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Chapter 7

GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT

7.1 GOVERNING BODY AND SMT FUNCTIONS AND RELATIONS

7.1.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, Section 18 [SASA]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Guidelines relating to the elections of Governing Bodies of Public Schools [NG EGB]

 

COURT CASE

  • SGB and Grey College Court Case [GREY]

Gauteng

REGULATIONS

  • Governing Body Regulations for Public Schools
    Published under 
    General Notice 786 of 1997 (PG 331, 28 February 1997) as amended by General Notice 1457 of 1997 (PG 35, 6 May 1997) [As amended by General Notice 592 of 2012 (PG 70, 30 March 2012)] [Reference B3 592/2012]

NorthernCape

GUIDELINES

  • NC School Governing Body and School Management Team Activities emanating from Legislative Framework [Reference B7 SGBA]

WesternCape

GUIDELINES

  • WCED Circulars 0014/2008 – Measures relating to Governing Bodies for Public Schools (excluding Public Schools for Learners with Special Education Needs) [Reference B9 0014/2008 & Election of Governing Bodies for all Public Schools Reference B9 0048/2008]
  • Institutional Development and Co-ordination Minute: 0003/2009 [Reference B9 0003/2009]
  • National Guidelines for School Governing Elections [Reference B9 NG SGB]

KwaZulu-Natal

GUIDELINES

  • School Governing Body Manuals [Reference B4 SGBM]

7.1.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Governing Body and SMT Functions and Relationships

    1. The Relationship between Management and Governance
      • The relationship
        Although members of the School Governing Body are elected on a constituency basis (parents elect parents and educators elect educators), once they are elected, they are not representatives of that constituency anymore.  It is their task to govern the school according to the relevant legislation and not to represent certain groups of people involved at the school.  This also applies to the learner members.
        The practical day-to-day management and running of schools is carried out by a team of professional educators (the School Management Team) who have the required knowledge and skills to do so, whilst the task of setting objectives and direction for the school rests with a representative body (the School Governing Body) who also have an oversight role to ensure that the day-to-day management of the school is in accordance with the interests of the whole school community.  The Governing Body also stands in a position of trust towards the school.  This trust creates a duty to act in such a way that it cannot be said that a culpable breach of trust has occurred.  In line with the above, the following two groups will primarily lead the school:

        • School Management Team (SMT)
          This consists of educators who are responsible for implementing policies and running the day-to-day operations of the school.  They may help to formulate policies by contributing insights from their expert knowledge, but such policies must ultimately be adopted by the SGB before they can be implemented.
        • School Governing Body (SGB)
          This consists of representatives of the major stakeholder groups in the school and takes final responsibility for establishing policies and guidelines that will be the basis of the school’s character and operational programme.  They are also responsible for ensuring that such policies are effectively implemented by the SMT.  The SGB may include members who have special expertise that can assist the SMT in operational management, but their primary function remains policy formulation and oversight.  Governance is, therefore, about:

          • setting the course for the school as an organisation through, for example, specific objectives, budgets and policies; and
          • checking that the course is maintained through, for example, regular progress reports.
      • Management is the active process of putting the plans and intentions of governance into operation.
        Neither of these two functions can stand alone.
        The relationship in terms of areas of responsibility:

        Table 7.1
        ROLES OF SMT AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY ROLES OF SGB
        Organise activities that
        support teaching & learningAdminister teacher and learning
        TEACHING AND LEARNING Ensure quality Education

        Decide on school times

         Perform professional functions PROFESSIONAL FUNCTIONS  Support educators, principal & staff in professional functions
         Decide on intra-mural activities CURRICULUM   Decide on extra-mural curriculum & choose subjects
         Decide on what to buy TEXTBOOKS,
        MATERIALS, EQUIPMENT 
        Buy these
        (if school has Section 21 status)
        Perform specific tasks in support of SGB

        Report maladministration and mismanagement to the Head of Department

        Put measures in place to prevent misconduct by staff and SGB

         FINANCIAL PLANNING & MANAGEMENT  Raise / administer funds, control records, prepare budget, collect fees
         Perform specific tasks in support of SGB  PROPERTY, BUILDING &
        GROUNDS
        Control & maintain these assets (schools with Section 21 status)
         Assist in developing a code of conduct for learners MISSION, CODE OF CONDUCT,
        WELFARE 
        Promote school’s best interests / Develop Mission / Adopt Code of Conduct & Constitution / Encourage community
         Manage personnel  PERSONNEL Recommend appointments
        (state employees) &
        employ SGB-paid employees
    2. Functions of the SGB
      The law stipulates the functions which the SGB must perform on behalf of the school.
      The function of individual members of the SGB is to contribute to and execute the functions assigned to the SGB.  The MEC may decide that the governance of two or more public schools may be the responsibility of one SGB if that is in the best interest of the schools concerned.

      • Compulsory functions of the SGB:
        • Promote the best interests of the school and strive to ensure its development through the provision of quality education for all learners.
        • Adopt a constitution.
        • Develop the vision and mission statement of the school and be part of the strategic planning process.
        • Adopt a code of conduct for learners at the school.
        • Support the principal, educators and other staff of the school in the performance of their professional functions.
        • Determine the times of the school day.
        • Determine the school uniform.
        • Recommend the appointment of staff by the State.
        • Appoint SGB-paid staff at the school, where applicable.
        • Encourage parents, educators and learners to render voluntary services to the school.
        • Develop the school’s policy on admissions, language and religious observances.
        • Administer and control the school’s property, grounds and buildings occupied by the school.
        • Suspend learners in certain circumstances after due process.
        • Prepare a budget each year and ensure that all expenditure from school funds is in line with the budget.
        • Enforce the payment of school fees and recover school fees.
        • Appoint an auditor or other suitable person to audit the school’s records and financial statements and to ensure that control measures are in place to safeguard the administration of school funds.
        • Determine and stipulate how the school will promote multi-lingualism.
      • Optional functions of the SGB
        • The SGB may allow the use of school facilities for community, social and school fundraising events.
        • The SGB may affiliate to voluntary associations representing Governing Bodies of public schools.
        • The SGB may establish posts on behalf of the school for educators and non-educators, additional to the educator and non-educator establishment determined by the MEC.
        • Payment of salaries to such educators and non-teaching staff should be determined by the SGB.
        • Staff employed by the school (as distinct from the HoD) must:
          • have a written contract, which must be agreed to and signed by both parties; and
            • This contract should deal with salary matters and other conditions of service and should include a clear job description.
            • The state is not liable for any act or omission by the public school with regard to the school’s contractual responsibility as the employer of educators and non-teaching staff. (Also see Chapter 12)
          • be registered as an educator with the South African Council of Educators (SACE).
        • When employing such staff, the SGB must bear in mind the:
          • ability of the candidate;
          • principle of equity;
          • need to redress past injustices; and
          • need for representation.
    3. Functions of the Principal and the SMT
      • The principal and the SMT are responsible for the implementation of policies agreed on by the SGB and must see to it that all areas in the school function effectively and that people work productively towards achieving the school’s vision and mission.
      • Their professional authority and status will make them responsible for the following management functions including, but not limited to:
        • learner welfare;
        • planning;
        • scheduling;
        • organising;
        • delegating;
        • communicating;
        • controlling; and
        • assuring quality.
      • The South African Schools Act distinguishes the governance functions of the SGB from educators’ professional functions.
        • The SGB determines school policies and the SMT manages the school from day to day and implements policies.
        • The principal holds ultimate responsibility for making sure that the work gets done and she / he can choose how to share that responsibility with other SMT members.
        • The principal’s responsibilities include that of reporting problems to the Head of Department and the SGB.
    4. Preparing and conducting Meetings
      Meetings form a key component of the functioning of Governing Bodies and management teams and need to be properly run.

At Reference C [MEETING] find a memorandum which provides guidelines on all matters relating to the conduct of meetings, including the taking of minutes.

Also see Reference C [MINUTE KEEPING]

7.2 GOVERNANCE

7.2.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, Section 18 (Constitution of Governing Body), 34-43 (Funding of Public Schools), 45-50 (Independent Schools) [SASA]
  • Education White Paper 5 on Early Childhood Development [WP5 ECD]

GUIDELINES

  • Guidelines relating to the election of Governing Bodies of Public Schools, Department of Education [NG EGB]
  • School Governing Body Functionality Tool [NG SGBFT]

POLICIES

  • The National Policy on Whole School Evaluation, Government Gazette, Vol.433, No. 22512 of July 2001 [NP WSE]

FreeState

ACTS

  • Free State School Education Act 2 of 2000 [Reference B2 FS EDACT]

GUIDELINES

  • Free State Planning for School Development and Improvement [Reference B2 FSDEV]
    (See Important Notes after 7.2.2 Paragraph r)

Gauteng

REGULATIONS

  • Gauteng Province:  Governing Body Regulations for Public Schools – published under General Notice 786 of 1997 (PG 331, 28 February 1997) as amended by General Notice 1457 of 1997 (PG 354, 6 May 1997) [As amended by General Notice 592 of 2012 (PG 70, 30 March 2012)] [Reference B3 592/2012]

GUIDELINES

  • Determination of Guidelines for Establishment, Election and Functions of Students’ Representative Councils of Learners – published under General Notice 1059 of 1997 (PG 342, 24 March 1997) [with effect from 24 March 1997] [Reference B3 1059/1997]
  • Gauteng Provincial Government, Department of Education: Five Year Strategic Plan 2015-2020 [Reference B3 5YR STRATEGIC]

CIRCULAR

  • Planning, Reporting and Accountability Framework for Public Schools (SIP), Circular 09/2016 of 17 October 2016 [Reference B3 09/2016]

KwaZulu-Natal

CIRCULAR

  • KZN Circular No 31 of 2009, dated 24 March 2009: Application for Liquor and occasional Permits [Reference B4 31/2009]
  • KZN Provincial Notice 119 of 2017, Notice relating to election of members of governing bodies for public ordinary schools (excluding schools for learners with special education needs) [Reference B4 119/2017]
  • KZN Provincial notice 118 of 2017 composition and election of governing bodies of of public schools for learners with special education needs [Reference B4 118/2017]

Mpumalanga

POLICY

  • Mpumalanga Department of Education: Grade R Early Childhood Development Policy, of 2011 [Reference B6 MP ECD]

