 of 2011 [ELA]
  • Statistics Act, No. 6 of 1999 [STATS]
  • Promotion of Access to Information Act, No.2 of 2000 [PAIA]
  • SA Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996, Chapter 2, Sections 3, 5 [SASA]
  • Employment of Educators Act, No. 76 of 1998 [EEA]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Personnel Administration Measures, 3.2 and 24 [PAM]

FreeState

CIRCULARS

  • Circular: MG 29/2012 – Standardisation of SA-SAMS Reports to Encourage the FSDoE to Report on the Same Data Source [Reference B2 29/2012]
  • Circular: MG 30/2012 – Standardisation of SA-SAMS Reports to Avoid Duplication of Similar School Reports Often Requested by Different Sections of the Department [Reference B2 30/2012]
  • Circular MG 7/20 [Reference B2 7/2014]
  • Circular MG 42 / 2013-Lurits Data Submissions For All Schools (SNE Schools Included) For 2014 [Reference B2 42/2013]
  • Circular MG 41 / 2013 – 10TH School Day Statistics for all schools, Special Schools included… [Reference B2 41/2013]

2.7.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Reports

  1. Professional reports by departments or departmental officials
    Professional reports are confidential documents.  They should be kept in schools, and no copies may be made for distribution.

    • Professional reports (written by staff from District Office/Department)
      These reports are meant for Principals and concern professional matters. They are not available to School Governing Bodies, but Principals may use them as testimonials when they apply for a new post.
    • General professional reports (written by staff from District Office/Department).
      These reports inform the Governing Body about school matters.  Once the Principal has received them, he should arrange for them to be discussed at the first forthcoming meeting of the SGB.
    • Reports concerning buildings and grounds (written by planning staff).
      These reports are for the attention of the Principal and the SGB
    • Subject/Learning Area evaluation reports (written by Learning Area Facilitators)
      Such reports are written after learners have been evaluated on a subject.  The Principal receives two copies of the report; one for the school and one for the Head of Department and/or subject/learning area educators.
    • School Library reports (written by the Media Facilitator)
      These reports are intended for use by the school.
    • Medical reports (issued by the school’s medical officer)
      These reports are meant for the attention of the principal and the SGB.
  2. 10th day return
    This form is completed on the 10th day of each new school year. Its purpose is to gain an overall picture of the learner and educator distribution per school. It enables the Department of Basic Education to plan effectively and identify areas, which may need urgent intervention on the part of the Department.
  3. Annual Survey
    This is the main survey of schools and is very detailed in order to accommodate the major planning needs of the Department of Basic Education. It is completed on the last Tuesday (which is a school day) of March of each year. Although it is best for the principal to delegate the collection of information to the other teachers the principal is obliged to check and verify the accuracy of every item and can be prosecuted for submitting false or incorrect information. This is a particularly important survey because the results are used to determine staffing and funding allocations as well as other critical decisions.
  4. Annual General Meeting
    The SGB must once a year hold an Annual General Meeting for all registered parents at the school.  Parents must be notified at least 30 days before the meeting.  A copy of the draft budget, the proposed fee structure and the proposed exemption policy should accompany the notice.
    At the meeting parents must receive a report on the activities of the school (challenges and achievements) and be informed of the school’s proposed budget and the planned school fees that will be charged in the coming financial year. Parents must also have the opportunity to examine the budget and balance sheet of the school in writing if they so wish. The parents must vote on, and ultimately accept by a majority of those present, three items:

    • the budget
    • the proposed school fees
    • the policy for granting exemption from payment of school fees
      Accurate minutes and an attendance register of the meeting must be kept and should be circulated to parents.

      EXEMPLAR NOTICE OF AGM MEETING
      NAME OF SCHOOL
      NOTICE TO PARENTS
      There will be a very important meeting of all parents at 17:30 on Tuesday 11 October 201_ at the school in order to approve the school budget and school fees for 20_. It is vital that as many parents as possible attend this meeting since decisions made there will directly affect every parent.
      The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
      – Welcome and opening Chairman of SGB
      – Financial report of previous year Treasurer
      – General report on the activities of the current year Principal
      – Goals, objectives and activities for coming school year Principal
      – Fund-raising plans for next year Principal
      – Proposed budget for next year Treasurer
      – Proposed school fees for next year Treasurer
      – Policy for exemption from school fee payment Treasurer
      – Motions of adoption Treasurer
      – Closure

      (See Reference C MINUTE KEEPING)

  5. The Principal may deliver the report verbally or in writing.  The report or parts thereof may be published in the school newsletter.  Such a report may include:
    • Internal matters (without discussing professional matters)
    • Extra-mural activities
    • Spending of school funds, etc.
  6. Logbook/Journal
    The Logbook or Journal assists the principal in keeping a record of events during the course of a day or a week.  Information recorded here can be useful to the principal in preparing the report to the SGB or the annual report to the parents.

