SASA – PUBLIC SCHOOLS 16A. Functions and Responsibilities of Principal of Public school

16A. Functions and responsibilities of principal of public school.

(1) (a) The principal of a public school represents the Head of Department in the governing body when acting in an official capacity as contemplated in sections 23 (1) (b) and 24 (1) ( j).

(b) The principal must prepare and submit to the Head of Department an annual report in respect of

(i) the academic performance of that school in relation to minimum outcomes and standards and procedures for assessment determined by the Minister in terms of section 6A; and

(ii) the effective use of available resources.

(c) (i) The principal of a public school identified by the Head of Department in terms of section 58B must annually, at the beginning of the year, prepare a plan setting out how academic performance at the school will be improved.

(ii) The academic performance improvement plan must be

(aa) presented to the Head of Department on a date determined by him or her; and

(bb) tabled at a governing body meeting.

(iii) The Head of Department may approve the academic performance improvement plan or return it to the principal with such recommendations as may be necessary in the circumstances.

(iv) If the Head of Department approves the academic performance improvement plan the principal must, by 30 June, report to the Head of Department and the governing body on progress made in implementing that plan.

(v) The Head of Department may extend the date contemplated subparagraph (iv) on good cause shown.

(2) The principal must

(a) in undertaking the professional management of a public school as contemplated in section 16 (3), carry out duties which include, but are not limited to

(i) the implementation of all the educational programmes and curriculum activities;

(ii) the management of all educators and support staff;

(iii) the management of the use of learning support material and other equipment;

(iv) the performance of functions delegated to him or her by the Head of Department in terms of this Act;

(v) the safekeeping of all school records; and

(vi) the implementation of policy and legislation;

(b) attend and participate in all meetings of the governing body;

(c) provide the governing body with a report about the professional management relating to the public school;

(d) assist the governing body in handling disciplinary matters pertaining to learners;

(e) assist the Head of Department in handling disciplinary matters pertaining to educators and support staff employed by the Head of Department;

( f ) inform the governing body about policy and legislation; [Para. ( f ) amended by s. 9 of Act No. 15 of 2011.] Wording of Sections

(g) provide accurate data to the Head of Department when requested to do so; and; [Para. (g) amended by s. 9 of Act No. 15 of 2011.] Wording of Sections (h) assist the governing body with the management of the school’s funds, which assistance must include

(i) the provision of information relating to any conditions imposed or directions issued by the Minister, the Member of the Executive Council or the Head of Department in respect of all financial matters of the school contemplated in Chapter 4; and

(ii) the giving of advice to the governing body on the financial implications of decisions relating to the financial matters of the school; [Para. (h) added by s. 9 of Act No. 15 of 2011.]

(h) take all reasonable steps to prevent any financial maladministration or mismanagement by any staff member or by the governing body of the school; [Para. (i) added by s. 9 of Act No. 15 of 2011.]

( j) be a member of a finance committee or delegation of the governing body in order to manage any matter that has financial implications for the school; and [Para. ( j) added by s. 9 of Act No. 15 of 2011.]

(k) report any maladministration or mismanagement of financial matters to the governing body of the school and to the Head of Department. [Para. (k) added by s. 9 of Act No. 15 of 2011.]


  • 1

    When must a school report absenteeism in non consecutive day cases?


    In cases where, learners under the age of 16, miss more than the norm of school days but not consecutively

    • admin

      It is the Principal’s responsibility to follow up on why any learner is not at school. After 10 days a learner over 16 can be taken off the role. Under sixteen social services may need to be involved.

  • 1

    Can the principal overide the authority of duty delegated by him to a staff member

    Simon Pillay

    The principal delegated the duty exam coordinator to me. A decision pertaining to some learners writing an exam prior to the rest of the Grade writing was taken without my knowledge between a staff member and the principal. Is this constitutional?

    • admin

      The best is to discuss the matter with your Principal and to address your concerns. As a rule, once a duty has been delegated all decisions pertaining to that duty is your responsibility but accountability still rest with the Principal. If he should make a change for whatever reason and you disagree it is best to note your concern and to put pen to paper.
      As this is an Educational matter it need not be presented to the SGB and should be resolved internally.
      Your personal relationship with the Principal will also determine how you best resolve the matter.

  • 0

    Does the principal has a right to lock teachers after hours in the school when they did not finish their work?


    The functions are clear and understandable

  • 1

    How far do the responsibilities of schools go with regards to learners not being fetched after school hours ended and ican a school be held responsible for every learner outside of the school premises??

    Heloise Zeedijk

    I want comments about school’s responsibility re learners after school hours and outside the school premises

    • admin

      The school can only be held responsible for what happened on school grounds and approved by the department if their is negligence. However, communities and schools need to work together to ensure the safety of all learners to an from school. Learners on scholar transport must be monitored by the School. Any drivers that endanger the lives of learners must be reported to the Department as well as to the police if of a criminal nature.

  • 1

    Did you spell LEADERSHIP correctly?


    Any reason why you spelled the word with a double d?

    • admin

      i refer to ADD as a disorder that exists undiagnosed. Creating courses, I provide an easier platform to learn from. it benefits everyone to have these courses at their disposal.