Chapter 13



13.1.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA] Section 58B
  • The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) [SAC]
  • Chapter 2 of The Bill of Rights, Section 29(3)(c) provides for quality education to all citizens [BoR]
  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
    • Section 3(4) and Section 8 mandates the Minister of Education to determine National policy for planning, monitoring and evaluation to ensure the delivery of quality education.
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]
    • Resolution 8 of 2003 (IQMS)- provides the framework to evaluate educator performance and development to enhance the delivery of quality education.
  • Basic Education Laws Amendment Act, 2011, No. 15 of 2011 [ELA]
    • Section 16(A), outlines the roles and responsibilities of principals regarding planning, reporting, accountability and performance of schools.
    • Section 58B (1) to (7), refers to the identification of underperforming schools.



  • The National Policy on Whole School Evaluation, Government Gazette Vol.433, No. 22512 of July 2001 (outlines the system by which the quality of education provided by schools can be assessed) [NP WSP
    • Section 16(1), (2) and (3) as amended – the governing body stands in a position of trust towards the school, while the professional management of a public school must be undertaken by the principal under the authority of the Head of Department.
    • Section 20(e) – The School Governing Body supports the principal, educators and other staff of the school in the performance of their professional functions.
    • Section 22(1) – The Head of Department may, on reasonable grounds withdraw functions of a governing body.

13.1.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Identification of Under-performing Public School

  1. The Principal of a public school represents the Head of Department in the governing body and it is therefore his/her responsibility to prepare and submit an annual report to the HOD in respect of:
    • The academic performance of the school and
    • The effective use of available resources
  2. The Head of Department must, annually, identify any public school that is underperforming.
  3. The Head of Department must issue a written notice to the school if he or she is satisfied that-
    • the standard of performance of learners is below the standards prescribed by the National Curriculum Statement and is likely to remain so
    • there has been a serious breakdown in the way the school is managed or governed which is prejudicing, or likely to prejudice, the standards of performance; or
    • the safety of learners or staff is threatened.
  4. The written notice must inform the school that it must-
    • within 14 days after delivery of the notice, respond to the notice; and
    • as soon as possible after that response, provide the Head of Department with a plan for correcting the situation.
    • The Head of Department must take all reasonable steps to assist a school identified in addressing the underperformance.
  5. Without limiting the nature and extent of the steps, the Head of Department must consider-
    • implementing the incapacity code and procedures for poor work performance referred to in section 16 of the Employment of Educators Act, 1998 (Act 76 of 1998);
    • withdrawing the functions of the governing body; or
    • appointing persons to perform the functions or specified functions of the governing body.
  6. The counselling of the principal as contemplated in Item 2 (5) (b) (ii) of Schedule 1 to the Employment of Educators Act, 1998 (Act 76 of 1998), may include the appointment of an academic mentor to take over the functions and responsibilities of the principal for the period determined by the Head of Department.
  7. In order to assist the Minister in carrying out his or her duties referred to in section 8 of the National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act 27 of 1996), the Member of the Executive Council must report to the Minister within three months after the end of a school year on the action taken by the Head of Department in regard to an underperforming public school.
  8. 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.
  9. The academic performance improvement plan must be—
    • presented to the Head of Department on a date determined by him or her; and tabled at a governing body
    • 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Below find an example of a Management Plan:



    Activity Timeframe / date Responsible person
    1. Identification of poorly performing schools 1st week January H/O GETSIP/ Interventions and Curriculum
    2. Head of Department provides underperforming schools with notice 2nd Week of January H/O GET-SIP/ Interventions and Curriculum
    3. Schools respond to the notice by Head of Department 3rd to 5th week (within 14 days) Principals of schools
    4. Schools provide improvement plans (academic) to Head of Department 6th to 7th week (21 days) Principals of schools
    5. Head of Department considers the submitted plans – approves or rejects 8th to 9th week H/O GET- SIP/ Interventions and Curriculum
    6. Head of Department submits his/her report to the MEC 10th week (2nd week of March) Head of Department through interventions
    7. MEC submits final report to the Minister 31 March MEC through interventions