    • Items that can be included in the logbook are:
    • Visits of dignitaries
    • Staff or learner achievements
    • Important historical events
    • Staff details
    • SGB details
    • Problems or challenges and their solutions
    • School leavers
  7. Quarterly return of learner attendance
    On the last day of each term the Principal should complete a Quarterly Return of Learner Attendance form in duplicate.  The original form should be submitted to the District Office and the copy filed at the school for reference purposes.
  8. Quarterly return of leave of educators and non-teaching staff
    • On the last day of each term the Principal should complete a Quarterly Return of leave of Educators and Non-Teaching staff in duplicate.
    • The original form should be submitted to the District Office and the copy filed at the school for reference purposes.
    • These registers should be available for scrutiny by district and departmental officials.
  9. Auditor’s reports
    • Schools:
      • The financial year starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December.
      • The SGB should appoint an auditor to audit the school fund records annually.
      • The Principal should submit a copy of the auditor’s report to the District Office before 30 June the following year. The District will verify the report and file it.
    • Hostels:
      • The SGB should appoint an accountant or auditor registered in terms of section 60 of the Close Corporations Act (Act 69 of 1984) to audit the records and statements of the hostel’s operating account.
      • At the first or second meeting of the SGB following the receipt of the auditor’s report, the SGB should consider the report.
      • Should the report reveal any irregular or unsatisfactory matter, the meeting should decide on steps to remedy the situation.
      • The chairman of the SGB should forward copies of the audited statements and the auditor’s report to the Auditor-General as soon as the SGB has met to discuss these.
      • The Auditor-General may, at his discretion, request further information to undertake an investigation if he deems it necessary.
      • The chairman of the SGB should forward the auditor’s report to the District Office within two months of the meeting at which the report was discussed.
      • A copy of that meeting’s minutes should accompany the report, indicating the SGB’s comments and outlining the steps that were taken to address any unsatisfactory situation.
      • The District Director may, at his own discretion, decide to take further action on issues in the report.
      • The auditor may work for the school in a non-auditing capacity only with prior approval by the SGB. Details of such work, including the cost, should be included in the auditor’s report.

2.8 IDENTITY DOCUMENTS

2.8.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • National Education Policy Act (No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
  • The South African Schools Act, 1996 (No.27 of 1996) [SASA]
  • Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 [POPI]

FreeState

CIRCULARS

  • In complying with the decision of the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) and for the sake of an effective Learner Unit Record Information Tracking System (LURITS), the FSDoE will make the learner ID numbers a mandatory field on SA-SAMS with effect from the beginning of the first term in January 2014. The main challenge, however, will be the learners without ID numbers.  With regard to the ID numbers of learners in the Free State Province, principals are referred to Circular MG 38/2013 [Reference B2 38/2013]

