The 'birth' and growth of good school governance practice : evidence from selected primary schools in Pinetown district.
This study sought to investigate how good school governance practice in South Africa can be created and sustained. The government introduced the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 (SASA) which gives School Governing Bodies (SGBs) considerable responsibilities with regard to school governance. Among those duties there are four mandated areas of school governance namely; School Policy, School Development, School Administration and School Finance. However, a number of examples can be cited from literature that support the view that many SGBs are not achieving the intended goals and that there have been challenges and questions about their efficacy. There appears to be a dearth of studies revealing good school governance practice despite that it seems that such practices do exist. Despite the abovementioned challenges that highlight the ineffectiveness of many SGBs, from my personal experience and from my informal observations of some schools in the Pinetown District I have ascertained that there are schools that are effectively governed. In those schools the SGBs work as partners with other role players and govern school collaboratively with continuous ongoing communication. It was such good practice that triggered my interest in investigating this topic further. It would appear that there is inadequate knowledge regarding how such good governance comes about, and how it is sustained. Therefore, this study sought to contribute to filling this void. This study adopted a qualitative approach, and is located within the interpretivist paradigm. I adopted a multi-site case study research design. The study was conducted using individual interviews, focus group interviews and observations. The findings suggest that all school stakeholders play a significant role in all areas of school governance as they are required to provide mutual support, share power and work jointly for good school governance practice, because in this democratic era it is important that all school stakeholders work as partners. The study recommends that the SGBs should encourage and empower all school stakeholders to actively participate in school matters in order to develop, monitor and adjust to long term school effectiveness.