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Chapter 14

SECURITY AND HEALTH

14.9 SAFETY MEASURES AT SCHOOLS

14.9.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]
  • Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act 2 of 2010 [SSRE]

 

REGULATIONS

  • Regulations for Safety Measures at Public Schools (Government Gazette 22754, 12 October 2001 and 29376, 10 November 2006) [NR SMP]

 

GUIDELINES

  • School Infrastructure Safety and Security Guidelines – First version (DBE, 25 March 2017) [NG SAFETY]
  • National School Safety Framework DBE2016 [NG SCHOOLSAFETY]
    (See paragraph (i) below)
    Other:
    Also see Chapter 14.11 Some Important Aspects on Scholar Patrols at Public Schools

OTHER

  • Also see Chapter 14.11 Some Important Aspects on Scholar Patrols at Public Schools

KwaZulu-Natal

POLICIES

  • KZN Policy on Smoking [Reference B4 SMOKING]

 

CIRCULARS

  • KZN HRM No 20 of 2009 dated 26 February 2009: Provision for Administration of Medicine at Schools [Reference B4 20/2009]
  • KZN unnumbered Circular dated 3 March 2009: Implementation of Security Clearance Strategy and Procedure Manual on Security Clearance Strategy KZN [Reference B4 SECURITY]

WesternCape

POLICIES

  • WCED Smoking Policy [Reference B9 SMOKING]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Guidelines on Playground Safety in Public Schools [Reference B9 PLAYGROUND]
  • Safety in School Science Policy and Protocol [Reference B9 SAFETY]

NorthernCape

POLICIES

14.9.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Safety Measures At Schools

  1. Definitions
    In these Regulations any word or expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the Act, shall have that meaning and, unless the context indicates otherwise –