2.8.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Identity Documents

  1. Admission of learners and identity documents
    • The principal of a public school must keep a register of admission to the school. All admissions of learners to the school must be recorded in the register of admission. The register must contain the name, date of birth, age, identity number, if applicable, and address of the learner as well as the names of the learner’s parents as defined in the South African Schools Act, 1996 and their addresses and telephone numbers, where applicable.
    • Entries in the register of admission must be verified against the birth certificate or identity document of the learner concerned. The admission ages are as follows:
      • Grade R: age four turning five by 30 June in the year of admission (the latest age is the year in which the child turns 6);
      • Grade 1: age five turning six by 30 June in the year of admission (the latest age is the year in which the child turns 7).
  2. Principals of secondary and special schools should make a point of informing learners that:
    • From the age of 16 years, it is compulsory for the children of citizens of this country to obtain an identity document; and
    • It is necessary for Grade 12 learners to furnish their identity numbers when they register for the final examination at the end of Grade 12.
  3. Principals, in collaboration with regional offices of the Department of Home Affairs and/or the representatives of the Department of Home Affairs located at the premises of local authorities, can arrange the matters mentioned below:
    • The school concerned can supply the necessary application forms for an identity document to learners who turn 16 (and learners who are older than 16 who do not as yet have identity documents). They are to be instructed to complete such forms and hand them in at the school together with the prescribed two photographs of themselves and other supporting documents so that these can be sent to the office of the Department of Home Affairs in the town or city concerned.
    • When learners aged 16 and older who are already in possession of identity documents move into a hostel or other residence of the school concerned, principals should ensure that the forms for notice of change of address at the back of their identity documents are completed. These forms are to be collected from them and sent to the department office in the town or city concerned.
    • (Note:  It is a requirement that learners give the address where they are residing while they are studying as their permanent residential address.)
  4. If a learner maintains that he/she has given notice of change of address and the form for notice of change of address is not in his identify document at that stage it may be accepted that he has already given notice of his new address.
  5. When an application to be admitted to a school is received from a learners l who has not previously been enrolled at a public or state-aided school, it is advisable to obtain all the necessary documents of the learners and both parents; to interview the learner and both parents and to request that the parents return within a day of two;  to study all details thoroughly;  and where there is any further uncertainty about admitting the learners, to contact the IDSO/DEC or District Director telephonically to obtain a final decision.

2.9 GUIDELINES ON THE USE OF MICROCOMPUTERS IN EDUCATION

2.9.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • National Educational Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996), Sections 3(4)(a) and 8(3), which give the Minister of Education a mandate to “undertake the monitoring and evaluation by analysis of data gathered by means of education management information systems, or by other suitable means, in co-operation with provincial departments of education” [NEPA]

 

POLICIES

  • White Paper on E-Education: Government Gazette, Notice 1922 of 2004 – Transforming Learning and Teaching through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) [NP 1922/2004]

 

GUIDELINES

  • South Africa Institute for Distance Education: Managing ICT’s in South African Schools: A Guideline for School Principals [NG MICT]
  • Reference C SP INTERNET for an Internet Access Policy for Schools
  • Reference C  SP SMS for the Framework for a School Management System

EasternCape

CIRCULAR

  • EC Circular 27 of 2015 – 2016 Academic Year Programme Of Submission Of SASAMS Databases [Reference B1 27/2015]

FreeState

ACT

  • Free State School Education Act, 2000 (Act No; 2 of 2000) [Reference B2 FS EDACT]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Free State SA-SAMS Manual: Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) [Reference B2 FS SASAMS]

 

KwaZulu-Natal

POLICIES

  • KZN E-waste policy [Reference B4 E-waste]

2.9.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on the Use of Microcomputers in Education

  1. Definitions:
    • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are the technologies which together support people’s ability to manage and communicate information electronically. They include not only computers, but also such technology as digital cameras, video recorders, television and radio.
    • E-Education: In the South-African context, the concept of e-Education revolves around the use of ICT’s to accelerate the achievement of national education goals. E-Education is about connecting learners and teachers to each other and to professional support services and providing platforms for learning.
    • E-School: An e-School is any GET or FET institution (including Early Childhood Development Centres and ABET Centres) who have:
      • learners who utilise ICT’s to enhance learning;
      • qualified and competent leaders who use ICT’s for planning, management and administration;
      • qualified and competent teachers who use ICT’s to enhance teaching and learning
      • access to ICT infrastructure.
    • An e-School connects with the community by:
      • allowing community access to its computer facilities after hours;
      • receiving support from the community and local SMME’s to maintain and sustain ICT interventions; and
      • serving as a venue for business advisory services and training for community based small computer and repair businesses.
    • E-Learning:
      E-Learning is about learning and teaching philosophies and methodologies using ICTs in the learning environment.  Enriching the learning environment through the use of ICTs is a process that takes learners and teachers through:

