Roles of an SGB according to South African Schools Act 84 of 1996

Roles of an SGB according to South African Schools Act 84 of 1996

Title: The Roles of School Governing Bodies According to the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996

The South African Schools Act (SASA) 84 of 1996 fundamentally reshaped the structure and governance of schools in South Africa during the post-apartheid era.

Roles of an SGB according to South African Schools Act 84 of 1996

The introduction of School Governing Bodies (SGBs) marked a shift towards more democratic, locally accountable school management. According to the Act, these SGBs were given a variety of crucial roles in the administration of public schools, which we will discuss below.

Development of School Policies

One of the major roles of the SGB is to formulate various school policies, which serve as the guiding principles for the school’s operation. These include policies on language, religious observance, admission of learners, and the school’s code of conduct. While these policies must align with the national policies set by the Department of Education, they can be tailored to meet the unique requirements of the individual school.

Financial Management

SASA grants SGBs substantial financial management roles. They are responsible for establishing and administering the school’s budget, controlling and maintaining the school’s property, and managing the school’s funds. SGBs also have the authority to determine and impose school fees, though it’s important to note that the Act stipulates no child can be denied education based on their parents’ inability to pay these fees.

Recommendation of Staff Appointments

While the Department of Education handles the appointment of the school principal and educators, SGBs have the power to recommend candidates for these roles. They can also appoint non-teaching staff, such as administrative workers, as long as it aligns with the school’s budget. This allows the SGBs to have a say in creating a team that best fits the needs of the school.

Enforcement of a Code of Conduct

SGBs are empowered to enforce the school’s code of conduct, which they are also responsible for creating. This code serves as the foundation for discipline within the school and promotes a positive learning environment. It must include policies against unfair discrimination and procedures for dealing with learner misconduct.

Management of Curriculum Delivery

While the Department of Education sets the national curriculum, SASA gives SGBs the freedom to determine how this curriculum is delivered. They can structure teaching schedules, organize extracurricular activities, and even propose changes to the curriculum to better serve their learners.

Promotion of the School in the Community

The SGB plays a crucial role in fostering positive relations between the school and the community it serves. They are responsible for promoting the school, communicating its achievements, and encouraging community participation in the school’s events and activities.

The South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 designates a broad and important range of roles to School Governing Bodies, fundamentally changing the structure and operation of public schools in the country. By empowering these bodies with significant decision-making authority, the Act fosters a more democratic, responsive, and locally accountable education system. As the main link between the school and the community, the SGB plays a crucial role in ensuring the school caters to the needs of its learners while adhering to the overarching principles of South African educational policy.

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