n South African Journal of Education - School governing bodies : the experiences of South African educators

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



The South African Schools Act of 1996 (SASA) mandates the establishment of school governing bodies (SGBs), comprising parents, educators and non-educator members of staff. As parents are required to form the majority on an SGB, they have been placed in a powerful position with authority to influence fundamental issues, such as school budget, school and language policy, discipline, and appointment and promotion of teaching and administrative staff. A survey of educators' experiences and perceptions of the role of SGBs, followed by in-depth interviews with selected principals, was undertaken. Findings suggested that educators do not consider their SGBs to be very effective. They support the role of the SGB in learner discipline, but they have reservations about its role in matters of educator misconduct. The role of the SGB in appointing staff is accepted, although educators feel that school governors should be trained for this and all other functions of the SGB. Many educators are concerned that the principal may dominate the SGB. Results further suggested that a purely legalistic approach to dividing the responsibilities of SGBs may not always be helpful and that the emphasis should rather be placed on the constitutional principles for co-operative governance.

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