Chapter 2



2.1.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]



  • The National Education Information Policy (Gazette 26710, 2004) [NP EI]
  • Amendment to The National Education Policy (Government Gazette 33426, 2012) [NP AEI]

2.1.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on School Reference Numbers

  1. Each school will be allocated an Education Management Information System (acronym, EMIS) number from the Chief Directorate: Education and Training Provisioning of the relevant provincial department.
  2. This number should be used in all correspondence, surveys, etc. An additional number will be added to the EMIS number.  This number is for the annual survey and is made up of more digits (reflecting the province and magisterial district).


2.2.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The South African Constitution Act 108 of 1996 [SAC]
    Chapter 2, Section 32, 1(a) and (b), and 2
  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
    Chapter 7, Section 59, (1) and (2) determines that schools have to provide information to anyone, especially to the Head of Education in the province.
  • Promotion to the Access Of Information Act, No. 2 of 2000 [PAIA
    Promotion to the Access of Information Act states clearly that the Department must provide information to anyone that requires that information.
  • Manual on the Promotion of Access to Information Act [M PAIA]

2.2.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Statistics And Surveys

  1. The Department of Basic Education is legally required to annually collect data from schools. The purpose of this data collection process is to plan effectively for the provision of quality education to all learners.  Educational Planning has an impact on the provision of learner and teacher support material (LTSM), payment of salaries to educators and the organisational structure of the Department.  Information therefore required for education planning must be accurate, timely, needs-driven, useful, relevant and accessible.
  2. Education Management Information System is a function and unit in the Department of Basic Education responsible for developing and maintaining an integrated education information system for the management of education. The Department of Basic Education is legally required to collect data from schools in order to plan effectively for the provision of quality education to all learners. Education Planning ranges from the provision of books to learners, the payment of salaries to educators right up to the organisational structure of the Department. Therefore the information required for education planning must be accurate, timely, relevant and accessible.  The Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) unit, in conjunction with other sections in the Department, is responsible for capturing, analysing and storing this data.
  3. The integrated information system is accomplished through the acquisition, processing, dissemination and reporting of quality education data.
    • It is used for:
    • Education planning and decision-making,
    • Financial allocation (including the equitable share)
    • Accounting, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of relevant education policies; provide information to evaluate indicators
    • Tool for the Minister and the Department to provide answers to parliamentary questions
    • National education information needs
  4. There are six regular surveys, which are conducted by EMIS. These are: The Snap Survey (the Tenth Day), the Annual Survey, Educator information, Grade 1 admissions, Quarterly return on learner attendance and Leave of educators. Ad hoc surveys can also be requested from time to time as the need arises.
  5. The raw data supplied by schools to EMIS is processed, analysed and stored in a data bank. Specific information can then be extracted from the data bank on request and made available to the different sections of the National Department and other users. The information captured by EMIS covers three broad categories: Learners, Educators and Physical Infrastructure.
    • Provincial surveys
      There are six regular surveys, which are conducted by EMIS. These are: the Snap Survey (Tenth Day), The Annual Survey, Educator information, Grade 1 admissions, Quarterly return on learner attendance and Leave of educators. In addition to these surveys there are also ad hoc surveys, which may be conducted as the need arises. In all these surveys specific and accurate data must be provided.  The survey forms will be sent to the schools annually through the District Offices. The principal is responsible for the prompt, thorough and correct completion of the survey form and must certify the information accordingly.
    • Snap Survey: This survey is conducted on the 10th school day of each year and collects basic aggregated information on learner and educator statistics for ordinary schools. Ordinary schools are schools that offer any combination of grades between grade R and grade 12, both public and independent. It is a criminal offence to supply incorrect information on this form.
    • Annual Survey: This survey is conducted on the 1st Tuesday of March of the year. It is the main survey of schools and is very detailed. Detailed disaggregated data is collected from ordinary schools. Data includes disaggregation by grade, gender, age, population group, medium of instruction, home language etc. The annual survey remains the main source of information for EMIS. Due to the size and scope of the survey data is only available for reporting from September of each year. Collected data is used for the provisioning of educators to schools for the following academic year, the funding of ordinary schools and various other projects. Principals of all public schools, including LSEN schools, must complete an annual survey, applicable to their schools, and return it to the District Office.  Principals must adhere to the return dates as far as possible so as to assist the District Offices in reaching their own deadlines.
    • Educator information
      This form is part of the EMIS 1.2 annual survey and gathers data on educators. Each educator at a school is required to complete it.
    • Quarterly return of learner attendance
      This form collects data on the daily attendance of learners. It is a summary of learner attendance during each quarter of the year. The completed form must be returned to the District Office on the last day of each term.
    • Quarterly return of educators and nonteaching staff leave
      This form collects data on approved leave of educators. It is a summary, which the principal has to submit to the District Office at the end of each term.
  6. Principals should see to it that copies are kept of all statistical submissions. In the case of electronic submissions, it is essential that backup copies are made of the discs or that hardcopy printouts are made for the purpose of safekeeping.
  7. Where the tasks above are delegated, principals should check that the information is correct and that totals balance. All copies of forms should also be checked.  The principal remains responsible even if he/she delegates the task to a staff member.
  8. The national EMIS unit – in co-ordination and alignment with and inputs from provincial EMIS units -has the further responsibility to:
    • Determine and develop the national EMIS policy and education information standards and to ensure its compliancy
    • National education information user needs;
    • Compile and designs data collection instruments
    • Verify, validate and quality assure education data
    • Integrate and consolidate education information
    • Publish and report education information
    • National EMIS provides support and guidance to the provincial EMIS functions
  9. EMIS Organization; Coordination and Supporting Bodies
    EMIS units were established in each of the tiers of government departments, namely, national and provincial. The National Education Information Policy (Gazette 26710, 2004) designates the National and Provincial
    EMIS Officers to coordinate, control and release official statistical data to all its users. The EMIS policy is currently being amended to designate district and institutional Information Officers to serve a similar function as those of national and provincial EMIS officers, in future.
    On four occasions in the financial year EMIS national meets with its provincial counterparts to manage, plan and align activities of the enterprise.
  10. EMIS information Users
    EMIS units (Provincial and national) regularly provide services to other components in education as well as education information to:

