Sbg: code of conduct

 

South African Schools Act No.84 of 1996 – Chapter 3:

notice in the Provincial Gazette, determine a code of conduct for the members of the governing body of a public school after consultation with associations of governing bodies in that province, if applicable.

  • (2) The code of conduct referred to in subsection (1) must be aimed at establishing a disciplined and purposeful school environment dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of a quality governance structure at a public school.
  • (3) All members of a governing body must adhere to the code of conduct.
  • (4) The code of conduct must contain provisions of due process, safeguarding the interests of the members of the governing body in disciplinary proceedings.
  • (5) The Head of Department may suspend or terminate the membership of a governing body member for a breach of the code of conduct after due process.
  • (6) A member of the governing body may appeal to the Member of the Executive Council against a decision of a Head of Department regarding the suspension or termination of his or her membership as a governing body member.
    – [S. 18A inserted by s. 6 of Act No. 50 of 2002.]

 

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

  • In this constitution, unless understood different from the context, “governing body” means the governing body of our school as meant in Section16(1) of the Act: “sponsor body” a body or group of people approved by the governing body and prepared to support the school financially.
  • “head of department” the head of the department of education in the province
  • “the Act” the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act 84 of 1996), and the measures decreed accordingly.
  • “this constitution” Member of the Executive Council” the member of the Executive Council responsible for education in the province
  • “measures” the measures or regulations regarding governing bodies of public schools for learners with special educational needs who have been referred or transferred here
  • “education” teaching, instruction or training provided for learners according to the Act.

 

CONTROL AND PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT OF THE SCHOOL

  • According to the Act, the control of the school is in the hands of its governing body, on condition that the governing body, or a member of the governing body in his or her capacity as a member, may not interfere with the professional activities of an educator in the performing of his or her duties.
  • The governing body is in a relationship of trust with the school.
  • According to the Act and the constitution the professionale management of the school should be undertaken by the principal, under the supervision of the Head of the Department.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHOOL

  • To provide the learners with an education
  • To admit learners and to provide for their educational needs according to the stipulations of Section 5 of the Act, without discriminating unfairly in any way.
  • To allow no form of racial discrimination in the implementation of the school’s language policy, according to the stipulations of Section 6 of the Act.
  • To allow religious practice at the school in a fair way and to allow attendance of learners and staff members on a voluntary basis according to the stipulations of Section 7 of the Act.
  • To use the school funds, all income derived from it and all other assets of the school only according to the stipulations of Section 37 of the Act.
  • To function financially in such a way that the school will be able to fulfill its responsibilities.
  • To serve the community by preparing learners to be able to take up their place in the community as well-educated people.
  • To provide all staff members with the opportunity to grow professionally, to achieve job satisfaction, and in so doing, to deliver education of the highest quality.
  • To make a contribution towards the promotion of sports and cultural activities and to utilise these as educational opportunities to the advantage of the learners at the school.

 

ACTIVITIES AND ALLOCATED ACTIVITIES OF THE GOVERNING BODY

  • According to the stipulations of Sections 20 and 21 of the Act, the governing body performs the duties that fall within its capacity and that are necessary for the well-being of the school.
  • The governing body acts according to the stipulations of Section 37 of the Act regarding the school funds and assets of the school.
  • The governing body utilises funds in order to achieve the objectives named above according to the stipulations of the Act and this constitution.
  • According to the stipulations of the Act and this constitution the governing body should provide services and facilities to the advantage of the learners and education.
  • According to the stipulations of Section 43 of the Act the governing body should appoint auditors to audit the school’s financial records and statements.
  • According to the stipulations of Section 8 of the Act the governing body should adopt a code of conduct for learners in consultation with the learners, parents and educators of the school.
  • According to the stipulations of Section 9 of the Act the governing body should suspend learners who violate the code of conduct and/or recommend that they be expelled from the school.
  • According to the stipulations of Sections 39, 40 and 41 of the Act the governing body is responsible for levying school fees and can enforce payment of such fees.
  • The governing body develops the motto and mission of the school.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY OF MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BODY

A member of the governing body is not responsible for any debts, damage of loss of the school, unless he or she acted without authorisation, maliciously or negligently and can therefore be held responsible.

 

COMPOSITION OF THE GOVERNING BODY

The governing body of the school consists of:

Parent members (5)

Educator members (2)

Principal

Non-academic staff

 

TERM OF OFFICE OF MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BODY

 

A member of the governing body fills his or her position for a term of three years according to the stipulations of regulation 4.

 

QUORUM

At least one more than half of the members of the governing body, constituted according to the stipulations of regulation 2(1), forms a quorum for any meeting.

 

ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS OF THE GOVERNING BODY

According to the stipulations of the regulations office bearers fill their positions for a term of 12 months from the date of their election.

 

An office bearer can be re-elected after termination of his or her term of office.

 

APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE OF MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BODY

 

The governing body accepts apology for absence of a member or members for a period of time as determined by the governing body.

 

INCIDENTAL VACANCIES IN THE GOVERNING BODY

 

An incidental vacancy in the governing body exists if a member:

  • resigns,
  • passes away,
  • is absent without apology for three consecutive meetings, or
  • becomes unfit as meant in regulation 3(b), (c) en (d).

 

COMMITTEES

 

According to the stipulations of Section 30 of the Act, the governing body can appoint one ore more committees to advise it and to act on its instructions.

 

The governing body can alter or set aside any decision of a committee as referred to above.

 

The following committees should be constituted from the elected and coopted members:

  • executive committee / management committee
  • financial committee
  • fund raising committee / refreshments committee
  • sports committee
  • grounds and buildings committee
  • pastoral care committee / health committee / civil defence committee
  • appointments committee

 

MEETINGS

The governing body should meet at least once per school term.

 

The governing body should meet at least once per year with the learners’ parents, educators and other staff of the school respectively.

 

Meetings of the governing body happens according to the stipulations of the regulations.

 

An extraordinary meeting is called by the chairperson when he or she deems it necessary or when at least five members submit a written request with statement of the reasons for such meeting.

 

Each member of the governing body has one vote.  If the voting results in a tie, the chairperson has a deciding vote in addition to his or her deliberative vote.

 

A member of the governing body should witdraw from a meeting for the duration of the discussion on issues the member has a personal interest in.

 

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS OF MEETINGS

The minutes of the proceedings of meetings of the governing body should be handled according to the stipulations of the regulations.

 

BANK ACCOUNT

The governing body should open and maintain a bank account.

 

According to the this stipulation all funds received by the school, including school fees and voluntary contributions, should be deposited in the school fund.

 

CLOSING OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR

The financial year begins on the first day of January and ends on the last day of December.  The records and statements of the school should then be audited according to the stipulations of Section 43 of the Act.

 

SUBMISSION OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Within six months after the closing of each financial year the governing body should submit a copy of the annual audited financial statements to the Head of the Department.

 

CHANGING OF THE CONSTITUTION

A decision to change this constitution requires a two third majority of the total number of members of the governing body after all members have been informed of the intended change at least two months before.  If too few members are present at the meeting that has been called for this purpose, a second meeting should be called for this purpose exclusively at least two weeks after the first meeting.