n South African Journal of Education - Codes of conduct in public schools : a legal perspective

Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



The governing body of a public school must adopt a code of conduct for the learners of the school. This document contains disciplinary rules which are crucial to school discipline, yet its legal nature and consequences are often overlooked by schools. The adoption of a code of conduct is a specific "rule-making" function which vests in the democratically elected governing body representing the main stakeholders of the school. Particular legal requirements are set for the adoption of these legal rules because they have to be obeyed by all the learners. Similarly, the enforcement of these rules constitutes an important administrative action which must be performed with due regard for the rights and interests of the learner and the school community. The law prescribes that these actions must be conducted lawfully, reasonably, and procedurally fair.

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