The role of the law in prompting parents to participate accountably with the partners in education
Bearing in mind the previous Gauteng Education MEC’s recent indication that “discipline starts at home”,1 our article focuses on what South African law has contributed during the past 20 years to prompt parents participate accountably with partners in public school education, and how case law has defined parent accountability in this regard. Examples of relevant legislation would be those which assign the ultimate responsibility for learner conduct to parents, and call for a harmonious relationship between parents and educators. In line with the South African Schools Act’s requiring that parents partner with the State, educators and learners in accepting responsibility for their children’s schooling, this article highlights the need for a shared vision of the way forward. The importance of having such a shared vision to bring these disparate stakeholders’ aspirations together around the common goal, namely to develop all learners’ talents and capabilities, is underscored. The authors argue that factors such as reciprocal blame and a lack of cooperation are among the problems that hamper the full realisation in practice of the legislative provisions pertaining to parental accountability. Our article identifies solutions to this challenge, such as parents’ setting upright examples by behaving in an accountable manner, and recommendations, such as empowering parents for their roles as partners in education.
Keywords: Education Law, parental responsibility, participation, accountability, learner discipline, partners in education
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright in all material published in PER/PELJ vests in the author, provided that authors grant, by submission of their contributions, permission that their contributions may be shared and adapted without restriction. An author furthermore agrees that the same contribution may not be published elsewhere without the written permission of the editor.
Anyone gaining access, electronically or otherwise, to a contribution to PER, may quote from such contribution, use the intellectual content thereof, share and adapt it, but subject to the following conditions:
you must give appropriate credit, provide a link and indicate if changes were made; and
the copyright of the author(s) may not be infringed in any way.