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As schools move away from public administration and management (in their attempts to become self-reliant) towards a more business-like approach of managing their affairs, compliance with the “King Code” becomes a pre requisite. School governing bodies need to realise that they are bound by, and must comply with the stipulations of the South African Schools Act and the Public Finance Management Act. Good governance further seeks to ensure that there is adequate control over the strategic, tactical and operational planning of the school, especially the schools finances and resources, to enable it to achieve its overall objectives. Corporate governance requires an inclusive approach – the school management team on the one hand needs to demonstrate and put into practice honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility and transparency and the school governing body on the other hand must apply tests of fairness, accountability, responsibility and transparency and must be accountable to both the school and their constituency.

Self-reliant schools

The KwaZulu Natal Department of Education (KZNDoE) has identified seven strategic goals, which must be accomplished in order for the strategic plan, of the current member of the executive committee (MEC) for education, to function. Strategic goal 3 reads as follows: “Transform schools into self-reliant institutions which are community centres life-long learning” [KZNDoE Strategic Plan 2005-2010 (2005; 9)].

According to the Report to Minister (2003; 39): “The South African Schools Act embodies a shift from supply-driven service delivery in schooling, where government decides on how service delivery takes place to a more demand-driven mode, where local communities gain a greater say in how they would like the service delivery that they receive to be structured. One of the intentions of the South African Schools Act, which is based on worldwide trends in education, is for schools to become “self-managed” or “self-reliant” schools. According to the DOE: Self-Managing Schools (2000; 6) self-management in schools is based mainly on two sections of the South African Schools Act:

  • Section 20 – which gives school governing body the power to administer and control the school’s property, buildings and resources.
  • Section 21 – which gives school governing body extra allocated functions to control their own finances and extra-curricular activities.

By default all schools have section 20 functions, which imply that the community (all relevant stakeholders and role players) plays an active role in the “life” of the school, specifically in assisting in the financing of schools. Section 20 of the South African Schools Act [Functions of All Governing Bodies] reads as follows:

20 (1) Subject to this Act, the governing body of a public school must:

20 (1) (a) promote the best interests of the school and strive to ensure its development through the provision of quality education for all learners at the school;

20 (1) (b) adopt a constitution;

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Source:  OpenStax, Financial management of schools. OpenStax CNX. Nov 16, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11137/1.1
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