    • Minister of Education, Department of Education and Provincial Education Departments
    • Other government departments and state agencies at national, provincial and local level
    • National Treasury: Allocation of the Equitable share for provinces
    • Legislative and constituent bodies
    • Regulatory bodies
    • Civil society organisations
    • Local and international education agencies
    • Learners, educators and community groups including school and college governing bodies
    • Business and the private sector
    • Unions; partners and stakeholders in education


2.3.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) [SAC]
    Chapter 2, Section 32, 1(a) and (b), and 2
  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
    Chapter 7, Section 59, (1) and (2) determines that schools have to provide information to anyone, especially to the Superintendent-General.

    • A school must make information available for inspection by any person, in so far as such information is required for the exercise and protection of such person’s rights.
    • Every school must provide such information about the school as is reasonably required by the Head of Department or the Director-General of the National Department of Basic Education in consultation with the Head of Department.
  •  Promotion to the Access of Information Act, No. 2 of 2000 [PAIA]
    This act states clearly that the National Department of Education must provide information to anyone that requires that information.
  • Mediation In Certain Divorce Matters Act, 1987 as amended in Government Gazette No. 27406, March 2005 [MCDM]
  • POPI Act 4 of 2013 [POPI]


  • DBE Guideline Document on the POPI Act 4 Jul 21 [NG POPI]


2.3.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on the Duties of Schools to Provide Information

It is the duty of schools to provide information where and when needed.  It should be provided in a simple and accurate format according to the specified time schedules

  1. We can distinguish between information on learners, parents, staff members, finances, the curriculum, the SGB, academic results, resources and extra curriculum activities.
  2. The following information may be included in an educational report:
    • Personal particulars – name, grade, date of birth, ID number, address, name and address of parent/ guardian
    • Academic record – a detailed report indicating whether the pupil has passed/failed
    • Referrals – for example to the School Based Support Team (SBST) or District Based Support Team (DBST). The notes on these referrals should contain dates, reasons, steps taken and outcome. Disciplinary hearings and records may be included
    • Grooming – appearance
    • Behaviour – adjustment to school, hostel life and extracurricular activities
    • Relationships – a comprehensive description of the child’s self-image and recommendations in respect thereof, where necessary.
  3. Evidence by departmental officials in court cases involving learners
    The Department of Basic Education prefers that staff do not give evidence in court cases involving learners, but that they rather make the learner’s educational report available to the court.
    However, should a departmental official receive a summons to appear in court, or learn that a summons is being considered, the official may not refuse.  The following procedure will apply in such a case:

    • The person who is being summoned should inform the District Office. The District Director will refer the case to the Legal Section in the provincial department who will assist the person being summoned.
    • In cases where the Department of Basic Education is directly involved, even greater care should be exercised. The other party’s attorney should be advised to deal directly with the Department’s attorney.
    • Should the Department of Welfare require information, it should apply in writing. Confidential information should be handled discreetly.
  4. Contact and co-operation between family advocates and counsellors, Principals of schools and Heads of Education Aid Centres
    • The Act on Mediation in Certain Divorce Matters (No. 24 of 1987) makes provision, in divorce proceedings where dependent children are involved, for family advocates to interview such children. The family advocates do this to make informed recommendations to the court on custody, control and supervision, access rights and other important aspects which concern the children.
    • To ensure that the child is the ultimate beneficiary of the legal process as it applies to divorce cases, family advocates and counsellors are permitted to contact Principals. Should they be contacted, Principals should furnish the information without delay, even if it is requested by telephone.
  5. Furnishing the addresses of parents
    A principal may furnish the addresses of parents at his discretion, but is under no obligation to do so.
  6. Furnishing information to parents and educators
    • The Department of Basic Education publishes educationally orientated guides as the need arises.
    • Principals should ensure that the information contained herein reaches the designated people.
    • The school should keep at least one copy of these guides/brochures for further reference.
    • The right of parents/educators and learners to timely information is enshrined in the SA Schools Act
  7. Furnishing information to the media
    • The principal, SGB and SMT is responsible for the public image of the school, and should foster and maintain good media relations.
    • Principals, educators and spokespeople of the SGB may respond to media enquiries which do not concern government policy and which will not embarrass any members of the school community. Principals should consult with their district manager and be up to date with provincial policy and circulars in this respect.
    • Emergency protocol – Visit /contact by press or other media
      • Direct all enquiries or visitors to the principal’s office.
      • Ask for proof of their identity.
      • Establish what they want at the school.
      • If it appears that they want to photograph or film anything or want a comment on anything that is contentious or potentially harmful to the school or the department explain that you are not prepared to assist and refer them firmly and politely to the district office / EDO.
    • Principals and SGB’s may approach the media, especially the local media, to cover important events. These may include:
      • the appointment, promotion or departure of the Principal or other staff members
      • events concerning the school’s history
      • the inauguration of new facilities
      • the announcement of capital projects, renovation and extensions
      • advertising of concerts, fêtes and functions
      • interschool competitions hosted by the school
      • unique school traditions
      • community projects of the school
      • individual achievements of pupils and staff members
      • venues and times of sports matches and their results
      • team and individual learner achievements.


2.4.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]
    The Principal must ensure that a School Journal is kept containing a record of all important events connected with the school.