NorthWest

ACTS

  • North West Schools Education Act 3 of 1998 [Reference B8 NW EDACT 3/1998]

GUIDELINES

  • Regulations relating to the Election and Governance of Governing Bodies of Public Schools – Provincial Notice of 2012  Provincial Gazette 7407 of 25 February 2015 [Reference B8 ESGB]

NorthernCape

REGULATIONS

  • Notice 35 of 2017 – Regulations for the Elections of and Determination for the Constitution of a School Governing Body (24 Apr. 2017) [Reference B7 35/2017]
  • Notice 166 of 2017 Amendment of the School Governing Body Regulations (27 November 2017) [Rerefence B7 166/2017]

 

GUIDELINES

  • NC Administrative Calendar for School Governors [Reference B7 ADMIN CAL]
  • NC SGB Election Regulations Data Form [Reference B7 SGB ERD]
  • NC SGB Functionality Kit [Reference B7 SGB FKIT]
  • NC SGB Legislative Compliance Activities [Reference B7 SGB LCOMP and Reference B7 SGB ACTIV]

WesternCape

ACTS

  • Western Cape Provincial Schools Education Act [Reference B9 WCPS ED ACT]
    • Also note important additional Aspects of the Western Cape Regulations on Governing Body Elections after 7.2.2 Paragraph r

7.2.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Governance

  1. Governance or Governing implies:
    • setting the course or giving direction;
    • governance of the school thus implies setting the course for the school as an organisation through objectives, policies, budgets, etc; and
    • checking that the course is maintained through regular reports from the principal, SMT and official SGB committees.
  2. The Stakeholder Groups in School Governance are:
    • the Department of Education;
    • the parents;
    • SGB;
    • the principal and School Management Team (SMT);
    • educators;
    • learners;
    • labour unions; and
    • the wider community.
  3. The Composition of the SGB (SASA Section 23) are:
    • elected members;
    • parents;
    • educators;
    • non-teaching staff;
    • learners (grade 8 and above);
    • ex-officio member (i.e. the principal); and
    • co-opted members. (no voting rights) – The two categories are:
    • up to six additional persons because of their particular expertise (no voting rights); and
    • additional members with voting rights (when a vacancy occurs for an elected parent member of an SGB during the elected period a person may be co-opted for a maximum of 90 days, during which time a by-election must be held).
  4. Additional Categories added to SGBs at Schools for Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN) are:
    • representatives of sponsoring bodies, if applicable;
    • representatives of organisations of parents of learners with special education needs, if applicable;
    • representatives of organisations of disabled persons, if applicable;
    • disabled persons, if applicable; and
    • experts in appropriate fields of special needs education.
  5. Sub-committees of the SGB
    Compulsary Committees Optional Committees
    Executive Committee Fundraising Committee
    Finance Committee Sports Committee
    Disciplinary Committee Grounds and School Building Committee
    Interview Committee
    (if posts are to be filled)
    Health and Safety Committee
    A Hostel Committee
    (where applicable)
    Etc
  6. Size of the SGB
    • SASA and / or national policy do not prescribe the size of a SGB, except that the Act determines in Section 23 that the number of parent members must be one more than the combined total of other members with voting rights, and that if the number of parents is smaller, parents must be co-opted with voting rights. The MEC in a province might provide additional directives concerning the number of members in each category.  The following is an example taken from a specific province:
      Number of Members to be elected for each component of the SGB
      School Principal Educators Parents Non-educator staff Learners Total
      Primary School
      <160 learners
      1 1 4 1 0 7
      Primary School
      160 to 719
      learners
      1 2 5 1 0 9
      Primary School
      720 or more
      learners
      1 3 6 1 0 11
      Secondary School
      <630 learners
      1 2 7 1 2 13
      Secondary School
      630 or more
      learners
      1 3 9 1 3 17
      Comprehensive or
      Combined School
      <500 learners
      1 2 7 1 2 13
      Comprehensive or
      Combined School
      500 or more
      learners
      1 3 9 1 3 17
    • In the case of Public Schools for Learners with Special Needs, the MEC of the Province must by notice in the Provincial Gazette, determine the number of members in each category and the manner of election or appointment of such members (SASA Section 24).
      The following table is an example taken from a province:

      Schools for LSENNumber of Members to be elected for each component of the SGB
      School Principal Educator Parents Non-educator staff Learners or Care Workers Sponsoring Body Total
      Primary School
      <150 learners
      1 2 6 1 0 1 11
      Primary School >150 learners 1 3 7 1 0 1 13
      Secondary School
      <150 learners
      1 2 7 1 1 1 13
      Secondary School
      >150 learners
      1 3 9 1 2 1 17
      Comprehensive or
      Combined School
      <150
      1 3 9 1 2 1 17
      Comprehensive or
      Combined School
      >150 learners
      1 2 8 1 2 1 15
      Place of Safety 1 1 1 1 1 0 5
    • Free State and Western Cape formulae for the calculation of the number of members of the Governing Body see below in provincial sections.
  7. SGB Constitution
    • The Governing Body of a public school must function in terms of a constitution which complies with minimum requirements determined by the MEC.
    • This constitution must provide for:
      • a meeting of the Governing Body at least once every school term;
      • meetings of the Governing Body with parents, learners, educators and other staff at the school, respectively, at least once a year;
      • recording and keeping of minutes of Governing Body meetings;
      • making available such minutes for inspection by the Head of Department; and
      • rendering a report on its activities to parents, learners, educators and other staff of the school at least once a year.
    • The Governing Body must submit a copy of its constitution to the Head of Department within 90 days of its election.
  8. Financial Matters (Also see Chapter 6)
    • Duties and functions of Governing Bodies relating to school funds and assets
      A Governing Body of a school shall:

      • strive to raise funds including voluntary contributions to the school;
      • establish a school fund and administer it;
      • pay all money received by a school, including school fees and voluntary contributions, into the school fund;
      • open and maintain a banking account;
      • apply all money or goods donated or bequeathed in accordance with the conditions of such donation, bequest or trust; and
        • only use the school funds, all proceeds thereof and any assets of the school for:
        • educational purposes, at or in connection with the school;
        • educational purposes, at or in connection with another school, by agreement with such other school and with the consent of the Head of the Department;
        • the performance of the duties and functions of the Governing Body; or
        • another educational purpose agreed between the Governing Body and the Head of Department.
    • Duties of Governing Bodies relating to school budget
      A Governing Body of a school shall:

      • establish budget priorities and prepare a budget each year; and
      • present the budget, before it is approved by the Governing Body, to a meeting of parents convened in accordance with Regulation 38 and 39 for consideration and approval by a majority of parents.
    • Duties and functions of Governing Bodies relating to school fees
      A Governing Body of a school may:

      • charge fees at a school in accordance with a resolution adopted by a majority of the parents present at a meeting contemplated in Regulation 50(b) of SASA if such resolution provides for:
        • the amount of fees to be charged; and
        • equitable criteria and procedures for the total, partial or conditional exemption of parents who are unable to pay school fees;
      • enforce by process of law the payment of school fees by parents who are liable to pay such fees.
    • Duties of Governing Bodies relating to financial records and statements
      A Governing Body of a school shall:

      • keep records of funds received and spent by the school and of its assets, liabilities and financial transactions; and
      • as soon as practicable, but not later than three months after the end of each financial year, draw up financial statements for the school which indicate money received, expenditure incurred by the school during the year, and its assets and liabilities at the end of the financial year concerned
    • Duties of Governing Bodies relating to audit or examination of financial records and statements
      A Governing Body of a school shall:

      • ensure that the records and financial statements are audited or examined in terms of SASA;
      • submit to the Head of Department, within six months after the end of each financial year, a copy of the audited annual financial statements; and
      • at the request of an interested person, make available for inspection the records and the audited or examined statements.
  9. Representative Council of Learners (RCL) (Also see Chapter 10.4)
    • The RCL is the official body representing learners in a secondary school (grade 8 and higher).
    • According to Section 11 (1) of the SA Schools Act, all public schools enrolling learners in Grade 8 and higher must establish RCLs.
    • Section 23 (4) of the same Act determines that the RCL should elect learner representatives to serve on the School Governing Body.
    • Composition: The RCL consists of democratically elected learners from each grade (one girl and one boy per grade in a co-educational school), whose duty it is to convey learners’ viewpoints to the school administration, the SGB and the public.
    • The principal should appoint an educator to handle RCL matters and should check that all council members attend and receive training programmes. Possible training modules which can be considered are:
      • roles and functions of RCLs;
      • leadership;
      • planning;
      • developing a constitution;
      • code of conduct;
      • communications; and
      • conflict management.
    • The RCL is the only official voice for learners’ concerns at the school.
  10. School Improvement Plan (SIP) and School Development Plan (SDP)
    • School Improvement Plan (SIP)
      • The executive authority for the professional management of schools is vested in the principal, supported by the School Governing Body (SGB).
      • The principal may delegate to an appointee or nominee from the staff certain functions, including quality management matters, whenever the need arises. Against this background, the principal will be responsible for:
        • carrying out an internal evaluation of the school in line with the requirements of the National Policy and Guidelines on Whole-school Evaluation;
        • co-operating with the evaluation team, especially by providing interviews at appropriate times;
        • This also applies to members of the SGB who may be available during an evaluation.
        • identifying an evaluation co-ordinator to liaise with the evaluation team during a whole-school evaluation exercise;
        • The co-ordinator will participate in the evaluation process by attending evaluation team meetings in order to help the team interpret evidence and to clarify any uncertainties.  The co-ordinator will not be part of decision-making when the evaluation of the school’s performance is made.
        • granting full access to school records, policies, reports and other documents, including those of the SGB, during external evaluations conducted by the supervisory units;
        • producing, in collaboration with the support services and the SGB, a School Improvement Plan in response to recommendations made in the evaluation report within four weeks of receipt of the written evaluation report;
        • Full consultation with all stakeholders must be part of this process.
        • sending the SIP to the District Head for approval and working with professional support service members assigned to the school in order to implement it;
        • implementing the SIP within the stipulated time frames; and
        • informing parents and other stakeholders, such as the SGB, about the intended evaluation and distributing a written summary of the main conclusions and recommendations of the recent evaluation within one week of its arrival at the school.
        • Where appropriate, principals should follow this by disseminating information in other ways within two weeks of receiving the report.
      • Improvement strategies
        • In the case of individual schools, the professional support service must link up with the senior management team, the staff and the SGB in order to support the implementation of the quality improvement strategies recommended by the supervisors and identified in the school’s improvement plan.
        • The professional support service must support schools by helping them to produce a coherent, overall plan of action to address the improvement needs articulated by both the school self-evaluation and the external evaluation report of the supervisors.
        • The professional support service is responsible for retrieving key information from the reports of different schools in a district in order to plan the support and professional development required. This should lead to the provision of an integrated training programme that can be delivered in co-operation with other schools and other role-players, such as teacher centres, colleges of education, technikons, universities, teacher unions and NGOs.
        • School evaluation reports and improvement plans should naturally lead to district, provincial and national improvement plans that address areas needing improvement within specified time frames.
        • In addition, reports will include observations made regarding developmental appraisal strategies, professional growth plans and reports.
          • On the one hand, these reports form the basis for future reviews and serve as an important tool for self-evaluation at all levels within provinces and the country.
          • On the other hand, they will be used to highlight elements of good education practice in schools and those that require attention.
    • School Development Plan
    • School Improvement Plan (SIP)
      The purpose of the School Improvement Plan (SIP) is to improve the capacity of any aspect of the school as decided by school management together with the SGB.  It should focus on the aims and values of the school.