13.1.3Criteria on Identification of Underperforming Public School

  1. Primary school is deemed underperforming if less than 60% learners perform in literacy & numeracy (LOLT) at Level 4 & above
  2. High school is deemed underperforming if learner performance in NSC is below 60% AND it produces less than 30% bachelors & diploma passes.
  3. A chronically under-performing school under performs for three consecutive years – conditions are a WSE assessment, targeted support and involvement of all stakeholders to turn school around.


13.2.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • Further Education and Training Act No. 98 of 1998 [FETA]
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]
  • South African Council for Educators Act 31 of 2000, Code of Professional Ethics [SACE]
  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]



  • National Norms and Standards for Grade R Funding (GG 30679) of January 2008 (NSF-Grade R) [NR 30679/2008]
  • National Norms and Standards for School Funding, Government Gazette Vol. 400, No. 19347, 12 October 1998 [NR NSSF]
  • Amended National Norms and Standards for School Funding (Government Gazette 394 in GN 40818 of 28 April 2017) [NR 40818/2017]



  • The National Policy on Whole School Evaluation, Government Gazette Vol.433, No. 22512 of July 2001  [NP WSE]

13.2.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on School Readiness

The Department of Education has put in place processes to monitor school readiness.  The process involves coordinating activities between the line functions to ensure a holistic service delivery for schools to commence with teaching and learning from day 1 of the new academic year.


This process culminates in on-site monitoring visits conducted by senior management and departmental officials in the first two weeks of reopening of all public schools.


To facilitate the process, the SMTs and SGB chairpersons must ensure that the following documents are readily available for perusal by the departmental official(s) monitoring the school:

Focus Areas Documents
ADMISSIONS Admissions Registers
Application and Re-registration Forms for Admissions
Written Notices for Refusal of Admission
Evidence for declaring the school full
Attendance figures of Learners in each class, Boys and Girls
Documents for controlling Educator and Learner Absenteeism and Late-coming
School Year Plan
School Development Plan
School Improvement Plan (ratified by the District Director)
IQMS Management Plan
School budget (with minutes of a parent meeting where it was adopted)
List of different committees in the school
IWSE report and EWSE report where applicable
Time book for staff
Minutes of AGM for parents
 EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES  LTSM Records (Ordering, Delivery Retrieval, Asset Register, Textbook/Stationery, Distribution Strategy)
 List of service providers
 School furniture needs (shortage/surplus)
 ACADEMIC PREPARATION  Timetables: composite, educator, class, relief, duty roster, extra-mural
 Learning programmes
 Annual Assessment Programme
Class lists and learner attendance registers
Analysis of examination results
LEARNER SUPPORT SERVICES Scholar Transport (Number of Learners using the service and distances learners travel, etc)
The Nutritional Programme (Number of Learners benefiting from the programme)
SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE/ FACILITIES School facilities: state and conditions of buildings, classrooms, offices, specialist rooms, ablution, security measures
Basic amenities: running water, electricity and telephone


13.3.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The National Policy on Whole School Evaluation, Government Gazette Vol.433, No. 22512 of July 2001  [NP WSE]



13.3.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Whole School Evaluation