  • Personnel Administration Measures, Chapter A, Annex A.7 (3.1.4) [PAM]

2.4.2Guidelines for the Development of School Policy on the School Journal/School Logbook/Diary and the History of the School

  1. The Journal/School logbook/Diary
    • It is essential that a diary be kept at each school in which events are recorded by the principal of the school. The school journal is an official document and should be kept in a safe and secure place.
    • What is to be recorded?
      • The opening and closing of the school each term and the number of pupils officially enrolled on those days, as well as the enrolment figure of the school on the tenth school day of the year.
      • Names of the schools staff members, changes of staff and any important reorganization of work during the year.
      • Visits by dignitaries and senior officials of the Department should sign the school journal in their official capacity.
      • Exceptional achievements by educators or pupils of the school.
      • Any unusual temporary closing of the school.
      • General matters such as building additions to the school of hostel, school concerts, sports, meetings, school excursions, epidemics, additional buildings, functions to celebrate special days, etc.
    • What should not be recorded?
    • The school journal may not be used for recording details of any disciplinary measures taken by the principal or the Department/ governing body against an educator or a pupil of the school.
    • Visitors’ book
    • A separate visitors’ book may be kept.
  2. History of the school
    • A school is expected to record its history in one way or another. If the history of a school is not documented, valuable and interesting information is lost.
    • The following is an outline of how the history of the school should be recorded and kept.
      • The history of the school, from its origin, should be recorded as completely as possible in a book.
      • The principal himself should keep the book up to date or delegate the task to a member of staff.
      • The following may afford rich sources of information for research and should be carefully studied and used in order to place the school’s history on record:
        • Commemorative magazines and annuals;
        • School journals;
        • Minutes of SGB meetings, minutes of Representative Council of Learner’s meetings;
        • Correspondence;
        • Photographs and newspaper clippings reflecting school activities;
        • Photographs of memorial stones, monuments, foundation stones, buildings, etc.
        • Tape and sound recordings of operettas, choirs, speeches, etc.
        • Articles in school museums;
        • Admission registers and annual returns;
        • Reports on professional visits;
        • Education and school documents;
        • Records of interviews with ex-principals, ex-educators, ex-pupils and ex-parents of the school;
        • Programmes of – and invitations to functions;
        • Research into the school’s history should include, amongst other things, the following:
        • The development of the school building and school site;
        • Brief biographies of former principals;
        • Exceptional achievements (academic, sporting, cultural and social) in various spheres of school life, for example fetes, festivals and meetings;
        • Amusing incidents;
        • Other relevant events.
    • The book should be kept up to date regularly and in chronological order, with written particulars of school activities, and illustrated where possible by photographs and newspaper clippings.
    • Schools which have computer facilities may store and access such information electronically.


2.5.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
    Chapter 7, Section 59, (1) and (2) determines that schools have to provide information to anyone, especially to the Head of the Department.
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]
    Chapter A, Section 4.2, (e), (i) determines that the Principal must ensure that Departmental circulars and other information received which affect members of the staff are brought to their attention as soon as possible and are stored in an accessible manner.

2.5.2Guidelines for the Development of School Policy on Correspondence

  1. Format of correspondence to officials
    • All letters addressed to officials should be dated and typed or written in ink.
    • A letter should deal with only one subject.
    • A letter concerning an educator should give the full name of the educator and his/her Persal number, as well as a heading indicating the aim and content of the letter.
    • Any letter in reply to a Departmental letter or referring to previous correspondence should quote the reference number of the Departmental letter concerned.
    • All correspondence of an official nature to the Department should be signed or countersigned by the principal or on his behalf by an officer authorised by him.
    • Letters from staff employed by educational institutions should contain the following information: Persal number, name and initials of the sender imprint and institution where employed. Please add a subject line to your letter to the Department as this helps to speed up matters.
    • Personal letters of staff members to the Department should be endorsed by the principal if they cannot be dealt with internally.
  2. Correspondence to the District Office and District Managers
    • Official correspondence to the district office should be directed to the District Director (For attention: The name of the relevant official, usually the EDO/IDSO). Only in instances where the district office has repeatedly failed to respond to any correspondence should it be by-passed. Failure to follow proper channels of communication tends to delay rather than speed up appropriate action as the matter is simply referred back to the correct level. It also tends to lead to strained relations with the district office.
    • Correspondence on the following matters should be addressed to the District Director:
      • Discipline, organisation and the general well-being of the school.
      • Requisitions
      • IQMS
      • Differences of opinion or internal disputes
  3. Enquiries made by teaching staff
    • It is, in the first instance, the duty of heads of educational institutions / offices to answer enquiries made by the staff.
    • When a principal is unable to answer a query he should, depending on the nature of the query, contact the district office or the Department in order to settle the matter.
    • To ensure that an interview with officials of the Department is conducted most effectively, it is advisable to make an appointment in advance with the section concerned.
    • If the principal considers it essential that any member of staff should go to the district office or Department during school hours, he should contact the school’s IDSO.
    • Contact details of office bearers
      The contact details of the MECs and heads of departments are at REFERENCE C under reference code SP CONTACTS.

2.5.3Guidelines for the Development Of School Policy on a Filing System

(Refer to REFERENCE C under reference code SP FILING for an example of a complete filing system)

  1. Main items
    Because of the volume of correspondence and the variety of forms and records which have to be dealt with, it is essential that principals implement a functional filing system.  A suggested system consists of the following main items:

    • Media Services;
    • Examinations and Promotions;
    • Financial;
    • Buildings and Grounds;
    • Reports:
    • Class visit reports
    • Learning Area Coordinator reports
    • Whole School Evaluation reports
    • Learner Activities;
    • Medical Services;
    • Furniture and Equipment;
    • LTSM;
    • Staff;
    • Councils and Committees;
    • School Organization;
    • School Attendance;
    • Subjects;
    • Transport;
    • Hostel Organization;
    • Farming Activities.
  2. Explanatory notes on the above:
    • A file should be opened for every section. The further division of this section into Sub-sections should be done according to the needs of the school.
    • Certain subjects, sections or sub-sections are not applicable to all schools, and it is not necessary to open the file concerned. Where a school, for example, has no farming implementers, that file is omitted.
    • To avoid future confusion, care should be taken to ensure that all correspondence is filed in the correct files and that the number of the file appears on all the school’s correspondence. Example:
    • Reports of Learning Area Coordinators should be filed in the relevant learning area file and not in the file for professional reports.
    • Admission and transfer of pupils fall under School Attendance.
    • When a file is full, it should be closed and a new volume of the file, with the same name and number, should be opened. The old file becomes Volume I and the new one Volume II.  Closed volumes should be filed for future reference in the same numerical order as that used in the filing system.
    • A control card should be opened for each file and kept in the file. When a file is handed to a particular person, the details should be noted on the control card which should then be filed in the filing cabinet.  When the file is returned, the date should be noted on the card which should then be replaced in the file.
    • Every file should have an index and a record of instructions.