      • The executive authority for the professional management of schools is vested in the principal, supported by the School Governing Body (SGB).
      • The principal may delegate to an appointee or nominee from the staff certain functions, including quality management matters, whenever the need arises. Against this background, the principal will be responsible for:
        • carrying out an internal evaluation of the school in line with the requirements of the National Policy and Guidelines on Whole-school Evaluation: this will include setting up an evaluation team;
        • identifying an evaluation co-ordinator to liaise with the evaluation team during a whole-school evaluation exercise. The co-ordinator will participate in the evaluation process by attending evaluation team meetings in order to help the team interpret evidence and to clarify any uncertainties. The co-ordinator will not be part of decision-making when the evaluation of the school’s performance is made;
        • co-operating with the evaluation team, especially by providing interviews at appropriate times.
          This also applies to members of the SGB;
        • granting full access to school records, policies, reports and other documents, including those of the SGB, during external evaluations conducted by the supervisory units;
        • producing, in collaboration with the support services and the SGB, a School Improvement Plan in response to recommendations made in the evaluation report within four weeks of receipt of the written evaluation report;
          Full consultation with all stakeholders must be part of this process.
        • sending the SIP to the District Head for approval and working with professional support service members assigned to the school in order to implement it;
        • implementing the SIP within the stipulated time frames; and
        • informing parents and other stakeholders, such as the SGB, about the intended evaluation and distributing a written summary of the main conclusions and recommendations of the recent evaluation within one week of its arrival at the school.
          Where appropriate, principals should follow this by disseminating information in other ways within two weeks of receiving the report.
      • Improvement strategies
        • In the case of individual schools, the professional support service must link up with the senior management team, the staff and the SGB in order to support the implementation of the quality improvement strategies recommended by the supervisors and identified in the school’s improvement plan.
        • The professional support service must support schools by helping them to produce a coherent, overall plan of action to address the improvement needs articulated by both the school self-evaluation and the external evaluation report of the supervisors.
        • The professional support service is responsible for retrieving key information from the reports of different schools in a district in order to plan the support and professional development required. This should lead to the provision of an integrated training programme that can be delivered in co-operation with other schools and other role-players, such as teacher centres, technikons, universities, teacher unions and NGOs.
        • School evaluation reports and improvement plans should naturally lead to district, provincial and national improvement plans that address areas needing improvement within specified time frames.
        • In addition, reports will include observations made regarding developmental appraisal strategies, professional growth plans and reports.
          • On the one hand, these reports form the basis for future reviews and serve as an important tool for self-evaluation at all levels within provinces and the country.
          • On the other hand, they will be used to highlight elements of good education practice in schools and those that require attention.
      • School Development Plan
        The purpose of the School Development Plan (SDP) is to improve the capacity of a school.  It should focus on the aims and values of the school.

        • The purpose of the School Development Plan is to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the school.
        • It gives direction to the school and community.
        • Some of the reasons why the SDP is useful are that it:
          • helps the school to focus on improving learner progress and achievement;
          • helps the school to achieve its mission and aims;
          • can help the principal manage the curriculum;
          • provides an opportunity for the principal, School Governing Body, staff, learners and parents to participate in the development of the school in a co-ordinated manner;
          • helps the team to focus on common goals;
          • provides learners and educators with learning targets;
          • links staff development to school curriculum development; and
          • provides clear information about strengths, weaknesses and the priorities of the school.
        • What the SDP should contain
          The plan should contain all the important information about the school.  This includes:

          • the school’s vision and mission statement;
          • the school’s aims which should relate to the vision and mission of the school;
          • a situation analysis and description of the context of the school and its community;
          • the school’s priorities, which have been arrived at through a strategic session with all the stakeholders;
          • action plans for the first year of the plan; and
          • the plan should focus on at least the following key areas to enhance whole school development:
            • basic functionality of the school;
            • leadership, management and communication;
            • governance and relationships;
            • quality of teaching and learning and teacher development;
            • curriculum provision and resources;
            • learner achievement;
            • school safety, security and discipline;
            • school infrastructure; and
            • parents and community.
  11. Merger of Public Schools
    • The Member of the Executive Council may merge two or more public schools into a single school.
      Before merging two or more public schools the MEC must:

      • give written notice to the schools in question of the intention to merge them;
      • publish a notice giving reasons for the proposed merger in one or two newspapers in the area of the schools;
      • give the SGBs of the schools and any other interested persons an opportunity to make representations within a period of not less than 90 days from the date of notice;
      • consider such representations; and
      • be satisfied that the employers of staff at the public schools have complied with their obligations in terms of applicable labour law.
    • If one or more of the schools that are to be merged are public schools on private property, the MEC must also:
      • notify the owner of the private property of his or her intention to merge the school in question;
      • consider his or her contractual obligations in terms of the agreement contemplated in SASA, Chapter 3, Section 14;
      • renegotiate his or her obligations in terms of the existing agreement, if necessary; and
      • negotiate a new agreement in terms of Section 14 if the single school is to be situated on private property.
    • The single “merged” school must be regarded as a public school.
    • All assets, liabilities, rights and obligations of the schools that are to be merged must be vested in the single school.
    • The Governing Bodies of the schools that are merged must have a meeting before the merger to constitute a single interim Governing Body comprising all the members of the Governing Bodies concerned. The interim Governing Body must decide on the budget and differences in codes of conduct and school fees, as well as any issue that is relevant to the merger until a new Governing Body is constituted.
    • The Governing Body of a public school to be merged may appeal to the Minister against the decision.
  12. Status of Public Schools
    • Every public school is a juristic person, with legal capacity to perform its functions in terms of the South African Schools Act.
    • The governance of every public school is vested in its Governing Body.
    • A Governing Body stands in a position of trust towards the school.
    • The professional management of a school must be undertaken by the principal under the authority of the Head of Department.
  13. Independent School Matters
    • Establishment of independent school
      • Any person may, at his or her own cost, establish an independent school.
    • Admission age to independent school
      • The admission age of a learner to an independent school for:
        • grade R is age four turning five by 30 June in the year of admission; and
        • grade 1 is age five turning six by 30 June in the year of admission.
      • An independent school may admit a learner who is under-age if good cause is shown and complies with the criteria below. (Good cause means that it can be shown that exceptional circumstances exist which necessitate the admission of an under-age learner because admission would be in his or her best interest and refusal would be detrimental to his or her development.)
      • The Minister may, by regulation, prescribe criteria for the admission to an independent school at an age lower than the admission age of an under-age learner who complies with the criteria and age requirements for different grades at an independent school.
    • Registration of independent school
      • No person may establish or maintain an independent school unless it is registered by the Head of Department.
      • A Head of Department must register an independent school if he or she is satisfied that the standards to be maintained by such schools will not be inferior to the standards in comparable public schools; the admission policy of the school does not discriminate on the grounds of race; and the school complies with the requirements for registration.
    • Subsidies granted to registered independent schools
      • The Minister may determine norms and minimum standards for the granting of subsidies to independent schools after consultation with the Council of Education Ministers and the Financial and Fiscal Commission and with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance.
    • Declaration of independent school as public school
      • The MEC may, with the concurrence of the Member of the Executive council responsible for finance, enter into an agreement with the owner of an independent school in terms whereof such independent school is declared to be a public school.
      • Notice of the change of status must be published in the Provincial Gazette.
    • Duties of the MEC relating to independent schools
      The MEC must determine requirements for:

      • the admission of learners of an independent school to examinations conducted by or under the supervision of the Education Department;
      • the keeping of registers and other documents by an independent school;
      • criteria of eligibility, conditions and manner of payment of any subsidy to an independent school; and
      • any other matter relating to an independent school which must or may be prescribed in terms of
      • SASA.
  14. Early Childhood Development (ECD): Policy, Procedures and allocation of Grade R-sites to Schools
    • Defining Early Childhood Development
      • Early Childhood Development (ECD) refers to a comprehensive approach to policies and programmes for children from birth to admission into Grade 1 with the active participation of their parents and caregivers.
      • Its purpose is to protect the child’s rights to develop his or her full cognitive, emotional, social and physical potential.
      • Consistent with the White Paper 1 on Education and Training (1995) and the Interim Policy for Early Childhood Development (1996), we define Early Childhood Development (ECD) as an umbrella term that applies to the processes by which children from birth to admission into Grade 1 grow and thrive, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, morally and socially.
      • This conveys the importance of an integrated approach to child development and signifies an appreciation of the importance of considering a child’s health, nutrition, education, psycho-social and additional environmental factors within the context of the family and the community. It is consistent with an understanding of the developmental process of the child.
      • Community-based services that meet the needs of infants and young children are vital to ECD and they should include attention to health, nutrition, physical development, curriculum and water and environmental sanitation in homes and communities. This approach promotes and protects the rights of the young to survival, growth and development.
      • Since Early Childhood Development services do not fall neatly into any one government department or level of government or sector, the needs and indivisible rights of the young child span the areas of health, nutrition, a safe environment and psychosocial and cognitive development. This will, therefore, require the Department to put in place an integrated, cross-sectoral approach and plan across government departments and involve civil society organisations, the corporate sector, religious organisations, non-governmental organisations, parents, children and adolescents.
      • In order to meet the challenges that the Department lay out in this White Paper, they shall make every effort to create, find and allocate the resources that are necessary to fund adequately ECD as the first essential step in ensuring the rights of the child.
    • Policy recommendations made in the Final Report of the National ECD Pilot Project.
      • The Grade R should be made compulsory for admission into Grade 1, and its provision should be phased in over a five-year period.
      • A combination of Grade R classes should be offered at primary schools and community-based sites within a new public system of Grade R provision.
      • The Government should be requested to fund the implementation of a public system of Grade R provision, and the following matters will require attention:
        • Provincial ECD budgets should be ring-fenced and ECD should become one of the key programmes of the national and the provincial departments of education.
        • Should the government opt to subsidise ECD salaries then the issue of who is the employer of ECD practitioners should be clarified. Should it be decided that the provincial departments of education would become the employers, it would be important to comply with the Basic Conditions of the Employment Act, which requires that employers provide their staff with contracts and comply with the minimum monthly wage requirements.
        • Furthermore, should the provincial departments of education become the employers of these ECD practitioners, practitioners should be required to register with the South African Council of Educators and be represented at the Education Labour Relations Council.
        • The mechanism created to accredit practitioners should be developed further, particularly the area of elective credits, and should be incorporated into a career path for non-formally trained practitioners.
    • Three models of provision of Grade R and earlier
      The Department of Education proposes the establishment of a national system of Grade R provision that shall comprise of three types, namely:

      • Grade R programmes within the public primary school system;
      • Grade R programmes within community-based sites; and
      • independent provision of Grade R programmes.
    • Grade R and earlier programmes within the public primary school system
      • The Department’s first priority is that all public primary schools should become the sites for the provision of accredited Grade R programmes.
      • With some additional investment in building rehabilitation to accommodate the learning, extra-curricular and safety requirements of the Grade R, they believe that their 23 000 strong primary school system provides wide access and coverage of the country.
      • This will mean that the current state of provision of the Grade R will undergo dramatic change, from a system that is approximately 75 per cent privately funded to one that is approximately 75 per cent publicly funded.
      • In putting forward this proposal, the Department of Education is confident that parents, families and communities will not simply reduce by an equivalent amount the levels of private investment they currently make in ECD, but will instead refocus at least part of their funds on ECD services.
      • Thus, the proposal is that the Grade R will be mostly provided in public schools. Schools will be encouraged to do so through the proposed subsidy mechanism described below.  However, the fact that the Grade R will be subsidised more than is currently the case will encourage School Governing Bodies to provide coverage for earlier grades, but on a private-fee basis, except in the case of children orphaned (e.g. by AIDS), where the proposed subsidy mechanism would be extended as far down the age scale as possible.
      • School Governing Bodies of primary schools that respond effectively to the ECD challenge outlined in this White Paper will be provided with grants-in-aid by Provincial Departments of Education to establish accredited Grade R programmes. These grants will be fully poverty-targeted and the aim is that the children of the poorest 40 per cent of families will receive the highest per capita level of grants-in-aid.
  15. Managing Diversity in Schools (Multi-cultural Schools)
    • Because of demographic changes that are currently happening in South Africa, the composition of the learning population of many schools is changing substantially.  This requires School Management and School Governing Bodies to adapt their approach to the management of the school accordingly.
    • Chapter 7.4 provides comprehensive guidelines in this regard.
  16. Capacity Building
    SASA as amended by the Basic Education Laws Amendment Act in Section 19 (3) determines that the Head of Department may request a Governing Body Association to assist with the development of a Government Body’s capacity to perform its functions and responsibilities.
  17. Membership of a Governing Body Association
    SASA in Section 19 (3) (d) determines that the norms and standards for school funding must include criteria for granting a Governing Body an allocation towards membership of a recognised Governing Body Association.
  18. Code of Conduct
    The MEC must by notice in the Provincial Gazette, determine a code of conduct which the members of a Governing Body must adhere to.  This must be done after consultations with Associations of Governing Bodies in the relevant provinces (SASA Section 18A).

FreeState

Formulae for the calculation of the number of members of the Governing Body

  • At a school:
    • which does not enrol learners in the eighth grade or higher, there must be no learner members and the number of parent members must be reduced by the number of learner members, as set out in the table below, and the total number of members must be reduced accordingly;
    • where no non-educators are employed, the number of parent members, as set out in the table below, must be reduced by one and the total number of members must be reduced accordingly; and
    • with less than three educators, the principal must also represent the educators of the school and the number of parent members, as set out in the table below, must be reduced by one and the total number of members must be reduced accordingly.
  • Under all circumstances, the number of parent members must comprise one more than the combined total of the other members of a Governing Body who have voting rights.
  • Whenever a category which did not exist at the time when a Governing Body was constituted becomes relevant, a by-election must be held to fill such vacancy and to increase the number of parent representatives in accordance to the paragraph directly above.
Categories of members Number of learners at the school
Less than 300 300–900 More than 900
Parents 5 7 9
Learners 1 2 3
Educators 1 2 3
Non-educators 1 1 1
Principal 1 1 1
Total number of members 9 13 17

WesternCape

    • The Electoral Officer must be a principal at another school.
    • Notices of the election meeting must go out by mail 30 days ahead of the meeting, or by handing them to learners 14 days before the meeting, or by using a combination of these two methods.
    • The election of educator, non-educator and learner members must occur before the main election meeting for parent members.
    • Number of members
      • in secondary schools are:
      • 7 parent members;
      • 2 educator members;
      • 1 non-educator member;
      • 2 learners in Grade 8 or above;
      • the principal; and
      • up to 6 co-opted members without voting rights, co-opted for their expertise.
    • in primary schools are:
      • 5 parent members;
      • 2 educator members;
      • 1 non-educator member;
      • the principal; and
      • up to 6 co-opted members without voting rights, co-opted for their expertise.
    • in LSEN schools are:
      • 7 parent members;
      • 2 educator members;
      • 1 non-educator member;
      • 2 learners in grade 8 or above: The representative council of learners must elect these members.
      • one member representing all sponsoring bodies, if applicable: the sponsoring bodies must submit at least three nominations in order of preference to the Member of the Executive Council via the principal of the school for the appointment of this member;
      • one member representing all organisations of parents of learners with special education needs, if applicable: this person shall be appointed by the Member of the Executive Council from a list of three candidates in order of preference via the principal of the school;
      • one member representing all organisations for disabled persons, if applicable: this person shall be appointed by the Member of the Executive Council from a list of three candidates in order of preference via the principal of the school;
      • one disabled person, if applicable: this person shall be appointed by the Member of the Executive council from a list of three candidates in order of preference via the principal of the school;
      • one expert in an appropriate field of special education needs: this person shall be designated by the Head of Department;
      • the principal; and
      • an unspecified number of co-opted members without voting rights, co-opted for their expertise.

NB:   A resolution of the Governing Body is not invalid if, for any reason, any of the members referred to above are not represented on the Governing Body.

  • Office bearers
    • At least a chair, secretary and treasurer;
    • chair must be an elected parent member – other office-bearers’ categories unspecified; and
    • term of office is one year, but may be re-elected on termination of term of office.
  • Disqualification of Members of a Governing Body
    A person shall be ineligible to be elected or appointed as a member of a Governing Body if he or she:

    • has at any time been convicted of an offence for which he / she was sentenced to imprisonment, without the option of a fine, for a period exceeding six months, or if he or she has not yet served his or her full period of imprisonment, unless he or she has received a free pardon or the period of his or her imprisonment has expired at least three years prior to the date of his or her election as a member of such body;
    • is mentally ill and has been so declared by a competent court;
    • is an unrehabilitated insolvent; or
    • in the case of a parent member, does not have a child enrolled as a learner at the school concerned.
  • Term of office of Members of Governing Body
    • The term of office of a member of a Governing Body who is not a learner shall be three years effective from a date determined by the Head of Department, provided that the term of office of a member who is a learner shall be one year and provided further that the Head of Department may at any time remove a member from office for reasons he or she deems to be sufficient.
    • If a person elected as a member of a Governing Body ceases to fall within the category in respect of which he or she was elected as a member he or she ceases to be a member of the Governing Body.
  • Franchise
    • Every parent having one or more learners enrolled at a school, shall be entitled to vote at the election of the parent members of the Governing Body of such school and only such parents will be admitted to the voting hall.
    • Any person who is entitled to vote, shall have one vote in respect of each candidate, with a maximum number of votes equal to the number of members to be elected.
  • Electoral Officer
    • The Head of Department appoints a principal of a school or other officer in writing as the electoral officer to conduct the nomination and election, as the case may be, of parent, educator and non-educator members referred to in measure 2 (1) (a), (b) and (c) to a Governing Body provided that a principal may not act as electoral officer for the nomination or election of members of the Governing Body of the school of which he or she is the principal.
    • The electoral officer may appoint one or more persons to assist at an election.
    • The electoral officer shall preside at any meeting held for the purpose of an election of a Governing Body.
  • Date, time and place of nomination and election meeting of:
    • Parent Members
      • The electoral officer determines a date, time and place for a nomination and election meeting and informs the principal in writing thereof.
      • The election of parent members is preceded by the election of other components of the Governing Body.
      • In the case of a new school, the nomination and election meeting shall be held not later than 30 days after the establishment of such a school.
    • Other members
      • The Member of the Executive Council may allow deviations from the requirement that the election of other components of the Governing Body must be elected before the parent members, to the extent that it is reasonably required in the circumstances of a given case.
  • Casual vacancies in a Governing Body
    A casual vacancy shall occur in a Governing Body if a member:

    • resigns;
    • dies;
    • is absent from three consecutive meetings without the permission of the Governing Body;
    • becomes ineligible as referred to in measures above; or
    • has been removed from office by the HOD.
  • Whenever a casual vacancy occurs in:
    • a Governing Body composed in terms of measures for LSEN schools where the HoD appoints members, the Head of Department shall forthwith appoint an eligible person in the vacancy; and
    • in all other cases, the Governing Body shall fill such a vacancy, by co-option with voting rights for a maximum period of 90 days, during which period the vacancy is to be filled by means of a by-election which follows in all respects the procedures required in a full election.
    • This member’s term of office runs for the unexpired period of the term of office of his or her predecessor.

