Who runs the Governing Body Foundation?
The constitution of the GBF makes provision for an elected Board of Trustees and various office-bearers. These Trustees make their time and expertise available on a voluntary basis. This expertise currently includes considerable legal, financial and governance background. In addition, as a result of increasing requests from schools for assistance and information the Trustees have set up four resource facilities, each staffed by an executive officer with wide experience of the governance challenges faced by Governing Bodies in the carrying out of their functions. These facilities are based in the Western Cape, Gauteng, KZN and the Eastern Cape and co-operate in the handling of national level matters.
Which education departments recognize the Governing Body Foundation?
The GBF is increasingly being approached by schools in all provinces for assistance and membership. It is constituted to operate both provincially and nationally and has experienced no difficulty in gaining access to departments at both provincial and national level.
On a day to day basis the executive officers of the GBF have access to departmental officials and enjoy a high degree of co-operation. The GBF is confident that it will be represented on all Provincial Education Councils as and when they are finally established.
The GBF is regularly consulted on a wide variety of matters relating to the governance of public schools. It has also intervened successfully on behalf of its members where their powers and functions have been incorrectly interpreted or interfered with.
How does the Governing Body Foundation interact with the national education department?
At national level, the GBF has gained recognition through its presence on the structures established by the Minister to review the national curriculum and the Ministerial Review Committee on School Governance. It is a respected member of the National Consultative Forum for Governing Body Associations. The Foundation has made numerous submissions to the various Parliamentary Education Portfolio Committees and its inputs are clearly reflected, for instance, in the various amendments to the South African Schools’ Act, other legislation and policy.
What are the objectives of the Governing Body Foundation?
The objectives of the GBF as set out in its constitution are:
- To represent governing bodies of public schools in the Republic of South Africa in the manner envisaged in Section 20(3) of the South African Schools Act No 84 of 1996;
- To maintain and promote quality, non-racial education in public schools;
- To uphold and promote the rights and interests of parents in the governance of public schools;
- To uphold and promote the rights of governing bodies in public school education;
- To assist governing bodies of public schools in exercising their rights and performing their obligations
- To act as a resource center for governing bodies of public schools and in particular to provide guidance and information on all aspects of education, management and governance of public schools.
- To promote equity and a pupil-centred approach in the delivery of public school education and the redress of imbalances in public school education and to uphold and promote the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and its values, including those pertaining to education;
- To represent its members in consultation and negotiations with any other stakeholder(s) in the educational arena;
- Generally to publicise and promote the above objectives;
- To raise funds with which to finance the pursuit of the above objectives.
Why should our school Governing Body join the Governing Body Foundation?
The GBF undertakes a wide variety of activities. These include the following:
- Monitoring, evaluating and commenting upon all draft policies and legislation which can impact upon the various roles of Governing Bodies
- Lobbying relevant authorities about concerns raised by Governing Bodies
- Keeping member Governing Bodies informed of developments in education through means of regular newsletters and ad hoc communications
- Providing advice to Governing Bodies concerning the implementation of policies and the execution of their roles and responsibilities
- Providing examples of documents required by Governing Bodies e.g. employment contracts
- Assisting Governing Bodies with their individual difficulties, including their interactions with the relevant provincial education departments.
- Commissioning and providing work-shops on aspects of Governing Body responsibilities
It is not, however, a role of the GBF to involve itself in the functions of educator trade unions (for example in disputes about conditions of service) unless these impact on the powers, responsibilities and effectiveness of Governing Bodies.
Can we join the Governing Body Foundation online?
Yes, just click on the Apply To Join link in the menu at the top of this page