2.6.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 [POPI]



  • National Guidelines on How to Manage School Records – Volume 3: General Administration Records July 2004 [NG MSR]
    Periods indicated below for storing and destroying of records, only serve as a guideline.  Provincial policies may differ.  It is therefore important that Principals consult provincial websites and policy documents. (See list of website addresses)

2.6.2Guidelines for the Development of School Policy on Safekeeping and Disposal Of Documents

  1. Introduction
    • Periodically it becomes necessary to destroy old documents which are no longer of any use.
    • Documents of historical value should, however, be carefully safeguarded under the direct control of the principal. No such documents may be destroyed, but should be sent to the Education Museum.
  2. The safekeeping and disposal of certain documents
    • The following records should be carefully kept for an indefinite time:
    • School journals
    • Minutes of meetings of school governing bodies.
      After the first meeting of the SGB, the Electoral Officer must place all the election records (ballot slips) in an envelope and seal it. This envelope is handed over to the Principal of the school for safekeeping in the school’s safe. He must keep these records for the duration of the term of office of the SGB.
    • All original documents relating to the establishment and development of the school and those to do with important events at the school, as well as related photographs, drawings, paintings or publications.
  3. The following documents should be carefully preserved in schools for transfer to the Department when a school closes:
    • Admission registers.
    • Financial records
    • Records of any other financial scheme connected with the school.
    • Visitors’ book
  4. The following are to be disposed of as indicated:
    • Learner Profiles should only be sent on request to other schools, including private schools and technical colleges, to which the pupil concerned has been transferred;
    • Attendance registers may be destroyed after 8 years.
    • Financial records may be destroyed 8 years after audit.
    • Tuck shop books and records may be destroyed 8 years after auditing or closing.
    • Copies of returns, statements, schedules and statistics drawn up and submitted according to instructions or on request may be destroyed after 2 years.
    • Professional and other reports may be destroyed after 8 years.
    • Inventories, stock registers, schemes of work and schedules may be destroyed after 8 years.
    • All other documents of a non-permanent nature, correspondence, letters of appointment, applications for leave, correspondence with parents, inquiries, etc., may be destroyed after 3 years.
    • Books which are worn down or which, for some reason, cannot be used any longer for educational purposes should be disposed of as follows:
      • The books should be written off with the approval of the District Director (Section 20 schools) or Governing Body (Section 21 schools).
      • When books are of historical value (particularly old textbooks) or when they can be regarded as Africana, they should be sent to the Media Service for inclusion in the Department Archives. The parcel should be clearly marked “For Archives”.
  5. Books which are still usable should be dealt with as follows:
    • Principals are urgently requested to use these books in their schools again, if possible.
    • Where books can no longer be used by the school, a list of them should be sent to the IDSO who can forward the list to other schools in the district for their information. He/she can also arrange for these books to be transferred to “twinning” schools which can still make use of them.
    • IDSO’s can also make such lists available to their colleagues in adjoining districts so that as many of these books as possible can be put to use again.
    • Books which can no longer be used can be sent for recycling purposes.
  6. Destruction of registers, books and forms
  • Registers and books
    Number of years
    – Consumable stock registers 7 years
    – Attendance register for boarders 3 years
    – Receipt books 7 years
    – Cheque books 7 years
    – Petty cash books 7 years


  • Forms
    Number of years
    – Inventories of furniture 7 years
    – Order forms 7 years
    – Invoices of firms 7 years
    – Cashed cheques 7 years
    – Audit reports 7 years
    – Queries on audit reports 7 years
    – Replies to audit reports 7 years


2.7.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • Housing Amendment Act, 1996 [No. 6 of 1996] Sections 52 and 53 [HAA]
  • National Education Policy Act, No. 27 of 1996 [NEPA]
  • Basic Education Laws Amendment Act, 2011, No. 15 of 2011 [ELA]
  • Statistics Act, No. 6 of 1999 [STATS]
  • Promotion of Access to Information Act, No.2 of 2000 [PAIA]
  • SA Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996, Chapter 2, Sections 3, 5 [SASA]
  • Employment of Educators Act, No. 76 of 1998 [EEA]



  • Personnel Administration Measures, 3.2 and 24 [PAM]

2.7.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Reports

  1. Professional reports by departments or departmental officials
    Professional reports are confidential documents.  They should be kept in schools, and no copies may be made for distribution.