Also see Chapter 1.3 Developing of Policies

7.3 MANAGEMENT

7.3.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, Section 18 [SASA]
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Guidelines relating to the elections of Governing Bodies of Public Schools [NG EGB]
  • Guide to Drug Testing in South African Schools [NG DT]
  • Personnel Administration Measures [PAM]

EasternCape

ACTS

  • Eastern Cape Schools Education Act [Reference B1 EC ED ACT]
  • Eastern Cape Schools Education Amendment Act [Reference B1 EC ED ACT AMENDED]

NorthernCape

GUIDELINES

  • NC Administrative Calendar for School Management Teams [Reference B7 NC MCAL]

WesternCape

ACT

  • Western Cape Provincial Schools Education Act [Reference B9 WCPS ED ACT]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Notice 1059 of 1997: Guidelines for the Establishment, Election and Functions of Student Representative Councils  [Reference B9 1059/1997]

 

CIRCULAR

  • WCED Institutional Development and Co-ordination Minute 002/2009 – ending of School Day during the End-of-year Assessment and / or Examination Period [Reference B9 0002/2009]

7.3.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Management

The South African Schools Act determines that the professional management of a public school must be undertaken by the principal under the authority of the Head of Department.  He / she is expected to form a School Management Team (SMT) made up of senior level staff. See also Reference List C [PRINCIPALS]

  1. The Management Functions of the Principal
    It is the task of the principal, together with the SMT, to put into practice the policies that are agreed upon by the SGB.  Thus, their management functions will include Planning, Scheduling, Organising, Delegating, Communicating, Controlling and Quality assurance.

    • Financial Management
      SASA as amended by the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill No. 15 of 2011 in Section 16A(i) states that the principal must take all reasonable steps to prevent any financial mismanagement or maladministration by any staff member or by the Governing Body of the school (see 6.1.2(d)).
    • Planning
      In a school setup we can distinguish between two types of planning.  Planning that focuses on the day-to-day operations of the school is called operational planning while planning that is concerned with the future of the school is called development planning.

      • Typical operational planning actions are:
        • daily planning by the principal;
        • planning for each term;
        • things that should be done before schools close at the end of the last term;
        • planning for the first week of the new academic year;
        • class actions for the first school day; and
        • curriculum planning for the new academic year.
    • Scheduling / timetabling
      Timetabling includes the following planning actions:

      • the instructional offerings of the school; and
      • planning the master timetable and time allocations:
        • subject groupings and combinations;
        • forming class groups;
        • working out the number of periods per subject and per grade;
        • allocating subjects / learning areas to educators;
        • drawing up a subject allocating grid;
        • information for developing the master timetable, like number of periods per subject per grade, number of periods per day, etc;
        • plotting the timetable; and
        • communicating the timetable.
    • Organising
      • Organisational structures
      • Professional management structures
        • the Principal; and
        • the School Governing Body:
          • executive committee; and
          • finance committee; etc.
      • The School Management Team
        • Principal;
        • Deputy-Principal; and
        • Heads of Department
      • Learner structures
        • Learner representative council
          • sports committee;
          • cultural committee; and
          • scholar patrol; etc.
      • Parent structures:
        • fundraising committee; and
        • facilities committee; etc.
    • Delegating
      • Principles underlying delegation
        • Person to whom delegated should have potential to perform the task.
        • The task to be delegated should be in line with the position held by the person.
        • Delegated task not to be delegated to someone else.
        • There should be deadlines.
        • The delegated person may co-opt.
        • Assistance and guidance should be given.
        • Regular feedback should be given to principal.
        • Some tasks not to be delegated. (interviews with officials, financial matters, etc.)
      • Tasks that can be delegated
        • timetable;
        • inventories;
        • tuckshop;
        • grade co-ordinator;
        • learning area / subject co-ordinator;
        • cultural activities;
        • co- and extra-curricular activities;
        • co-ordination of Representative Council of Learners (RCL); and
        • stores; etc.
    • Communicating
      • Meetings (See Reference C MINUTE KEEPING)
      • Communication with the SGB
        • weekly contact with the Chairperson; and
        • sound interpersonal relations with the members of the SGB
      • Communication with the Educators
        • SMT meetings;
        • staff interviews;
        • staff meetings; and
        • formal correspondence
      • Communication with the Learners
        • assemblies; and
        • individual interviews with learners
      • Communication with the non-teaching staff
        • regular formal and informal communication
      • Communication with the Parents
      • Communication with the Department of Education
        • open channels with the District Office; and
        • all communication via District Director
      • Communication with the Teacher Unions
        • communication with different unions; and
        • site stewards
      • Communication with other stakeholders:
        • communication with sponsors, NGOs, tertiary institutions, etc.
  2. Efficient and responsible Management and use of Time
    • (Also see “The management functions of the Principal” above)
    • Key principles of time management for principals. (Source: How do you spend your time? – Melissa Raffoni, Harvard Business Review)
      Essentially managing time, like any other problem, requires mastering the principles of analysing, prioritising and organising.

      • Analysing
        The key to good time management is to understand how you are currently using and wasting your time.  Take a look at your previous week’s calendar:  What did you spend your time and efforts on?  Perhaps it shows that you tend to get stuck on small, administrative issues, while important tasks are neglected?  Where did you lose precious hours as a result of distractions, or interruptions?
        Another handy way to study your use of time is to keep a time log of your week and to write down what you do during every 30 minutes of the workday.
        You may be surprised to note that you spend valuable hours of your day on your e-mail, or finishing tasks that are not necessarily the most important.  Look closely at this log – does the amount of time you spend on a certain task, match the importance thereof?
      • Prioritising
        One of the simplest ways to manage your time at work is to make a list of all your responsibilities and deadlines.  Try to differentiate between what is important and what is not, what is urgent and what can wait for later.  What needs to be done today?After you have made a list of tasks, in order of their importance, it will be helpful to assign a time frame to each item, accordingly.  Don’t allocate two hours to doing your admin when you know that you still have to finish that agenda before 12:00.
        When you make your list, carefully estimate the time each task will take, and box it into your calendar.  This discipline will not only help you finish your list, but it will also improve your ability to estimate time and manage the expectations of those around you.
        Be realistic when you map the time frames for the different tasks. Don’t give yourself too little time to finish a vital project, just because you would like to get a few more things done today. You will only set yourself up for failure.
        Be sure to tick off your tasks as you proceed through the day. Even if it is something small, the completion of each task will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.A big part of learning to prioritise is knowing when to say “no”. This does not necessarily apply to your boss, but it does mean that you have the right to say no to requests from your co-workers if you are already up to your ears in your own work.
      • Organising
        Let’s face it, it is hard to be productive when your desk and inbox are a mess. An ordered working environment is very conducive to good time management.
        Start by clearing your desk and your e-mail by the end of every day, so that you can start the next on a clean slate. Also use this time, say 30 minutes, to do your filing for the day, so that you don’t have to search high and low for that important invoice tomorrow.
        E-mail is a great waste of time. Schedule one or two periods during the day when you scan and answer important mails.  Keep it out of sight otherwise, or you will constantly be interrupted by messages from friends and co-workers. Aim for a clean inbox policy – there are few things as annoying as that irritating message saying “your mailbox is over its size limit”.
        Give yourself permission to focus on your work, and only your work. Plug out the phone if needs be, put on earphones to prevent colleagues from bothering you if you have an important deadline.
      • Team time management for principals and SMTs
        • Team time management has the potential to answer many school-related problems. However, a principal should have the ability to adjust his / her management style to match new conditions.  Otherwise, there may be serious time management problems.
        • An SMT is composed of educators assembled for a common purpose by co-ordinating the activities of SMT members who assist each other in performing the tasks needed to reach the goals of the school. Teams and groups differ in one fundamental way.  A group’s performance is a function of what its members do as individuals while a team’s performance includes both individual results and synergy.  The concept of synergy is that when two things are put together, their value is more than the sum of both.
        • Team time management is somewhat different from individual time management. It emphasises the school’s rhythm and effectiveness which centres on groups of educators working together instead of performing as individuals.  This is not to diminish the importance of the individual, but rather to enlarge the individual’s perception.  Its aim is to use everyone’s time to the best advantage.  Teamwork involves gathering certain educators with different abilities and skills to achieve a common goal.  For effectiveness, the greater concern is not just for individual time but also for team time management.
        • For an SMT to be truly effective in time management, it needs a good leader who can communicate and co-ordinate actions, as well as good teammates who are dependable and skilful. Poor communication will seriously influence the effectiveness of a school.  It is also time-consuming.  For effective team time management, communication means the free flow of exchange of ideas, information, instructions and reaction that result in common understanding.  Providing feedback and careful listening will increase effective communications, which are necessary for team time management.
        • SMTs are assembled to perform specific tasks. Before planning begins, the principal should ensure that every team member knows exactly what the task is and why it is necessary.  Every member of the SMT should be involved in the planning process.  Planning involves describing the task and scheduling its timely completion.  A task plan should be simple, but states clearly its purpose, intended results, deadlines, key activities, milestones and schedule.  Adequate planning can reduce difficult and time-consuming problems.
        • SMTs must meet frequently to discuss progress toward reaching goals. However, sometimes SMT members can agree that there are too many meetings, often with the wrong people and poorly run.  Also, many lasted too long and few things were followed up.  For good time management, making sure certain meetings are conducted efficiently is a necessity.  To improve meeting productivity, principals should consider these suggestions.
          • Prepare and hand out an agenda.
          • Restrict agenda items to fit time available for discussion.
          • Make sure that meetings follow the agenda.
          • Ask participants to prepare ahead of time.
          • Good meetings do not just happen, they need to be planned and implemented carefully.
        • Personality differences among SMT members may cause conflicts, and this will influence performance of tasks. Rather than evade the potential conflicts among team members, one should learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and differences, and, thereby, work more effectively as a team.  Each individual in a team must recognise the importance of skills over the interpersonal relationships because people can almost always learn to work with others more smoothly and compatibly.
        • Teams, like SMTs, that deal with unstructured problems have the greatest need for creativity. If teammates lack creativity, this may show up as a scheduling problem.  The principal should foster a climate of creativity.
        • Here are some suggestions:
          • Encourage free expression of ideas. An SMT member should be permitted to express any ideas.
          • Accept and value all types of ideas. School leaders need to show that they are receptive to opposing ideas.
          • Assist in developing ideas. A member may have difficulty refining or summarising his / her ideas.
          • Encourage shy people. Some people may feel uncomfortable openly discussing their ideas.  Leaders should encourage these members to work on their ideas on their own and offer the conclusion at a later meeting.
          • Recognise the value of worthy ideas. A word of encouragement is important to the originator of the ideas.
        • The SMT or school may encounter resistance from fellow educators or parents fighting for the maintenance of the status quo. When this happens, effectiveness of SMT management will be influenced.
        • To smooth out the resistance to change, leaders should undertake the following procedures.
        • Reinforce and legitimise the SMTs need to ask questions.
        • Assert the role and value of natural resistance.
        • Recognise the positive effects of team confrontation and struggle.
        • It is not easy to delegate adequately. When the school leader delegates tasks, he / she must be careful not to assign work to people lacking the skills required.  The principal must also not retain to himself tasks that can be performed by other SMT members.  Any form of delegation error may adversely affect performance and scheduling.
        • Team time management plays an important role in a school’s success. However, achieving effective team time management does not come easy, it comes with a lot of challenges.  In order to achieve the desired performance, these barriers must be overcome.  Since every school is different, the recommendations must be modified in order to fit the individual school.  The key determinants of success in school marketing depend not only on technology and capitalisation, but also are largely dependent on synergy which is created within its teamwork.
  3. School Functions and Dignitaries
    • Invitations to dignitaries
      The determining factor in deciding whether to invite dignitaries and whom should be the importance of the function.