      • Getting to know more about ICTs (investigating what we can do with ICTs),
      • Getting to learn with ICTs (supplementing normal processes or resources, utilising ICTs), and
      • Getting to learn through the use of ICTs (supporting new ways of teaching and learning through the use of ICTs).
  2. One of the keys to successful ICT implementation is the development and implementation of an ICT policy. It is important to note that ICT include not only computers, but also such technology as digital cameras, cell phones, video recorders, television and radio.
    • One of the key elements of an ICT policy is a vision statement. A vision statement shows:
    • Where you want to go or be in the future;
    • How you expect to get there;
    • Why you are on this journey;
    • What goals or milestones you expect to reach before long; and
    • What values and ways of working you commit to in order to achieve the vision.
    • Key areas to be covered in an ICT policy:
      • Physical security – burglar bars, alarms and responsibility for seeing that the security is working;
      • How to use the equipment – guidelines for handling sensitive equipment;
      • Guidelines for access – who may use the equipment and when;
      • Rules for use of the Internet – including such issues as time spent and/or material downloaded.
  3. Why should we have computers in schools?
    There is no doubt that to manage the amount of information in the world around us today, we need the computer technology.  We need to record, process, store and share information with others.  According to the North Central Regional Education Laboratory (NCREL) in the United States of America, ICT’s in schools can:

    • Make learning more interactive;
    • Enhance the enjoyment of learning;
    • Individualise and customise the curriculum to match learners’ developmental needs as well as personal interests;
    • Capture and store data for informing data-driven decision making;
    • Enhance avenues for collaboration among family members and the school community;
    • Improve methods of accountability and reporting.
    • (NCREL Report http://cct.edc.org/projects/north-central-regional-educational-laboratory-ncrel)
  4. Purposes for which educators use of computers
    Teachers use computers to support their work in a number of ways and can be structured around all seven roles of the educator as follows:

    • Learning mediator
    • Interpreter and designer of learning programmes and materials
    • Leader, administrator and manager
    • Scholar, researcher and lifelong learner
    • Community, citizenship and pastoral role
    • Assessor
    • Learning area/subject/discipline/phase specialist.
      Wonderful resources are available for CAT and IT teachers at: http://techteachers.co.za

      Table 1: Software uses for teachers from the Microsoft Office suite
      Administration, teaching and other general functions Applications
      Word Excel Power

      Point

      Access Publisher Outlook
      Advertising x x
      Amending forms x x
      Assessment forms x
      Assignments x
      Budgets x
      Certificates x x
      Checklists x
      Class discussions x
      Class lists
      Classifying data x
      Creating web pages x
      Dealing with money x
      Drawing graphs x
      Exam papers x
      Flyers x
      Forms x x
      Interactive worksheets x
      Invitations x x
      Lessons plans x
      Letters x
      Lists x
      Mark sheets x
      Mass mail x
      Minute taking x
      Networking with teachers x
      Newsletters x
      Notes x
      Organising x
      Planning documents x
       Posters x x
       Presentations x
       Registers x
      Report cards x
       Requisition forms x
      Research x
      Rubrics (assessment) x x
      Schedules x x
      School records x
      Stock control x
      Submitting EMIS reports x
      Templates x x
      Worksheets x
  5. Purposes for which learners’ use of computers
    Learners use computers for a range of purposes, depending on the resources available and the school policies that guide their use of these resources.
    Developing computer literacy. There are two approaches:

    • Learners learn basic skills in a computer literacy class They apply these skills to work they do in other classes
    • Computer literacy is seen as something learners will acquire through using the computer in order to learn a subject. This approach is sometimes called “just-in-time” learning, as learners acquire the skills they need at the time they need them for an applied purpose.
      Generic application Examples of software packages
      Word processor MS Word, Corel Word Perfect
      Spreadsheet MS Excel, Quotro Pro
      Presentation software MS Power Point
      Database MS Access
      Graphics Package MS Paint, Corel Draw
      E-mail client Outlook, Pegasus Mail
      Web browser Internet Explorer, Netscape, Google
      Group ware MS Outlook
    • Supporting subjects directly based on knowledge of the computer.
    • In the national curriculum for the Further Education and Training Certificate, there are two subjects which rely directly on learners having access to computers, and associated resources such as the Internet.  These are Computer Applications Technology and Information Technology.
    • Supporting learning in subjects across the curriculum. Here follows some broad categories:
      • Computer-aided instruction (CAI)
      • This requires the use of software that is usually developed commercially and has some interactive quality. It mainly consists of “drill and practise” activities.  Typical examples of these are the popular Maths packages.
      • Using generic software to support learning in a subject. Examples:
        • A word-processing package to type up and edit material for submission to their teacher, or for presentation to the teacher;
        • A spreadsheet package to process numerical data or draw graphs to show data they have gathered or been given, and integrate this into written work;
        • PowerPoint to present ideas to the class;
        • A CD-ROM or web browser to obtain all kinds of information and
        • E-mail to contact external resources
    • Using special packages and tools for a particular subject or learning area
    • In some subjects, such as Science and Geography, there are simulation games and problem-solving activities that give some benefits of interactivity. Accounting packages are mentioned as optional in achieving learning outcomes in the National Curriculum Statements in the FET band and in Maths, there are packages designed specifically to support understanding in geometry.
    • Using software and other resources designed for learners with special needs
    • Computers can be adapted to assist learners with particular problems. It is possible, for example, to acquire software which can covert electronic text into speech.  Equally, when a teacher is assessing the completed work of a learner with reading difficulties, she can use the computer to produce spoken comments on his work, instead of giving him written comments he would find difficult to read.
  6. Eight types of ICT use
    Use 1:    The school administration uses the school computers
    Use 2:    Teachers use computers to do their administration work
    Use 3:    Teachers use computers to prepare worksheets and tests for learners
    Use 4:    Teachers access online resources to support teaching and learning in their subject
    Use 5:    Learners are taught to use computers to develop IT skills and knowledge. No formal attempts are made to integrate this work with subject-based learning; focus is on computer skills taught in relevant context – some use is made informally by learners (using a CD in their own time, or Internet access)
    Use 6:    Learners apply basic IT skills to work across the curriculum in their IT lessons, and informally outside official teaching time
    Use 7:    Learners use computers to work on non-IT subjects from time to time, in loose arrangements made by their teachers as needs demand and resources are available.
    Use 8:    Learners use computers to do subject related in non-IT subject lessons in a sustained and well-integrated way.
  7. The South African School Administration & Management System (SA-SAMS)
    SA-SAMS is a computer application specifically designed to meet the management, administrative and governance needs of public schools in South Africa. The implementation policies of provinces can differ and principals are advised to consult provincial-specific policies or circulars on the matter.
    SA-SAMS was developed to provide schools with a cost-effective, easy-to-use and fully-integrated computer solution containing all aspects of school management requirements.
    SA-SAMS consists of a number of different modules:

    • General School Information:
      This includes school details, school cycle details, classes, school subjects, feeder schools, disciplinary/ demerit and merit codes, house groups, school terms, teaching and non-teaching days and a year planner.
    • Human Resource Information:
      This includes educator information, staff information, INSET training records, development appraisal interview records, weekly staff attendance and the Integrated Quality Management System for educators.
    • Learner and Parent Information:
      In this module, administrators can maintain learner enrolment information for current learners or future registrations. Parents can also be added to the system. Schools can keep disciplinary/demerit and merit records, record incidents, and maintain a record of learning barriers. It can also maintain a record of sport, art and culture. This module records weekly learner attendance and year-end learner promotions.
    • Governance information:
      This module keeps record of all issues pertaining to the School Governing Body (SGB), namely members, functions, policies and training records. Various reports are available. The school can view statistics regarding learner misconduct and fee exemptions, as these are areas that require decision making by the governing body. Sexual harassment incidents are also maintained here, as they also require decision making by the SGB and they can be printed out.
    • Standard letters and forms:
      The mail merge facility can be used to send existing or new letters to a selected group of people. Blank application forms can be printed for learners and parents, educators and staff. Completed data forms can also be printed and sent out for verification of the accuracy of the data. Mailing labels can also be created and printed
    • Export data:
      The exporting of the 10th Day Survey (snap data) and the Annual School Survey data from SA-SAMS is one of the key advantages of the use of SA-SAMS. The export functionality takes all the required General School Information, HR Information and Learner Information within SA-SAMS and automatically populates the relevant sections of the survey to vastly reduce time and errors for schools in completing the survey. The survey file is produced in xml format and delivered as an electronic file to the provincial EMIS unit for easy import into the provincial system.
    • Financial assistant:
      The system setup function allows the school to maintain their financial system parameters. Either annual or monthly budgets can be maintained. All receipt and payment transactions can be maintained and journals can be viewed or printed. All deleted financial transactions are written to an audit file. Debtors and school fees (including school fee exemptions) can be maintained and various reports are available. Bank reconciliation can be done and various financial and transactional printouts can be printed. Expenditure and budget information can be exported to the SA DMS system. Year-end functions include writing off bad debtors, processing year-end transactions and opening a new financial period.
    • Curriculum-related data:
      The school uses this module to set up the structures for recording and reporting on the progress of learners. School subjects, learners and educators are linked here. The school can maintain their subjects and learning outcomes per subject. Evaluation cycles are set up usually for the end of each term, with a final promotion cycle at the end of the year. All school based assessment activities can be recorded here.
    • Timetable modules:
      A new automated timetable has been added to SA-SAMS. This ensures a fully-functioning school.
    • Physical resources and school infrastructure register:
      This module has three functions: Learner Support Materials; Fixed Assets; and Physical Infrastructure.
    • Security and database functions:
      The administrator can use the security functions to add users to the system and maintain their user rights with regards to all modules in SA-SAMS. Password maintenance can also be done. Database functions include export of data fields to MS Excel, compacting the database and the Microsoft backup and restore facility. Security includes physical security, software security; programme security and backup/restoring of data.
    • Library Module:
      This module is designed to ensure that all schools can administer the day-to-day running of a school library facility. They can create and manage a library catalogue, manage system users, issue, return and renew library items, manage fines, manage reservations and manage history records.
    • SIAS for SNE Module:
      The SIAS module was integrated into SA-SAMS to reduce the administrative burden related to the assessment of special needs learners. Sections include background information on the learner, diagnostic profile, extended profile, individual support plan, assessment of support requirements and an action plan for additional support.
    • LURITS Approval Module:
      Schools are able to approve and manage their data for the national tracking system through the use of this module. Data is exported to the national tracking system and imported from the national tracking system via xml file format without requiring schools to capture any data twice.
      SA SAMS can be managed in two ways:
      Using Administration Staff
      Using school educators
    • Using administrative staff
      • An administration staff member is appointed as the SA SAMS clerk. This person must be thoroughly trained in SA SAMS. Three quarters of her/his time will be involved in the administration of SA SAMS.
      • The use of an administrative staff is advantageous for the following reasons:
        • Work can be done throughout the day
        • One person is accountable for the operation of SA SAMS
        • One person develops in depth skills in SA SAMS
        • An operational schedule must be set out according to the needs of the school.
      • Time must be scheduled for the following type of operations to:
        • Ensure that all new learners captured on the data base, subjects/learning areas are added to all learners, school calendar is completed, learning programme in all subjects are added and printed for the parents etc.
        • Class lists for all subjects/learning areas are printed for educators.
        • Dates when teachers must hand in their learner’s marks. This is critical and must be spread out to avoid slow periods and congested periods.
        • Regular times for operations like absenteeism
        • Times for the school accountant to complete financial matters
        • Asset management
        • Time for completing new time-table for following year etc.
        • Large schools need to use only one computer if the time management of capturing data is carefully worked out.
        • A school management team member must oversee and support the administrative staff official at all times.
    • Using school educators
      • A small group of educators may work as a team to capture learner performance and other operations. This time will have to be additional to prescribed teaching time, usually in the afternoons. Due to the shorter time period and more than one user, a number of computers may need to be networked.
      • SA SAMS may be networked, but users must use different functions or different data bases simultaneously.
      • In the same way as shown above an operational schedule must be set out according to the needs of the school. A time must be scheduled for all the different operations:
      • Careful thought must go into the planning of the end of term schedules and printing of reports. Data must be regularly backed up and where possible an extra printer must be available in case of a breakdown. Extra stationery and toner must be procured in good time to avoid delays with printing of reports.
  8. Internet Access Policy for Schools (Template)
    See REFERENCE C – Internet Policy for Schools [SP Internet]

2.10 REGISTERS: PERSONNEL AND LEARNERS (ATTENDANCE, LEAVE, ETC.)

2.10.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

APPLICABLE TO: PERSONNEL

  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 (Ss 10-18) and PAM (Chapter H 3.1) [EEA]
  • South African Council for Educators Act 31 of 2000 [SACE]
  • National Education Policy Act 27 of 1996, Norms and Standards for Educators [NEPA]
  • The Public Service Act, 1994 (act no 103 of 1994), as amended [PSA]