  1. The purpose of Whole-School Evaluation is aimed at improving the overall quality of education in South African schools. Its main purpose is to facilitate improvement of school performance through collaboration, mentoring and guidance.
  2. The approach is designed to help schools measure to what extent they are fulfilling their responsibilities and improving their performance. This can be achieved through:
    • School-based self-evaluation.
    • External evaluation by the supervisory unit personnel trained and accredited to evaluate schools.
    • Adequate and regular district support leading to professional development programmes designed to provide assistance and advice to individual staff members and schools as they seek to improve their performance.
    • An agreed set of national criteria to ensure a coherent and consistent, but flexible approach to evaluating performance in the education system.
    • Published written reports on the performance of individual schools.
    • Annual reports published by provinces and the Ministry on the state of education in schools.
  3. The following are the key areas of evaluation:
    • Basic functionality of the school.
    • Leadership, management and communication.
    • Governance and relationships.
    • Quality of teaching and learning, and educator development.
    • Curriculum provision and resources.
    • Learner achievement.
    • School safety, security and discipline.
    • School infrastructure.
    • Parents and community.
  4. Evaluation process
    • The whole-school evaluation cycle includes pre-evaluation surveys/visits, school self-evaluation, detailed on-site evaluation, post-evaluation reporting and post-evaluation support.
    • Each supervisory team will have a team leader who has the responsibility to build a brief profile about the general level of functionality of the school and to share with the school the procedures that will be followed by the evaluation team. The team leader also has overall responsibility for the evaluation process and the conduct of the supervisors.
    • Supervisory teams will comprise accredited supervisors capable of evaluating the nine areas for evaluation. Members should have the expertise to evaluate at least one subject/learning area and have an awareness of the key elements of good provision for Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN).
    • The number of supervisors will normally be within the range of four to six, depending on the size of the school and the resources available.
    • Evaluations will normally be conducted between three and four days of the week, depending on the size of school.
    • An evaluation will result in a published, written report and contain recommendations designed to help the school continue to improve.
    • A school will be helped by district support services to formulate and implement an improvement plan based on the recommendations in the report and provide the school with support as it seeks to implement the plan.
  5. The use of indicators
    Evaluation will be based on indicators covering inputs, processes and outputs.

    • INPUTS – what the school has been provided with in order to carry out its task
      The input indicators include the main characteristics of each grade of learners, the school’s infrastructure, funding and professional and support staff. For example:

      • The main characteristics of each cohort of learners on arrival at the school:
        • Socio-economic background
        • Attainment at entry
        • Range of languages
        • Numbers by age and gender per school and class
      • Physical resources:
        • Classrooms
        • Common purpose rooms and areas
        • External premises
        • Teaching aids, materials and equipment
      • Professional and support staff:
        • Numbers by gender
        • Qualifications and experience
        • Educator development and capacity building
      • Funding:
        • Ministry
        • Province
        • Learners
        • Other sources
    • PROCESSES – how the school seeks to achieve its goals
      Process indicators
      show how well the school seeks to achieve its goals. These include the effectiveness with which schools try to ensure effective governance, leadership and management, safety and security measures, and the quality of teaching. For example:

      • What the school does to ensure it functions smoothly.
      • How the leadership and management of the school are directed to achieve the school’s goals.
      • How school governance is conducted.
      • How the school ensures quality teaching, curriculum planning, and effective assessment of what learners are learning.
      • The willingness of all school staff and governors to carry out conscientiously and effectively any responsibility they are given.
      • The school’s success in encouraging learners to carry out conscientiously and effectively any responsibility they are given, including attendance and punctuality.
      • What the school does to ensure security and safety.
      • Language of instruction.
      • What support and guidance the school provides to help learners develop intellectually and personally.
      • What the school does to appraise staff and to help them develop their skills and effectiveness.
      • How the school seeks to encourage parental and community involvement.
      • How the school manages its resources.
      • What the school does to ensure the use and development of information and communication technology for both curriculum and management purposes.
      • Guidance and counselling.
    • OUTPUTS – what the school achieves
      Output Indicators
      include achievements in academic standards, standards of behaviour and rates of punctuality and attendance. For example:

      • Learners’ standards of attainment at the end of each stage of their education.
      • What progress learners have made while at school.
      • The quality of learners’ response to teaching and to the school’s general provision.
      • Learners’ standards of behaviour.
      • The orderliness of the school.
      • The condition of school accommodation and furnishings and the effectiveness with which these are used.
      • The commitment to the school and its learners of parents and the community.
      • The efficiency with which the school uses its resources/funding.
      • The provision for safety and security.


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