    • Professional reports (written by staff from District Office/Department)
      These reports are meant for Principals and concern professional matters. They are not available to School Governing Bodies, but Principals may use them as testimonials when they apply for a new post.
    • General professional reports (written by staff from District Office/Department).
      These reports inform the Governing Body about school matters.  Once the Principal has received them, he should arrange for them to be discussed at the first forthcoming meeting of the SGB.
    • Reports concerning buildings and grounds (written by planning staff).
      These reports are for the attention of the Principal and the SGB
    • Subject/Learning Area evaluation reports (written by Learning Area Facilitators)
      Such reports are written after learners have been evaluated on a subject.  The Principal receives two copies of the report; one for the school and one for the Head of Department and/or subject/learning area educators.
    • School Library reports (written by the Media Facilitator)
      These reports are intended for use by the school.
    • Medical reports (issued by the school’s medical officer)
      These reports are meant for the attention of the principal and the SGB.
  2. 10th day return
    This form is completed on the 10th day of each new school year. Its purpose is to gain an overall picture of the learner and educator distribution per school. It enables the Department of Basic Education to plan effectively and identify areas, which may need urgent intervention on the part of the Department.
  3. Annual Survey
    This is the main survey of schools and is very detailed in order to accommodate the major planning needs of the Department of Basic Education. It is completed on the last Tuesday (which is a school day) of March of each year. Although it is best for the principal to delegate the collection of information to the other teachers the principal is obliged to check and verify the accuracy of every item and can be prosecuted for submitting false or incorrect information. This is a particularly important survey because the results are used to determine staffing and funding allocations as well as other critical decisions.
  4. Annual General Meeting
    The SGB must once a year hold an Annual General Meeting for all registered parents at the school.  Parents must be notified at least 30 days before the meeting.  A copy of the draft budget, the proposed fee structure and the proposed exemption policy should accompany the notice.
    At the meeting parents must receive a report on the activities of the school (challenges and achievements) and be informed of the school’s proposed budget and the planned school fees that will be charged in the coming financial year. Parents must also have the opportunity to examine the budget and balance sheet of the school in writing if they so wish. The parents must vote on, and ultimately accept by a majority of those present, three items:

    • the budget
    • the proposed school fees
    • the policy for granting exemption from payment of school fees
      Accurate minutes and an attendance register of the meeting must be kept and should be circulated to parents.

      There will be a very important meeting of all parents at 17:30 on Tuesday 11 October 201_ at the school in order to approve the school budget and school fees for 20_. It is vital that as many parents as possible attend this meeting since decisions made there will directly affect every parent.
      The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
      – Welcome and opening Chairman of SGB
      – Financial report of previous year Treasurer
      – General report on the activities of the current year Principal
      – Goals, objectives and activities for coming school year Principal
      – Fund-raising plans for next year Principal
      – Proposed budget for next year Treasurer
      – Proposed school fees for next year Treasurer
      – Policy for exemption from school fee payment Treasurer
      – Motions of adoption Treasurer
      – Closure

      (See Reference C MINUTE KEEPING)

  5. The Principal may deliver the report verbally or in writing.  The report or parts thereof may be published in the school newsletter.  Such a report may include:
    • Internal matters (without discussing professional matters)
    • Extra-mural activities
    • Spending of school funds, etc.
  6. Logbook/Journal
    The Logbook or Journal assists the principal in keeping a record of events during the course of a day or a week.  Information recorded here can be useful to the principal in preparing the report to the SGB or the annual report to the parents.

    • Items that can be included in the logbook are:
    • Visits of dignitaries
    • Staff or learner achievements
    • Important historical events
    • Staff details
    • SGB details
    • Problems or challenges and their solutions
    • School leavers
  7. Quarterly return of learner attendance
    On the last day of each term the Principal should complete a Quarterly Return of Learner Attendance form in duplicate.  The original form should be submitted to the District Office and the copy filed at the school for reference purposes.
  8. Quarterly return of leave of educators and non-teaching staff
    • On the last day of each term the Principal should complete a Quarterly Return of leave of Educators and Non-Teaching staff in duplicate.
    • The original form should be submitted to the District Office and the copy filed at the school for reference purposes.
    • These registers should be available for scrutiny by district and departmental officials.
  9. Auditor’s reports
    • Schools:
      • The financial year starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December.
      • The SGB should appoint an auditor to audit the school fund records annually.
      • The Principal should submit a copy of the auditor’s report to the District Office before 30 June the following year. The District will verify the report and file it.
    • Hostels:
      • The SGB should appoint an accountant or auditor registered in terms of section 60 of the Close Corporations Act (Act 69 of 1984) to audit the records and statements of the hostel’s operating account.
      • At the first or second meeting of the SGB following the receipt of the auditor’s report, the SGB should consider the report.
      • Should the report reveal any irregular or unsatisfactory matter, the meeting should decide on steps to remedy the situation.
      • The chairman of the SGB should forward copies of the audited statements and the auditor’s report to the Auditor-General as soon as the SGB has met to discuss these.
      • The Auditor-General may, at his discretion, request further information to undertake an investigation if he deems it necessary.
      • The chairman of the SGB should forward the auditor’s report to the District Office within two months of the meeting at which the report was discussed.
      • A copy of that meeting’s minutes should accompany the report, indicating the SGB’s comments and outlining the steps that were taken to address any unsatisfactory situation.
      • The District Director may, at his own discretion, decide to take further action on issues in the report.
      • The auditor may work for the school in a non-auditing capacity only with prior approval by the SGB. Details of such work, including the cost, should be included in the auditor’s report.


2.8.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • National Education Policy Act (No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
  • The South African Schools Act, 1996 (No.27 of 1996) [SASA]
  • Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 [POPI]