ACTS

APPLICABLE TO: LEARNERS

  • SA Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996, Chapters 2 – 4 [SASA]
  • National Education Policy Act 27 of 1996 [NEPA]

 

POLICY

  • Policy on Learner Attendance (Government Gazette No. 33150 of 2010)  [NP 33150/2010]

 

GUIDELINES

  • National Guidelines on how to Manage School Records, Volume 3 – General Administration Records [NG MSR]

FreeState

ACTS

  • Free State School Education Act, (Act No. 2 of 2000) [Reference B2 FS EDACT]

GUIDLINES

  • How to maintain weekly attendance of  Educators, Staff and learners on SA-SAMS [Reference B2 RECORD]

Gauteng

GUIDELINES

  • Circular 3 of 2014: The prohibition of public schools from releasing learners from school during internal examinations [Reference B3 3/2014] 

WesternCape

GUIDELINES

  • Circular 0002/2014 – WCED Regulations on the Duties of Attendance Officers [Reference B9 0002/2014]

2.10.2Framework for the Development Of School Policy on Registers – Personnel

(See REFERENCE C SP REG for examples of registers)

  1. The administration of the attendance register for educators and non-teaching staff is the responsibility of the The principal is required to maintain a register of the leave taken by all employees and must not recommend paid leave when an employee has exceeded his/her allocated leave days.
  2. The principal should keep a DAILY Attendance Register for Educators and Non-teaching staff in accordance with the instructions that appear in the register.
  3. Staff members should complete and sign a leave application form for every day that they are absent from the school.
  4. When staff members have been absent for three or more days due to illness, a doctor’s certificate must be attached to the leave application form on their return. All leave forms must be signed by the principal and submitted to the district office on the day they are received from the teacher. The principal should file a copy of the leave form in the teacher’s personal file.
  5. Staff members are required to sign the staff attendance register every day on arriving at work and when leaving work. (See National Guidelines on: How to Manage School Records, Volume 3 for examples of the different types of Registers)
  6. All educators should be at school during the formal school day which should not be less than 7 hours per day except for special reasons and with the prior permission of the Principal. The Principal will exercise his/her discretion in this regard based on provincial policy.  The 7 hours per day includes the breaks and the period/s in which the learners are not at school.
  7. Procedure if an employee does not report for duty
    • An employee, may not absent himself/herself until he/she has applied for leave and such application has been approved, except an employee who has been absent due to sudden illness. In such a case the employee must provide satisfactory proof of illness immediately on returning to duty.
    • Should an employee be absent without permission, for the period exceeding one calendar month in respect of public servants and 14 consecutive days in respect of educators, he/she is deemed to have been discharged from service in terms of the applicable legislation.
    • If an employee is absent for a period of three consecutive days without informing the supervisor of the reason for absence, the supervisor must, on the fourth day of such absence, make every endeavour to trace the employee’s whereabouts and keep a record of what was done.
    • After 5 consecutive days from the first day of absence, the manager/supervisor must send a registered letter to the employee’s last known address informing him/her to return to work immediately, failing which relevant legislative provisions shall be invoked.
    • Only after following the steps outlined in the previous two paragraphs above may the services of a employee be terminated when his/her whereabouts are not known.  Termination shall be effected immediately after the expiry of the time-frames.

