GEORGE NEWS - The election of school governing bodies (SGB) in all public schools countrywide will take place from 1 March until the end of the first school term of 2018.
Schools will advise parents when the elections will take place at their particular school.
Governing bodies represent all sectors of the school community, including parents, teachers, non-teaching staff and learners in grades 8 to 12.
The South African Schools Act (Act 84 of 1996) gives governing bodies considerable powers to govern schools and parents are urged to fully participate in the process.
SGB members are not required to have formal qualifications; however, individuals with skills in bookkeeping, accounting and legal services in particular, as well as those who are interested in and passionate about education, are urged to consider standing for election.
The term of office will be three years.
The outgoing governing bodies will continue to perform their functions until the first meeting of the new governing bodies.
The new governing bodies must meet within seven (7) days after receiving notice from the electoral officer, to elect office bearers.
The outgoing governing body must hand over to the new governing body within fourteen (14) days of the first meeting.
Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schäfer said the new SGBs will learn from their experience and from thorough training and support by the education department's officials.
"I encourage the SGBs to please put the interests of the children and the improvement of education first, and work together with their school principal and staff to achieve this."
Schäfer thanked the outgoing governing bodies for all their hard work and she is looking forward to working with the new SGBs.
"We continue to strive for well-managed schools that provide quality education for all our children," she said.
SGB election process
Parents will nominate and elect governing body members at a parents' meeting called by the school. A nomination must be seconded by another parent and the nominee must accept the nomination before the forms are submitted to the school.
Parents may seek nomination but may not nominate themselves. Parents must submit nominations at least seven (7) days before the election meeting.
Teachers, non-teaching staff and learners nominate and elect members at similar meetings. Schools will provide school communities with all relevant information.
It is essential that parents attend the nomination and election meetings because they have to have a quorum of at least 10%.
For example, at least 50 parents must attend if the school has 500 parents on its admissions register.
The higher the turnout and the greater the participation rate, the better chance the school has of electing a governing body that is best suited to meet the interests of their children.
Duties of the SGB
According to the South African Schools Act (Sasa), the responsibilities of the governing body include:
- Deciding on an admissions policy for the school;
- Deciding on the language policy of the school;
- Deciding on what religious practices will be followed at the school;
- Formulating the school's constitution and mission statement;
- Formulating the code of conduct for learners which sets out disciplinary procedures;
- Budget and financial management;
- Recommending staff appointments; and
- Supporting the principal, teachers and other staff.
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'