2.8.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Identity Documents

  1. Admission of learners and identity documents
    • The principal of a public school must keep a register of admission to the school. All admissions of learners to the school must be recorded in the register of admission. The register must contain the name, date of birth, age, identity number, if applicable, and address of the learner as well as the names of the learner’s parents as defined in the South African Schools Act, 1996 and their addresses and telephone numbers, where applicable.
    • Entries in the register of admission must be verified against the birth certificate or identity document of the learner concerned. The admission ages are as follows:
      • Grade R: age four turning five by 30 June in the year of admission (the latest age is the year in which the child turns 6);
      • Grade 1: age five turning six by 30 June in the year of admission (the latest age is the year in which the child turns 7).
  2. Principals of secondary and special schools should make a point of informing learners that:
    • From the age of 16 years, it is compulsory for the children of citizens of this country to obtain an identity document; and
    • It is necessary for Grade 12 learners to furnish their identity numbers when they register for the final examination at the end of Grade 12.
  3. Principals, in collaboration with regional offices of the Department of Home Affairs and/or the representatives of the Department of Home Affairs located at the premises of local authorities, can arrange the matters mentioned below:
    • The school concerned can supply the necessary application forms for an identity document to learners who turn 16 (and learners who are older than 16 who do not as yet have identity documents). They are to be instructed to complete such forms and hand them in at the school together with the prescribed two photographs of themselves and other supporting documents so that these can be sent to the office of the Department of Home Affairs in the town or city concerned.
    • When learners aged 16 and older who are already in possession of identity documents move into a hostel or other residence of the school concerned, principals should ensure that the forms for notice of change of address at the back of their identity documents are completed. These forms are to be collected from them and sent to the department office in the town or city concerned.
    • (Note:  It is a requirement that learners give the address where they are residing while they are studying as their permanent residential address.)
  4. If a learner maintains that he/she has given notice of change of address and the form for notice of change of address is not in his identify document at that stage it may be accepted that he has already given notice of his new address.
  5. When an application to be admitted to a school is received from a learners l who has not previously been enrolled at a public or state-aided school, it is advisable to obtain all the necessary documents of the learners and both parents; to interview the learner and both parents and to request that the parents return within a day of two;  to study all details thoroughly;  and where there is any further uncertainty about admitting the learners, to contact the IDSO/DEC or District Director telephonically to obtain a final decision.


2.9.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • National Educational Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996), Sections 3(4)(a) and 8(3), which give the Minister of Education a mandate to “undertake the monitoring and evaluation by analysis of data gathered by means of education management information systems, or by other suitable means, in co-operation with provincial departments of education” [NEPA]



  • White Paper on E-Education: Government Gazette, Notice 1922 of 2004 – Transforming Learning and Teaching through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) [NP 1922/2004]
  • Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, 2013 and Proclamation of 2020 [POPI]
  • DBE: Action Plan to 2019 Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2030 [ACTION23]


    One of the Innovation Priorities is e-Education:

    “e-Education is considered one of two key areas of innovation for the basic education sector for a number of reasons. e-Education can involve changing the way schooling occurs in rather fundamental ways, modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to improve and diversify learning to a large degree and, finally, ICTs are becoming so widely used in society that an education without them is rapidly becoming an incomplete education.”


    The following goals are relevant to e-Education:

    ·         Goal 16: Improve the professionalism, teaching skills, subject knowledge and computer literacy of teachers throughout their entire careers.

    ·         Goal 20: Increase access amongst learners to a wide range of media, including computers, which enrich their education.

    ·         Goal 22: Improve parent and community participation in the governance of schools, partly by improving access to important information via the e-Education strategy.

    ·         Goal 24: Ensure that the physical infrastructure and environment of every school inspire learners to want to come to school and learn, and teachers to teach.

    ·         Goal 27: Improve the frequency and quality of the monitoring and support services provided to schools by district offices, partly through better use of e-Education.


    Source: Action Plan to 2019: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2030

    DBE: Operation Phakisa (2015)


    Operation Phakisa  was a national planning project which developed recommendations regarding the following:

    ·         Connectivity

    ·         Devices

    ·         Teacher Professional Development;

    ·         Digital Content Development and Distribution; and

    ·         e-Administration

    Source: Operation Phakisa: ICT in Education

  • State of the Nation Address (SONA 2019): President Rhamaphosa


    “Over the next six years, we will provide every school child in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device.


    “We will start with those schools that have been historically most disadvantaged and are located in the poorest communities, including multigrade, multiphase, farm and rural schools.


    “Already, 90% of textbooks in high enrolment subjects across all grades and all workbooks have been digitised.


    “In line with our Framework for Skills for a Changing World, we are expanding the training of both educators and learners to respond to emerging technologies, including the internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence.”

    Source:President Cyril Ramaphosa: 2019 State of the Nation Address


  • South Africa Institute for Distance Education: Managing ICT’s in South African Schools: A Guideline for School Principals [NG MICT]
  • Reference C SP INTERNET for an Internet Access Policy for Schools
  • Reference C  SP SMS for the Framework for a School Management Information System
  • Reference A NG e-SAFETY Guidelines on e-Safety in Schools
  • Professional Development Framework for Digital Learning Reference C Digital Learning

2.9.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on the Use of Microcomputers in Education

The pillars on which successful implementation rest are listed below and it is important to attend to all these aspects, irrespective of the magnitude of the rollout.

  1. Change Management
  2. Connectivity
  3. Devices
  4. Teacher Professional Development
  5. Digital Content Development and Distribution
  6. e-Administration
  7. Cyber security
  8. Sustainability

2.9.2a) Change Management

The successful implementation of ICTs in schools depends on the management of the project within the context of the school. Therefor the following management principles should be noted:

  • Prepare the school community:
    • Start at the top: There should be a project team and the project leader should be a senior and enthusiastic staff member.
    • Involve all stakeholders: Teachers and School Governing Body/parents
  • Create a shared vision:
    • Provide a logical reason why change is necessary.
    • Determine a goal and strategic objectives
  • Develop an implementation plan and implement it on (big) scale. All the pillars mentioned above must be covered to ensure successful implementation.

Review progress, analyse results and celebrate success

2.9.2b) Connectivity

Internet connectivity is key, because of the fast-growing popularity of cloud computing systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). Cloud computing refers to software programmes which are hosted in the so called “cloud”, i.e. remote servers. Users log on when necessary. The Internet of Things refer to the interconnectivity of different devices and the remote control of them. These two systems are important in the educational context, because they make online collaboration possible for learners and teachers.


