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Investigating the implementation of the code of conduct for learners: a case study of Volksrust circuit schools.

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The Code of conduct for learners (CCL) as a subject has been of interest among scholars around the world, this is understandable because the subject is still an enigma to many schools. A considerable amount of time in a normal school day is dedicated to behaviour management. Thus, an investigation into its implementation is being explored as the use of corporal punishment has been for a long time a quick fix to unbecoming behaviour that threatens to disturb the tranquillity necessary for a conducive learning and teaching environment. Since the abolishment of corporal punishment educators’ contact time with learners is characterised mainly by teaching and behavioural management, where the latter involves the management of the school to resolve. In cases where school management and teachers are found guilty of contravening the law by using corporal punishment, the disregard of use Code of conduct for learners (CCL) measures to deal with behaviour is primarily the cause. This study through a qualitative enquiry was employed to explore the understanding of the implementation processes and how leadership acumen at different levels affects the implementation thereof in schools. Therefore, Distributive Leadership, Learning Teams and Systemic Thinking are the theoretical underpinnings of the study. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore the alignment of all leadership roles in the CCL implementation process and how far it is informed by the school's shared vision. Thematic analysis of the data was used to interpret the findings. The study found that there are critical information gaps across all leadership levels, these suggest that distributive leadership is essential in school management and that schools are complex institutions and they will benefit from employing systems thinking through well-planned learning teams interactions. The results of the study have the potential to draw attention to monitoring the implementation of CCL and reviewing the guidelines for consideration by SGB in implementing CCL. It may add to the body of knowledge that explores behaviour management in schools as a multidimensional and interconnected phenomenon from systems thinking perspective.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.