      • Guidelines on whom to invite
        • The Circuit Manager: This person is the most senior person in his / her circuit and the official representative of the District Director and, therefore, it is primarily his / her task and privilege to attend functions which concern schools within his / her circuit.
        • District Directors: These people usually officiate as representatives at functions with a wider zone which extends beyond the bounds of one circuit, but which is still within a particular district.
        • Head Office Officials: Invitations to the Member of the Executive Council:  Education (MEC), the Head of Department (HoD), Superintendent-General, etc., should be limited to special occasions such as the laying of foundation stones, opening of new schools or the inauguration of additions to buildings.
      • Procedures for invitations
        • Before making any arrangements for the invitation of departmental dignitaries to a school function, the principal should discuss the matter with his Circuit Manager and present him / her with a preliminary programme.
        • Invitations to District Directors to officiate at functions should be submitted via the Circuit Manager.
        • Invitations to Head Office Officials to officiate at school functions should be submitted via the District Director to the HoD.
      • Programmes
        • A complete programme of the function should accompany the invitation in every instance.
        • High-ranking officials should be called upon to speak early in the programme when officiating at a school function.
      • Foundation stones and commemorative plaques
        • Invitations to unveil a commemorative plaque or lay a foundation stone should reach the Department at least six months before the date on which the ceremony will take place.
      • Departmental representation at funerals
        • If requested to do so by the next of kin, a representative of the Department can be invited to pay a tribute at the funeral. The following merely serve as guidelines on persons who might officially represent the Department:
          • pupils: The Principal; and
          • staff (professional, administrative and domestic) at school: The Circuit Manager or District Director.
  4. School Organisation and Outsiders
    • Principals and school staff should guard against efforts by outside bodies to use schools as cheap advertising agencies for commercial gain.
    • Schools should not create the impression that schools offer a concentration of people who are ideally placed for advertising and fundraising purposes.
    • Distribution of printed matter or other promotion or propaganda materials
      • SMTs should critically evaluate any pamphlets or other publications before allowing such materials to be distributed.
      • Schools should also appeal to parents and learners to bring to their attention such literature which may be distributed directly outside the school grounds. The SMT should evaluate these materials and give the necessary guidance to educators, parents and learners.
      • Principals should bring pornographic pamphlets or publications which incite violence or racism and undermine the Constitution to the District Education Co-ordinator’s attention.
      • Principals should refuse all applications for the distribution of samples and handbills aimed at advertising goods to parents through their children.
      • Principals can consider the use of book covers, timetables, calendars, labels, educational charts and other useful articles by learners distributed by commercial firms.
    • Recruiting and career guidance
      • Parents should give their permission before outsiders address learners on career matters. If such a person wants to address the whole class, the SGB may decide.  If the person plans to address individual learners or small groups, written permission is required from parents.
      • Learners may attend career exhibitions at their own schools or elsewhere if the District Office has granted approval. Other career exhibitions may be attended only after school hours.
    • Recitals, films, performances
      • The SMT should decide on applications for the presentation of recitals, performances and film shows for remuneration. The SMT should use its own discretion on the educational value of such performances.  These functions may not take place during school hours.
    • Tests by outside bodies concerning employment
      • Principals are not obliged to refer learners or parents to outside bodies to undergo suitability tests for employment. Learners are not permitted to visit outside institutions for such tests during school hours.
    • Visits by people from other provinces or from abroad
      • Applications by people from other provinces or from abroad for permission to visit schools should be referred to the Department.
      • Such people should be required to submit proof of their identity, as well as a letter of recommendation.
    • Agencies
      • Schools may not act as agents during school hours.
      • No person wishing to trade in any article during school hours should be allowed on the school premises.
    • South African Police Services (SAPS) – Child Protection Unit
      • In building a contented school community, it is of the utmost importance that organisations which work for the good of children should not only know about each other but, more importantly, should work together.
      • Child protection units have been established by the SAPS. One of the functions of these units is, amongst other things, to instruct parents and children on how to avoid being molested, and what to do before, during and after such an incident.
      • To enable the SAPS to provide this service, the Department has given approval for principals, in collaboration with their Governing Bodies, to make opportunities available for the SAPS Child Protection Unit concerned to discuss such matters with parents and pupils.
      • It must be stressed that the value of these talks lies in involving parents and pupils. Parent evenings are suitable times for inviting the police to such discussions.  Principals may include these occasions in the year programme.
      • Principals should liaise with their local SAPS station commanders on this matter.
  5. School Outreach Programmes
    • School outreach programmes can take a number of forms including, but not limited to, formal academic instruction, technical assistance, community-based projects and evaluation studies.
    • Ideally, it should be a two-way process through which the active exchange of information with external audiences occurs in a relationship of reciprocal partnership.
    • In essence, any educational institution that purports to be a provider of outreach activity or community service through “civic-minded” principles enshrined in its mission, values and goals has to be a provider of lifelong learning. It has to reach out to its diverse stakeholders, identifying problems and challenges, engaging its intellectual resources and delivering teaching and research responses to improve the quality of life of our region and country.
    • There are many definitions of outreach, but those outlined below seem to capture most of the components of an “integrated” model – that which captures the meaning of mutual beneficence.
      • Campus Compact in the United States, defines outreach as:
      • “A teaching method that combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility.  Service learning programmes involve students in organised community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to community.”
      • Ohio State University defines outreach / engagement as:
        “A meaningful and mutually beneficial collaboration with partners in education, business, public and social service…  It represents that aspect of teaching that enables learning beyond the campus walls, that aspect of research that makes what we discover useful beyond the academic community, that aspect of service that directly benefits the public.”
    • From what is said above, it is clear that outreach is not only a one-way give-or-take traffic. Outreach or “Twinning” should rather be or become a mutual beneficial partnership.
    • Examples of such partnerships are:
      • Businesses
        • Businesses can be encouraged to be a school partner and their support will be publicly acknowledged at functions and in newsletters. Businesses can sponsor prizes for school events.
      • How does one get the support of a business?
        • The answer is simple. Ask!  Parents who work at or own a business are excellent starting points on the partnership quest.  They can open the door to the initial business contact person.
      • Former students
        Long-established schools have an advantage in this regard.  They sometimes have a mailing list going back many decades of former students.  These alumni can be approached for help.  High schools in particular use this form of partnership.  There are schools that have alumni trusts which have accumulated a great deal of money.  The funds are used for building projects, bursaries and scholarships.
      • Individual parents
        A school benefits from using the talents and expertise of parents.  There are parents able to assist with drama, speech and sports coaching.  Some parents are keen to help with the teaching of reading, especially in the lower grades.  Accountants, builders, electricians, engineers, human resource officers, lawyers, plumbers and the like have so much to give to a school.  Dentists, doctors and optometrists can offer their services to learners from poor homes.  At the start of the year a school could, for example, send a questionnaire to parents titled, “Sure, I can help!”  They’re encouraged to offer their services in a wide range of school activities.  An amazing amount of untapped talent is available in the community.  Parents have much to give and normally are most willing to do so.
      • Loyalty card partnerships
        Increasingly, loyalty card programmes are appearing on the market.  The principle is that a school receives a certain percentage of sales when the card is used at partner stores.  Schools that don’t have parents able to buy at the partner stores could be eligible for ‘nominated school’ status.  This means that card users nominate that the money accrued from their cards go to these schools.  There’s no charge to the school in starting or maintaining the programme.
      • Parent teams
        Teams of parents can take on projects.  These teams are usually found in the Parent or Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).  They can run fundraising projects.   Parent teams assist in activities such as Sports Days and stage productions.  Class- or homeroom parents can form a team.  They appoint a Class Mom or Dad.  That person co-ordinates activities for the other parents.  The team could, for example, decide to repaint the classroom or do general maintenance work.  Parent teams create a spirit of friendship and goodwill.
      • Religious groups
        A number of religious denominations run holiday camps.  A school allows them to use its facilities.  In return, these groups can make donations or help the school in kind by supporting the families of poor children.  At an educational level, the learners can acquire religious respect by visiting places such as churches, mosques, synagogues and temples.
      • Service organisations
        • The Lions, Round Table, Rotary, Salvation Army and other service organisations do much invaluable community work. They can be asked to help with projects.  Service organisations sometimes sponsor poor learners (for example, buying sports equipment or paying a learner’s fee for an educational tour).
      • Senior citizens
        • Many senior citizens enjoy helping young people. Local Old Age homes are good starting points.
      • Twinning schools
        • Twinning is common amongst and between previously advantaged and disadvantaged schools. Resources and professional expertise are shared.  The learners take part in activities such as sports days and pupil exchanges.
      • Youth groups
        • Many young people don’t have enough worthwhile activities once the home-time bell rings. Organisations such as the Scouts and Voortrekkers assist at school events.  In exchange, they could be allowed to use school facilities for their own activities.  In so doing, these groups often enrol new members and keep them happily occupied outside school. (Linda Madison:  Home-School-Community Partnerships, 2000)
  6. The School and its Physical Environment
    “First impressions are lasting impressions”.  This saying is also very applicable when a visitor enters the school premises.  An “area conducive to learning” does not refer only to the formal learning spaces like classrooms, laboratories, workshops, etc., but also to the immediate school ground area surrounding these physical facilities.