To provide adequate connectivity the following are recommended guidelines:

  • The situation of every school is different and a situation analysis is recommended before implementation.
  • Best practices of other schools should be considered.
  • A 1 Gbps line should be adequate for school with ±1000 learners if all of them are connected simultaneously. (Fibre is recommended if available)
  • Within the school a comprehensive Wifi network should be established which will give all learners and teachers adequate access to content in all venues.
  • For security reasons the Administrative Staff should have a secured independent connection. It is possible to have different Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs) on the same network, i.e., different wireless networks within the school.
  • There should also be a separate SSID for teachers, because they need access to more curriculum content which they can scan, select and curate.

Cyber security is the responsibility of the school when learners are on the school’s premises. Therefor schools should have measures in place to control the quantity of usage and the content accessible by learners. A firewall should be considered and/or when learners use only mobile devices, relevant Apps could be considered, e.g., Mobile Guardian

2.9.2c) Devices

The following devices should be considered, based on teacher preferences and subject requirements:

  • Server (one per school)
  • Laptop per teacher (For administration, teaching, learning, assessment, content development, etc.)
  • Learner devices: The following could be considered:
    • Every learner should have (access) to a device for the whole school day.
    • Laptops/Chromebook are recommended, because tablets are mainly receiving devices and challenging when it is necessary for learners to do assignments.
    • If it is not possible that they can have laptops/Chromebook, then tablets or smartphones could be used.
    • If possible, a system of bring your own device (BYOD) should be used, because in such a situation it is not necessary for the school to take care of technical support for and secure storage of the devices.
    • Computer labs where subjects require it, e.g. CAT and IT. It is also recommended in cases in poor communities where learners do not have devices at all.
    • The electricity supply and charging points in classrooms should be adequate.
  • Projector per teaching venue
  • Visualizer (document camera) per teaching venue
  • Screen per teaching venue
  • TV (selected venues for broadcasting solutions)
  • Mobile devices if learners cannot have laptops
  • Robots: For the teaching of coding and robotics, e.g., Lego Robots. There are also much cheaper (and even partially offline equipment available.
  • Virtual Reality/Augmented/Hologram Equipment
  • Assistive devices for LSEN learners.

2.9.2d) Teacher Professional Development

The buy-in and the professional development of teachers are key to the success of e-Education. It is necessary for teacher professional development to specifically address how digital tools and resources can support teaching, and enhance learning in different subjects within the wide range of socio-economic contexts that South African teachers encounter.

ICTs integration skills should be regarded as required skills for teachers. Teachers will never be replaced by technology, but teachers who don’t use technology, might be replaced by teachers who do.

DBE has developed a Professional Development Framework for Digital Learning. “The main aim of the Framework is to provide guidelines for professional development, specifically to ensure competent educators who use ICTs to enhance teaching and learning, and leaders and support staff who are able to facilitate the development of educator digital learning competencies.”

The Framework makes provision for an online self-assessment tool and reference to fully CPTD approved short courses for teachers who would like to improve their ICT skills. The self-assessment tool is available at here.

Other platforms which also offer teacher development courses are the following:

It is recommended that Teacher Development should include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Teaching Strategies:
    • Blended Learning: This is a combination of traditional teaching methods and activities where ICTs are part and parcel of the teaching, learning and assessment process.
    • Flip the Classroom: Instead of the teacher preparing and presenting the content to the learners, the learners prepare and present to the rest of the class. The teacher still manages the teaching process and ensure that all content is curated and covered.
  • Classroom Management Systems: The two most common ones are the following…
    • Google Classrooms
    • Microsoft Teams
  • Trends in eLearning (should include, but are not limited to the following):
    • Adaptive Learning: This “… is an educational method which uses computer algorithms to orchestrate the interaction with the learner and deliver customized resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner.”
    • Microlearning: “Microlearning is a holistic approach for skill-based learning and education which deals with relatively small learning units.”
    • Video-based Learning:
      • Teacher to learn how to create their own instructional videos by using PowerPoint, document cameras, mobile phones, etc.
      • This popular trend (video-based learning) requires ways to get learners more engaged in the video content by adding links in the video to short assessments and supplementary content resources.
    • Live streaming/broadcasting:
      • Teachers to learn how to use platforms like Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, WhatsApp, etc to do online teaching and to interact with the students online.
      • There are also national broadcasting solutions, e.g., Telematics and Mindset which teachers can use.
    • Virtual Reality: “Virtual reality (VR), the use of computer modelling and simulation that enables a person to interact with an artificial three-dimensional (3-D) visual or other sensory environment.” Many platforms, e.g., Google Expeditions, provide relevant educational material. Watch this demo here.
    • Augmented Reality: AR can be defined as a system that fulfills three basic features: a combination of real and virtual worlds, real-time interaction, and accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects. Example: You will give learners a sketch on paper of the human body, but when they scan it with a mobile app, the body becomes 3-D. Watch this demo here.
    • Holographic Reality: “A hologram is a photographic recording of a light field, rather than an image formed by a lens.” These 3-D images are more easily available than real objects. Watch this demo here.
    • Mobile learning:
      • Mobile learning is important, because …
      • Instead of just banning mobile phones from schools, schools should teach learners about the ethical use of phones, as well as the online resources accessible via phones.
      • Mobile devices could be used in the following ways for teaching, learning and assessment: Voice communication, text messages, video and or voice recordings (teachers and learners), use of mobile apps, live meetings (e.g., Zoom), internet research, online assessment, etc.
    • Gamification and Game-based learning: This is the use of educational games, or use the elements of sport to enhance your teaching: enthusiasm, motivation, inspiration, competition, tactics, strategies, goals, sense of achievement, celebrations, rewards, etc. A number of tools are available for free here.
    • Artificial Intelligence: Robots & Chatbots
      • “Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.”
      • Coding is computer programming: the language in which we communicate with computers. These are clear, logical instructions given to the computer to perform a task successfully.
      • Robots & Chatbots: “A robot is a machine programmable by a computer and capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically.”A chatbot is a software application used to conduct an on-line chat conversation via text or text-to-speech”. They are used on websites, social devices (e.g. Alexa), mobile devices (Woebot App) or could be downloaded onto computers and mobile phones to experiment with (e.g. Verbot 5).
    • Cloud computing: It “… is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”).” One of the educational benefits of cloud computing is that it provides the opportunity for easy collaboration and group work.
    • Educational websites: Schools/teachers can have their own websites which could be used for communication and/or content storage.
    • Online (automated) assessments: The development of online, automated marking tests is an excellent way of reducing time spent on the marking of tests. Learners can do these tests on any device which is connected to the internet and the results are instantly available. No coding is required. The two recommended platforms are Google Forms and Microsoft Forms. An example is available here.
    • Social Learning: This is the natural way learning happens: learning from and with others. It is all about imitation, inspiration, innovation and diffusion. It may happen through direct contact (face-to-face) or indirect contact (e.g., interactions on social media).
      • Direct contact (examples):
        • Professional Learning Communities (Teachmeet): Sharing best practices
        • Provide opportunities to the learners to express themselves
        • Let them compete with their peers
        • Arrange for Q&A sessions
        • Allow learners to discuss in groups
      • Indirect contact (examples):
        • Facebook groups
        • WhatsApp groups
        • Online collaboration tools
      • Content Curation: “Content curation is the process of sorting through content and presenting it in a meaningful, organized way around a specific theme or category.” Out of millions online documents the teacher will select a few relevant documents which learners should use when they research a topic.