    • “dangerous object” means –
      • any explosive material or device;
      • any firearm or gas weapon;
      • any article, object or instrument which may be employed to cause bodily harm to a person, or to render a person temporarily paralysed or unconscious, or to cause damage to property; or
      • any object which the Minister may by notice in the Gazette declare to be a dangerous object for the purposes of these regulations; unless such objects are used for education purposes;
    • “HOD” means the Head of Education Department in a province;
    • “illegal drug” means any unlawful intoxicating or stupefying substance;
    • “public school premises” includes a building, structure, hall, room, office, convenience, land, enclosure, which is under the control of a public school, to which a member of the public has a right of access, or is usually admitted, or to which he or she may be admitted.
  2. Scope of applicability
    These regulations apply to all public schools.
  3. Application of other laws
    Notwithstanding the provisions of these Regulations, a public school is not exempted from complying with the provisions of any other applicable law and these Regulations are intended to support such applicable laws.
  4. Violence and drug free public schools
    • All public schools are hereby declared drug free and dangerous object free zones.
    • No person may –
      • allow any dangerous object in the public school premises;
      • carry any dangerous object in the public school premises;
      • store any dangerous object in the public school premises except in officially designated places identified by the principal;
      • possess illegal drugs on public school premises;
      • enter public school premises while under the influence of an illegal drug or alcohol;
      • cause any form of violence or disturbances which can negatively impact on any public school activities;
      • wittingly condone, connive, hide, abet, encourage possession of dangerous objects or refuse, fail, neglect to report the sighting or presence of any dangerous objects to the departmental authorities or the police as soon as possible;
      • directly or indirectly cause harm to anyone, who exposes another person who makes an attempt to frustrate the prevention of the dangerous objects and activities.
    • A police official or in his absence, the principal or delegate may, without warrant –
      • search any public school premises if he or she has a reasonable suspicion that a dangerous object or illegal drugs may be present in the public school premises in contravention of the regulations;
      • search any person present on the public school premises; and
      • seize any dangerous object or illegal drugs present on public school premises or on the person in contravention of these regulations.
  5. Access to public schools premises
    • Subject to the Constitution, laws and national and provincial policies, the HOD or principal of any public school may and for such timeframes as may be necessary –
      • take such steps as he or she may consider necessary for the safeguarding of the public school premises, as well as for the protection of the people therein; and
      • direct that the school may only be entered in accordance with the provisions of the following:
        • No person shall without the permission of the principal or HOD enter into any public school premises in respect of which a direction has been issued according the above, and for the purpose of the granting of that permission the principal or HOD may require of the person concerned to –
          • furnish his or her name, address and any other relevant information required by the principal or HOD;
          • produce proof of his or her identity to the satisfaction of the principal or HOD if necessary;
          • declare whether he or she has any dangerous object or illegal drugs in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control;
          • declare what the contents are of any vehicle, suitcase, attaché case, bag, handbag. folder, envelope, parcel or container of any nature which he or she has in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control, and show those contents to him or her;
          • subject himself or herself and anything which he or she has in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control to a search by a person of the same gender, an examination by an electronic device, sniffer dogs or other apparatus in order to determine the presence of any dangerous object or illegal drug; and
          • hand to the principal or HOD anything which he or she has in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control for examination or custody until he or she leaves the premises.
    • Without derogation of the provisions of the Trespass Act, 1959 (Act No. 6 of 1959), the principal or HOD may at any time remove any person from any public school premises if –
      • that person enters the public school premises concerned without the permission of the principal or the HOD;
      • that person refuses or fails to observe any steps contemplated; and
      • the principal or HOD considers it necessary for the safeguarding of the public school premises concerned or for the protection of the people thereon.
    • If it is not practicable to examine or keep in custody, on or in the public school premises concerned, anything which may be examined or kept in custody, may be removed to a suitable place for that purpose.
  6. Exemption of certain persons
    The provisions of the previous regulation do not apply in respect of any member of a police service established by or under any law, a member of the South African Defence Force, the Minister of Education, the Member of the Executive Council responsible for education in a province or an official of the Department or provincial departments of Education who is required in the performance of his or her functions to enter or enters upon any public school premises and who produces proof of his or her identity to the satisfaction of the principal or HOD concerned.
  7. Visits to public schools by public and political office bearers
    • Members of the public and political office bearers, public representatives and the media have a right to visit public schools in the interests of public accountability, but this right must be regulated to ensure that schools are not disrupted by such visits, and to avoid the politicisation of such visits. This right is subjected to reasonable controls to ensure the proper functioning of education.
    • It such visits are desired, the person intending to visit must request and obtain written permission from the principal or HOD prior to the visit. The request must be made at least thirty days before the intended visit, unless there are sound reasons for a shorter notification period. This request must clearly indicate the date, time and purpose of the visit, the names of all participants, and the aspects which are intended to be looked at. The principal of the public school shall not refuse reasonable access to a person who has such written permission.
    • In cases where the written permission is granted by the HOD, the HOD, before granting such permission must consult the principal of the public school to be visited, to determine whether it is feasible for them to receive such a visit, and whether or not the school programme is likely to be seriously affected thereby.
    • Wherever possible a Departmental office-based representative should accompany such visitors.
  8. Visits to public schools by parents
    • Parents have the right to visit the public school where their children have been admitted but such visits may not disrupt any of the school activities.
    • Parents are required to make an appointment with the principal of the school for a personal appointment with him or her prior to the visit and must state the reason for the visit and the persons who may be involved during the visit.
  9. General
    • All public schools must display clear signs at the entrance that any person who enters the school may be subjected to a search.
    • Any person who contravenes these regulations may be removed from the public school premises.
    • Public schools must cooperate with police stations to ensure that visible policing is present during all sporting and cultural events at the school.
    • Public schools must encourage governing body members and parents to participate in community policing forums.
    • Public schools must develop action plans to counter threats of violence which have the potential to have a negative impact on school activities and to implement regulation 4(1).
    • The plans in sub regulation (5) must ensure the safety of all learners, staff members and parents during school activities.
    • Public schools must engage in advocacy campaigns to communicate to the public the status of the schools concerning the regulations and the right to protection against violence.
    • The HOD must provide guidelines to assist the public schools in developing the action plans contemplated in sub regulations (5) to (7).
    • The HOD must be provided with action plans contemplated in sub regulations (5) to (7) within 6 months after the commencement of the Regulations.
  10. CCTV Cameras
    In view of the above general remarks, “the use of these (CCTV) cameras is increasingly becoming a further security mechanism in schools as well. Cameras are amazing security tools to everyone in the school, especially for teachers in the classroom. That is… if they are utilised correctly.”
    See also: CCTV Cameras – Keeping everyone honest (SAOU Legal Services – 2/2017)
  11. Delegation of powers
    • The HOD may, on such conditions as he or she may determine, delegate the exercise of any of his or her powers under these regulations and the performance of any of his or her duties in terms of these regulations to any employee in the Provincial Department of Education.

Also see Chapter 1.3 Developing of Policies

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