LEADERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE
The School Governing Body (“SGB”) consists of elected parent members, educators and non-educator members, as well as the Principal who is an ex-officio member of the SGB. The term of office of a SGB is three years. The current SGB commenced their term in 2021.
The most important functions of a SGB are to promote the school’s interests, and to ensure that the school provides quality education and teaching.
An important aspect of school management and leadership is the relationship between the School Management Team (“the SMT”) and the SGB. It is important to understand that responsibilities are shared between them. These two teams should work well to ensure that there is no confusion or conflict.
The Principal is a member of the SMT, as well as the SGB, which means that she has a vital role in co‑ordinating these two.
Principal and SMT: Mainly responsible for professional management in the day-to-day running of the school.
Principal and SGB: Mainly responsible for policy and overall governance in the school.
It is important to know the difference between professional management and school governance.
Broadly speaking, the duties of the Principal and SMT compared with the duties of the SGB and Principal are as follows:
- Develop school mission
- Develop policies for school activities
- Responsible for school finances and assets
- Adopt code of conduct for learners and recommend learner suspension and expulsion
- Administer and control school property, buildings and grounds
- Recommend staff appointments
- Management educational programme and curricular activities
- Manage all staff
- Manage use of teaching material and equipment
- Keep school records
- Implement legislation and policies
- Accept responsibility for learners’ academic achievement and resource use
The big question is: Who is responsible for the school in the end? Ultimately, the Principal is accountable for the school, as the Department of Education’s representative in the school. However, the school itself is a ‘juristic person’. This means that the school is a legal body that exists independently of the members of the Department of Education, SGB, the Principal, the buildings, learners and parents.
The school has rights and duties in its own name just as a natural person has. Because the school is a juristic person, it may buy, sell, hire or own property, enter into contracts, make investments, and sue or be sued.
All these actions of the school are, of course, taken by the SGB – just like a company acts through its directors