    • The School Environment Audit (Acknowledgement: The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism)
      An environmental audit is the process of monitoring and measuring the use of resources.  It reveals where resources are being managed in a way that meets accepted standards, and where they are being managed in a way that does not.  Once an environmental audit has been completed the school can initiate an Environmental Management Plan (EMP).  The EMP is developed in response to the environmental audit.  When an audit finds that resources are being managed in a way that does not meet accepted standards, it is important to develop a plan to overcome specific environmental problems.

      • How to go about an environmental audit
        A good way to go about an environmental audit is to establish environmental action teams who will carry out various parts of the audit.

        • Elect an environmental committee to initiate and oversee environmental activities. Ideally, the committee should include teachers, students and parents.
        • Form action teams to carry out environmental activities. Action teams could, for example, comprise students from one class who tackle a particular environmental area of concern.
        • Each action team should elect an auditor who will be responsible for collating the data collected by team members.
      • Steps for performing an environmental audit
        • Step 1: Choose an environmental area of concern, e.g. water or energy use, waste materials or conserving the natural environment.
        • Step 2: Conduct an environmental audit, e.g. gather information on how much water is being wasted or how much litter is being created in what areas and at what times.
        • Step 3: Using the information from your audit, identify specific areas needing improvement.
        • Step 4: Develop an environmental plan to achieve improvements.
        • Step 5: Implement your environmental management plan.
        • Step 6: Evaluate the environmental management plan and identify areas for further improvement.
      • Activities for an environmental audit
        Energy
        The production of forms of energy such as electricity consumes precious resources and causes pollution.  It is therefore important to use energy wisely.

        • Make a list of all the activities at school that use energy.
        • Try to identify the source of energy used for each activity and the environmental consequences of the use of these energy sources (e.g. fossil fuels, hydro-electric power, electricity or solar power).
        • Obtain copies of the school’s electricity bills and work out how much electricity is used per person in the school. Find out why the electricity bill varies at different times of the year.  The same process can be undertaken for water.
      • Wise use of materials
        By using materials wisely at school you can reduce resource usage, reduce pressure on landfills and disposal costs and earn income from the sale of recyclable materials.

        • Survey all the rubbish bins in your school and record how much rubbish each contains. Do this at different times of the week and day and try to work out why your results could be different.
        • Select a full bin and empty its contents onto a plastic sheet. Separate rubbish into categories of paper, glass, metal, wood, cartons, plastics, chemicals and compostable
        • Calculate how much of the rubbish could be recycled and minimised.
        • Find out where you can recycle goods in your area and initiate a recycling campaign in your school.
      • Caring for plants and animals
        Plants and animals are an essential part of the natural environment.  They provide a beauty we can all appreciate and are important in maintaining the natural processes vital for human survival.

        • Identify areas on your school grounds where plants grow. Find out which plants are indigenous, which are exotic and which are weeds.
        • Decide which parts of your school grounds could be made more attractive by planting plants.
        • Find out which indigenous plants are suited to the area and make arrangements to create a garden with indigenous plants.
        • List the types of birds or other animals that visit your school grounds and try to find ways to lure more birds, e.g. by installing bird feeders or bird baths.
        • These are just a few suggested activities.  You will be able to think of many other ideas.
      • Where to get information:
        The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
        Private Bag X447
        PRETORIA
        0001
  7. Decision making
    • Warren Bennis (1987, p. 1) states in On Becoming a Leader: “Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing.”  Wilkinson & Cave (1989, p. 115) define decision-making as “the process in which, after examining a problem or a need, an individual or a group incorporates information and values in proposing various solutions”.
    • Decision-making is an essential part of being human and principals are in the business of making decisions.
    • Decision-making is a very powerful activity that determines how well the school will achieve its mission over time.
    • Decisions can be grouped into three types according to the frequency at which certain types of decisions are taken.
      Figure 7.3.2.1 Types of Decisions

       

      • Operational Decisions
        This type of decision refers to decisions needed to ensure the effective and efficient operation of a school.  It involves all those decisions that affect the day-to-day running of the school like scheduling classes, substitute teachers, ordering and approving the purchasing of supplies and goods approved in the school’s budget.  These decisions depend on adequate information that is readily available and the decision needed has numerous similar examples on which the decision could be based.
      • Tactical Decisions
        Tactical decisions are aimed at ensuring that resources are allocated to where they are needed in terms of the plans developed for the school.  The information needed for this type of decision is often readily available, detailed and well-structured, but requires discretion on the part of the principal to allocate resources wisely.  Previous examples of similar decisions are not readily available and the decision to be taken may even be unique, thus, setting a precedent on which future decisions will be based.
      • Strategic Decisions
        This type of decision is linked to the planning function of the principal.  Strategic decisions always involve some risk.  The information on which strategic decisions are based is not always fully available and often less accurate (e.g. the uncertainty about the enrolment for the next year), and are often based on predictions of future needs and developments.  Strategic decisions are future-orientated and many of the sources of information needed are external to the school.
    • The decision-making process
      The decision-making process can be illustrated by using the acronym POISED.  Poised also resembles the idea of being ready for action and the idea that action should follow all decisions.

      Figure 7.3.2.2 The Decision-making Process POISED

       

  8. Functions and Responsibilities of Principals
    • It is the job of the principal to ensure that the:
      • school is managed satisfactorily and in compliance with applicable legislation, regulations and personnel administration measures as prescribed; and
      • education of the learners is promoted in a proper manner and in accordance with approved policies.
    • Core duties and responsibilities of the principal:
      • General/Administrative
        He/She is responsible for the professional management of the school.
        He/She must:

        • provide instructions for timetabling, admission and placement of learners;
        • implement the budget and make the best use of the funds available for the benefit of the learners;
        • preserve the history of the school by keeping the school journal up to date;
        • make regular inspections of the school and hostel to check on equipment and discipline; and
        • make sure that all circulars are discussed with the staff and filed properly.
      • Personnel
        The principal is responsible to provide his staff with:

        • professional leadership;
        • guidance, supervision and professional advice;
        • equitable workloads;
        • development through appraisal processes and training programmes; and
        • proper implementation of efficient forms of evaluation / assessment.
      • Teaching
        Teach the number of hours relevant to the post level or according to the needs of the school and to assess and record the attainment of the learners taught.
      • Extra- and co-curricular
        Where possible, serve on committees and promote and encourage learners’ voluntary participation in sports, educational and cultural activities.
      • Interaction with stakeholders
        The principal must serve on the SGB and provide assistance to them in terms of SASA and participate in community activities in connection with educational and community matters.
      • Communication
        By co-operating with the staff and SGB, the principal must maintain an efficient and smooth running school.
        He/She must:

        • liaise with the Circuit/Regional Office concerning administration, staffing, accounting, purchase of equipment, research and updating of statistics on educators and learners; and also liaise with structures regarding school curricula and curriculum development;
        • arrange interviews with parents concerning learners’ progress and conduct;
        • co-operate with the SGB with regard to all aspects as specified in SASA and also liaise with other relevant Government Departments;
        • co-operate with universities, colleges and other agencies in relation to learners’ records and performance as well as INSET;
        • participate in departmental and professional committees; and
        • maintain contact with sports, social, cultural and community organisations.
  9. Delegation of Powers (See Paragraph above: (a) The Management Functions of the Principal)
  10. Alcohol and Dangerous Objects on School Premises
    All schools are declared drug-free and dangerous object-free zones.

    • No person may:
      • allow any dangerous object in public school premises;
      • carry any dangerous object in the public school premises;
      • store any dangerous object in the public school premises except in officially designated places identified by the principal;
      • possess illegal drugs on public school premises;
      • enter public school premises while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol;
      • cause any form of violence or disturbance which can negatively impact on any school activity;
      • wittingly condone, connive, hide, abet, encourage possession of dangerous objects;
      • refuse, fail, neglect to report the sighting or presence of any dangerous objects to the departmental authorities or police as soon as possible; and
      • directly or indirectly cause any harm to anyone who exposes another person who makes an attempt to frustrate the prevention of the dangerous objects and activities.
    • A police official, or in his absence, the principal or delegate may without warrant:
      • search any public school premises if she / he has a reasonable suspicion that a dangerous object or illegal drugs may be present in the public school premises;
      • search any person present on the public school premises; and
      • seize any dangerous object or illegal drugs present on public school premises or on the person.
    • No educator, parent or learner, and no other person may possess or use:
      • alcohol;
      • illegal drugs;
      • any illegal substance; or
      • dangerous objects, during any school activity.
  11. Year-end Tasks
    The last weeks of the year are normally experienced as a hectic time in schools.  During this time educators and learners are under stress because of the final exams and management is busy with planning for the next year.  Drawing up timetables for moderation, checking mark schedules, promotion of learners (in-depth discussions in the cases of repeaters and border-line cases), completion of mark books, mark schedules, reports and cumulative report cards must be dealt with.