2.10.3Framework for the Development Of School Policy on Registers – Learners

  1. Irregular school attendance
    • The Principal should report instances of regular absence from school to the District Office after discussion with the IDSO/DEC.
    • According to the Policy on Learner Attendance, the definition of “absent” is: “A learner is deemed to be absent from school when the learner is not present in class or not participating in a school activity when the register is marked”.
    • The policy aims to promote regular school attendance of learners by instituting proper recording and monitoring systems.
  2. The key aspects of the Policy on Learner Attendance, are:
    • All learners, with the exception of Grade 12 learners, must attend school on every school day, including examination periods (before, during and after examinations) for the total number of official school days of each year;
    • Grade 12 learners may take five days study leave before the first day of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination;
    • A learner’s records will be cancelled in the class register if he/she is absent from school for 10 consecutive school days without a valid reason. Learners’ records cannot be retained in the class register when they are no longer attending schools as this inflates learner numbers.
    • Other reasons for cancelling a learner’s record include exemption from compulsory school attendance, expulsion, transfer to another school, registration for home education, etc. If a learner returns to school after his/her record has been cancelled, the learner must be readmitted to school.
    • The policy re-asserts the responsibility of parents/caregivers to ensure that their children attend school regularly. It is of utmost importance that parents, in cases of severe irregular attendance of learners, be informed of the importance of regular school attendance and also of the consequences for parents referring to Chapter 2, Section 3 of SASA on compulsory attendance. School Governing Bodies are expected to monitor learner attendance rates at the school. Provincial Education Departments should raise public awareness of the educational and social importance of regular attendance at school.
  3. The Policy further states that the following might be valid reasons for absence of a learner from school:
    • study leave taken by a grade 12 learner in terms of paragraph 16 of this policy;
    • physical or psychological illness, for which a principal may require communication from the parent that the learner is unable to attend school, or written confirmation by a registered medical practitioner or traditional healer if the illness lasts longer than three days;
    • giving birth, subject to written confirmation by a registered medical practitioner or registered midwife;
    • religious or cultural observances approved by the School Governing Body (SGB) in terms of the National School Calendar Policy;
    • death of a family member;
    • appointment at court, social services or other official agency, for which a principal may require documentary proof;
    • suspension by the SGB;
    • acts of nature (that is, events that are outside of human control);
    • exceptional circumstances for which, in the view of the principal, a temporary absence from school is in the best interest of the learner, or was unavoidable.
  4. Certificates for regular school attendance
    The Principal may apply to the District Office to issue certificates for regular attendance to in October every year.
  5. Exemption from compulsory school attendance
    Parents with children of school-going age may apply for their children to be exempted from compulsory school attendance:

    • Parents must complete the departmental forms, which are available from the District Office’s Education Auxiliary Service (EAS) and from the Early Childhood Development official.
    • In certain cases, learners who are already attending school may seek exemption from school attendance if they:
      • are taking up employment
      • have fallen pregnant
      • wish to marry
      • are terminating school at a special centre where the maximum learning age is 18.
      • The Principal should consult the learner’s parents and staff members closely involved with the learner before discussing the case with the IDSO/DEC.
  6. Admission to hospital school and absence due to hospitalisation.
    • Learners in hospital schools should remain on the registers of their actual schools so that school finances, staff allocation and statistics are not disrupted.
    • The Principal of the hospital school should notify the Principal of the learner’s actual school when the learner is discharged from hospital.
    • The Principal of the learner’s actual school will then resume responsibility for the learner.
  7. Determining the school’s tenth day enrolment
    • These figures are extremely important because they are used to calculate staffing and provisioning figures. It is imperative that they are correct and submitted on time.
    • Only those learners who:
      • are actually present
      • are enrolled for the new year, or
      • are legitimately absent on the tenth school day may be included in the tenth school day count.
    • Learners who were enrolled the previous year, but who have failed to return by the tenth school day, may not be counted unless the Principal can produce written proof that such learners have not been enrolled at other schools, and that they will be returning to the school in question.
    • The Principal should submit the tenth day statistics to the District Office on the forms provided by the District.
    • Any returns concerning staffing allocations should be discussed with the IDSO/DEC and should be completed and returned to the District Office.
    • If the Department finds that a school’s staff allocation or financial allocation was too high due to incorrect tenth day enrolment figures, the Department reserves the right to take action against the Principal.
  8. Daily attendance register
    • School admissions should be recorded in an admission register. School administrative staff should keep the register up to date and complete it according to the instructions provided with the book.
    • When a learner is admitted to school for the first time, the Principal should insist on the submission of a birth certificate, a copy of which is kept by the school.
    • The name and date of birth of every learner indicated on the register should correspond with the information on the learner’s birth certificate.
    • The educators concerned should keep a daily attendance register for every class according to the instructions provided with the register.
    • According to the Policy on Learner Attendance (Government Gazette No. 33150, Notice 361 of 2010), the following should be noted on registers:
      • “Registers are official documents of the PED. The following documents will be used in accordance with this policy:
      • Class register (which includes a temporary class register) maintained by a class teacher;
      • Period register, maintained by a teacher.
      • If a class teacher or teacher is absent, another staff member must mark the class register or period register.
      • A register must be made available to an authorised official of the PED or an authorised judicial officer upon request.”

Also see Chapter 1.3 Developing of Policies