Parents have a chance to play a leading role in the governance of public schools with the aim of improving standards and making them a better place for their children.
School governing body (SGB) elections take place in March and parents are urged to get involved so that they play an active part in their children’s education.
Elections will take place in all public schools across the country.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said this is the biggest election process in the country, outside of the local government and national elections.
“The SGB elections contribute to the development of a strong sense of community ownership. The performance of schools tends to improve when parents are actively involved and take an interest in the affairs of the school.”
She said governing bodies have a big role to play in aligning the interests of all stakeholders to support the common goal of achieving good education outcomes that are responsive to community needs and economic development.
Governing bodies represent all sectors of the school community, including parents, teachers, non-teaching staff and learners. The term of office for the SGB members is three years.
Powers to govern schools
The South African Schools Act gives governing bodies considerable powers to govern schools as part of the key structures of democracy.
By getting involved in the election process, parents ensure that the school serves the best interests of their children.
While governing body members are not required to have formal qualifications, parents with skills in bookkeeping, accounting and legal services in particular as well as those who are interested in, and passionate about education, are urged to consider standing for election.
The following stakeholders can be elected onto the SGB:
- Learners in secondary school.
- Members of staff at the school who are not educators.
- Educators at the school.
- Parents of learners at the school.
- What are the duties of a governing body?
- Determining the admissions policy for the school.
- Deciding on the language policy of the school.
- Deciding on the religion practiced at the school.
- Formulating the school’s constitution and mission statement.
- Formulating the code of conduct for learners which sets out disciplinary procedures.
- Running the budget and financial management.
- Recommending staff appointments.