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South African Journal of Education

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Collaboration between school management teams and governing bodies in effectively managing public primary school finances

Philip Basson, Raj Mestry

Abstract


The South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 requires school governing bodies (SGBs) to take responsibility for the management of school finances. However, research in this field of study revealed that many SGB members lack the necessary knowledge and financial skills to effectively and efficiently manage schools’ finances. This has resulted in more financial responsibilities assigned to principals, who in turn solicit the assistance of other members of school management teams (SMTs), which include heads of departments (HoDs) and deputy principals. Given that principals and SGBs grapple with the demands of managing financial resources effectively, this study explores the necessity for SMTs to collaborate with principals and SGBs. Qualitative research was used to determine the factors that drive or hinder authentic collaboration among SMT members and SGB governors in the Gauteng West and Johannesburg West education districts. This research followed an interpretivist approach, focusing on the descriptive, contextual and exploratory nature of the inquiry. Findings revealed that collaboration between members of the SGBs and SMTs on school finances are usually non-existent. It is recommended that more structures and opportunities should be created to enable effective communication and teamwork among various role-players. Cultivating and sustaining collaborative relationships between members of SGBs and SMTs will certainly contribute to effective financial management.

Keywords: budgeting; collaboration; financial management; professional management; school management teams; teamwork




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