An audit of section 21 schools in Gauteng province and recommendations regarding future policy, monitoring and training
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This report presents the results of a research study into the functioning of schools in Gauteng with respect to Section 21 functions as set out in the South African Schools Act (1996). The research consisted of an audit of a representative sample of 100 schools in
Gauteng to consider their functioning with respect to the maintenance of school buildings and facilities, the payment for services, and the purchasing and management of Learning and Teaching Support Materials in schools. The research also consisted of a series of interviews with all principals in the schools, with District officials and with key senior personnel within the Gauteng Department of Education. The key findings of the study are that 44% of schools operate at a middle functioning level for all three functions, whilst 14% of schools are low functioning. Formerly disadvantaged schools have more difficulty in managing their functions than former advantaged schools. Maintenance is the most problematic function for schools, and LTSM the least problematic. The research also finds that the amount that is allocated to schools for Section 21 functions is insufficient and does not adequately differentiate between different schools with different needs. A comprehensive determination of a costed minimum package of non-personnel inputs required for different schools, in different localities, with different needs and access to resources, to perform well is urgently needed. The report includes a number of specific recommendations based on the findings regarding
the functions; training; monitoring; policy and district support. In line with the requirements of the terms of reference the report also includes a monitoring tool for Section 21 functions, and criteria for the awarding of Section 21 status to schools. It also makes recommendations regarding an audit of the total population of Section 21 schools.