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Title:Principals' views on challenges of their school governance roles
Authors:Xaba, Mgadla Isaac
Nhlapo, Velaphi Aaron
Periodical:Africa Education Review (ISSN 1753-5921)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:educational management
popular participation
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/18146627.2014.934996
Abstract:The South African Schools Act mandates the establishment of democratically elected school governing bodies (SGBs) comprising parent and educator representatives, as well as learner representatives in secondary schools. School principals become automatic and unelected members of SGBs.This article explores South African principals' views regarding the governance challenges they experience. The authors conducted focus group interviews with primary and secondary school principals, purposely selected from township schools in two Gauteng Province districts. They found that principals were challenged mostly by having to balance their dual roles as ex officio school governing body memberson the one hand, and as bona fide members of SGBs on the other. The challenges found confirmed school governors' views as reported in numerous other studies. These were related to, amongst others, the specialist nature of governance functions, poor training of school governors, difficulties associated with governor recruitment and unwillingness of parents to serve as governors. There is a need for a re-clarification of the principals' roles, in terms of both their ex officio and bona fide SGB membership with regard to governance. This should include a review of the governing body structure, the re-allocation of specialist functions, customized and needs-based training of school governors and issues relating to the general functioning of SGBs. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]