    • At the end of the fourth term, the following tasks must be attended to:
      • drawing up and processing the examination statistics;
      • evaluation of aspects of the past year such as the changing of classes, the system of learner leaders, school functions, extra-curricular activities and the development of the staff;
      • finalisation of enrolments for the following year;
      • discussion and finalisation of subject choices; and
      • finalisation of work allocation and timetables for the following year.
    • The last staff meeting at the end of the term has a two-fold purpose: On the one hand one has to reflect on the term that has elapsed and on the other hand, one has to plan for the term ahead.  Items for such a meeting could include the following:
      • celebrating successes of teachers and learners;
      • critical analysing of setbacks, shortcomings of the previous terms, including the reasons underlying the above, and how these will be remedied;
      • giving recognition to the special contributions of educators;
      • celebrating successes in extra-curricular activities;
      • comparing curricular achievements attained per subject and grade with the project objective to assess the level of attainment and to solicit constructive suggestions for further improvement; and
      • acknowledging the contribution of each individual educator

7.4 MANAGING DIVERSITY: THE MULTICULTURAL SCHOOL

7.4.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) [SAC]
  • The Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act No. 108 of 1996 [BoR]
  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 Of 1998 [EEA]
  • The Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No 66 Of 1995) [LRA]
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 [BCE]
  • The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act No 3 of 2000) [PAJ]

 

POLICY

  • Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools [NP ADP]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Educating for our common future: Building Schools for an Integrated Society. A Guidebook for Principals and Teachers 2001 [GUIDEBOOK PT]
  • Personnel Administration Measures [PAM]

7.4.2Guidelines for the Development of School Policy on Managing the Multicultural School

Since 1994 the profile of most of the ex-Model C-schools changed from a mono-cultural institution to a multicultural institution. This brought about some challenges for the School Governing Body (SGB) and the School Management Team (SMT).  In some instances this change occurred gradually and governance and management was able to prepare themselves and plan properly in advance; in other cases the profile of the school changed so rapidly that the SGB and SMT were forced to make decisions which were not properly researched.  In some instances this led to tensions within the school community and tension between the school and educational authorities.

Figure 7.4.2.1 below illustrates the typical flow of events since 1994 in many ex Model C-schools. These events have shown that when a group which is new in a school in terms of language and/or culture grows beyond 35% of the total school population, the school changes rapidly in terms of medium of instruction and learner population. This is called the tipping point at which the balance between the original group and the new group changes irreversibly.

School managements/SGBs follow one of two approaches when this type of change starts taking place in a school. They either try to prevent the change from reaching the tipping point (Management Approach A in Figure 7.4.2.1 ) or they decide to allow the changes to reach this point and to manage the changes as well as possible (Management Approach B). In some cases they even attempt to facilitate and expedite the process of change.

Both approaches should be regarded as a process of transformation from a mono-cultural to a healthy multi-cultural set-up in the school while maintaining or even improving the academic standards and quality of education. Approach A should not be used or regarded as an attempt to prevent transformation. The difference between the two should only be that in the one case (Approach A) an attempt is made to guarantee the survival of the original culture and language of instruction while accommodating other cultures and languages without any unfair or illegitimate discrimination, while in the other case (Approach B) it is decided that the school should transform completely or that such transformation is unavoidable and that it needs to be managed as well as possible without negatively impacting on the standards and quality of education.

7.4.2.1 The path of former Model C Schools of which the learner population is changing

 

7.4.2.2 Comparison of management approaches A and B

The following guidelines are based on the above elucidation:

  1. Whatever the decision, it should be a justifiable one and there should be consensus on the way forward:
    This can be obtained by:

    • Thorough research on the circumstances as well as the recent changes of the school and school environment;
    • Proper facilitating of the process of decision making by the SGB and SMT;
    • Making sure that everybody concerned is on board.
  2. Some points to ponder before and after the decision
    • What will be the vision – and mission statement of the school, whether A or B?
    • For the sake of strategic planning, what will the race composition of the school look like, what will be the language of learning and teaching (LOLT), what will be the dominant culture, what will the learner composition look like and what will be the common values of the school?
    • How will the SGB and SMT create “Unity in Diversity?”
    • Will governance and management be able to allow different viewpoints but still strive for the same values?
    • How will management go about staff development and orientation?
    • Remember: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
  3. Essentials for managing a multicultural school:
    • Professional leadership;
    • Symbiotic relationships between government, management, staff and parent community;
    • Commitment towards maintaining high standards and quality education;
    • Tolerance and flexibility;
    • A shared vision. Staff must be part of the decision on the vision.
  4. The importance of mother tongue education for a learner’s academic development:
    • The first years of formal education of a learner are crucial for the conceptualisation and development of mental reasoning structures. This should happen in the mother tongue of the learner.
    • Ideally, the first six years of education should be in the mother tongue, both as language of learning and teaching and subject teaching.
    • Starting to early with the formal teaching of an additional language can create ceilings that develop at a later stage:
      • The learner “acquires” words and sentences but it is mere memorising;
      • In the higher grades the learner can’t use the words for reasoning in sentences; not in his/her mother tongue and also not in the LOLT in the lower grades;
    • The ideal situation: A policy of supplementary multilinguism – initial teaching in the mother tongue and gradual mastering of the language that is later going to become the LOLT.
    • The following can be considered in mother tongue teaching in A or B (table 1 above):
      • Multigrade or multilevel teaching, especially in the primary schools;
      • Grades R – 5 should be considered as very important for this purpose, especially grades R – 3;
      • Consider mother tongue speaking educators;
      • The school’s approach to the teaching of an additional language.
  5. Management Approach A: Managing the multicultural school not to reach the tipping point
    • Communication with and training of Partners
      • Education Authorities (District Office)
        • Good and open relationships with the District officials. Reach an agreement that this approach is to the benefit of the community and the school (e.g. because it will prevent parents from taking their children to another school and that this will make it possible to maintain high standards);
        • Negotiate a phasing in strategy and a 35:65 ratio as target. Agree to start with a single class in gr. 1 or 8. Be firm that the Department will supply the staff, text books and furniture;
        • A multicultural school can perform even better if the school focuses on the strong points of each culture and utilize their energy and potential.
      • Staff members
        • Staff need to be trained
          • Enter this new phase with an open mind;
          • Create a caring, “Ubuntu” environment;
          • Actions should be consistent towards all culture groups;
          • Seek for common ground in all aspects, don’t focus on differences;
          • Recognise the potential of the new culture and the advantages for the school;
          • Never refer to colour but rather English, Afrikaans etc. speaking pupils;
          • Noisiness may be tolerated during breaks but not in the classroom;
          • Newsletters should be translated.
        • Curriculum
          • Language of assemblies more or less equal to the ratio of the culture groups;
          • Parallel medium up to Gr. 12 is possible in some schools if the SGB sticks to the resolution of 1 educator per 35 learners. When discussing optional subjects for gr. 10, the minority might have to fall in with the majority.  This applies to all language groups.
          • Many documents must be translated.
          • Be aware of possible shortcomings with respect to study methods and reading abilities.
          • Consider a reading centre.
          • Be prepared to initiate extra classes to address shortcomings.
      • School Governing Body and School Management Team
        • Treat district officials professionally and with respect. Gaining the trust of officials will allow the SGB and SMT to run the school without much interruption. Be accommodating but also firm.
        • Facilitate the collective aspiration for excellence and a common set of values.
        • Ensure that everybody is onboard.
        • Use team sports to build good race relationships
      • Parent community
        • Allow parents input in the compilation of the Code of Conduct and during strategic planning sessions of the SGB.
        • Keep the school community informed by means of newspapers, newsletters and the electronic media.
      • Learners
        • Don’t force integration as far as activities or association are concerned. Allow each individual or culture group voluntary association and provide equal opportunities to express themselves during cultural events at the school.
        • In disciplinary actions or praise, don’t refer to specific culture groups but rather to the school as a whole.
        • Be aware of domestic circumstances and problems with transport.
  6. Management Approach B: Managing the multicultural school (dual- and single medium) after the tipping point
    Most of what is suggested above in Approach A, also applies in Approach B.  The situation in these schools however has developed beyond the “tipping point” or point of no return.  This approach is focused on managing the unavoidable change: From a parallel medium school with a majority Afrikaans culture and a minority second culture group into a dual medium situation.  In some cases the transformation can even develop into a single English medium school.  The minority has become the majority and in some cases the minority has completely phased out, transforming the school into an English single medium school.  In some original English medium schools the LOLT has not changed but the learner compilation in terms of culture has.
    In the light of the above, the following changes must be considered and managed:

    • The Vision and Mission of the school
      Every aspect of the school is influenced by the vision and mission of the school:

      • Policies like the following need to be revised:
        • Admission policy (e.g. learner compilation, staff compilation, etc.),
        • Attendance policy,
        • Religious policy (e.g. assemblies, prayers at staff meetings, prayers in the classes),
        • Language policy (e.g. LOLT),
        • Code of conduct for learners, staff and SGB (e.g. a common value system, dress code, school uniform, discipline, socialising, rights of all role-players, late coming of staff and learners),
        • Sport – and cultural policies (e.g. interaction with other schools),
        • Subject policies.
    • The school symbols
      • Is the current name of the school still desirable?
      • Should the logo of the school change? In some dual medium schools the logo is still only in Afrikaans.
      • The school badge: Can all religious-/ culture groups relate to the school badge?
      • School anthem: Should/Can the school anthem be translated?
    • Staff management
      • The staff predominantly represents one population/language group and learners predominantly from another population/language group
      • Staff training:
        • Refrain from using language or utterances that may divide instead of unite.
        • Maintaining discipline.
        • Demonstrate appreciation on an equal basis.
        • Staff, SMT and SGB should agree on the value system for the school.
      • Staff meetings:
        • Which language to use in the case of the dual medium school?
        • Minutes available in both languages?
      • Staff attendance:
        • Attendance poor because of family and other personal matters.
        • Staff members make use of poor public transport.
        • Staff members leave school early because of union matters, funerals.
    • Learners
      • Awareness of where the learners come from.
      • Individualisation? Remedial work? Extra classes? Are these in place?
      • Poor attendance because of initiation schools and teenage pregnancies
      • Learners come from different backgrounds, many with learning – and social problems.
      • Some learners are very noisy in the classrooms. How to address this in the Code of Conduct for learners?
      • Make sure that certain groups of learners are not sidelined and estranged. Organize functions on an equal basis according to their culture or organize activities that will be supported by all learners or a combination thereof.
    • Extramurals
      • Maintaining the old or shifting out the old?
      • Scaling down on interschool competitions?
      • Adding new codes?
      • Equal funding of sport codes?