2.92e) Digital Content Development and Distribution

Content could be made available in the following ways:

  • Teachers to create their own content, e.g. lesson plans, Powerpoint presentations, online tests, etc.
  • Textbooks (hard and soft copies)
  • Curriculum websites, including school websites or cloud storage
  • Content on the internet, but that requires curation by teachers
  • Mobile Apps
  • Broadcasting projects, e.g. Telematics and Mindset
  • Enterprise Software offered by private businesses.

2.9.2f) E-Administration

Teachers use computers also to perform their own administrative tasks, e.g. planning, preparing presentations, lesson plans, setting of tests, capturing of marks, etc.

Schools use the official departmental South African School Administration & Management System (SA-SAMS) SA-SAMS is a computer application specifically designed to meet the management, administrative and governance needs of public schools in South Africa. The implementation policies of provinces can differ and principals are advised to consult provincial-specific policies or circulars on the matter.

SA-SAMS has been developed to provide schools with a cost-effective, easy-to-use and fully-integrated computer solution containing all aspects of school management requirements.

SA-SAMS consists of a number of different modules:

  • General School Information:

This includes school details, school cycle details, classes, school subjects, feeder schools, disciplinary/ demerit and merit codes, house groups, school terms, teaching and non-teaching days and a year planner.

  • Human Resource Information:

This includes educator information, staff information, INSET training records, development appraisal interview records, weekly staff attendance and the Integrated Quality Management System for educators.

  • Learner and Parent Information:

In this module, administrators can maintain learner enrollment information for current learners or future registrations. Parents can also be added to the system. Schools can keep disciplinary/demerit and merit records, record incidents, and maintain a record of learning barriers. It can also maintain a record of sport, arts and culture. This module records weekly learner attendance and year-end learner promotions.

  • Governance information:

This module keeps record of all issues pertaining to the School Governing Body (SGB), namely members, functions, policies and training records. Various reports are available. The school can view statistics regarding learner misconduct and fee exemptions, as these are areas that require decision making by the governing body. Sexual harassment incidents are also maintained here, as they also require decision making by the SGB and they can be printed out.

  • Standard letters and forms:

The mail merge facility can be used to send existing or new letters to a selected group of people. Blank application forms can be printed for learners and parents, educators and staff. Completed data forms can also be printed and sent out for verification of the accuracy of the data. Mailing labels can also be created and printed

  • Export data:

The exporting of Survey data from SA-SAMS is one of the key advantages of the use of SA-SAMS. The export functionality takes all the required General School Information, HR Information and Learner Information within SA-SAMS and automatically populates the relevant sections of the survey to vastly reduce time and errors for schools in completing the survey. The survey file is produced in xml format and delivered as an electronic file to the provincial EMIS unit for easy import into the provincial system.

  • Financial assistant:

The system setup function allows the school to maintain their financial system parameters. Either annual or monthly budgets can be maintained. All receipt and payment transactions can be maintained and journals can be viewed or printed. All deleted financial transactions are written to an audit file. Debtors and school fees (including school fee exemptions) can be maintained and various reports are available. Bank reconciliation can be done and various financial and transactional printouts can be printed. Expenditure and budget information can be exported to the SA DMS system. Year-end functions include writing off bad debtors, processing year-end transactions and opening a new financial period.

  • Curriculum-related data:

 The school uses this module to set up the structures for recording and reporting on the progress of learners. School subjects, learners and educators are linked here. The school can maintain their subjects and learning outcomes per subject. Evaluation cycles are set up usually for the end of each term, with a final promotion cycle at the end of the year. All school-based assessment activities can be recorded here.

  • Timetable modules:

An automated timetable has been added to SA-SAMS. This ensures a fully-functioning school.

  • Physical resources and school infrastructure register:

 This module has three functions: Learner Support Materials; Fixed Assets; and Physical Infrastructure.

  • Security and database functions:

The administrator can use the security functions to add users to the system and maintain their user rights with regards to all modules in SA-SAMS. Password maintenance can also be done. Database functions include export of data fields to MS Excel, compacting the database and the Microsoft backup and restore facility. Security includes physical security, software security; programme security and backup/restoring of data.

  • Library Module:

This module is designed to ensure that all schools can administer the day-to-day running of a school library facility. They can create and manage a library catalogue, manage system users, issue, return and renew library items, manage fines, manage reservations and manage history records.

  • SIAS for SNE Module:

The SIAS module was integrated into SA-SAMS to reduce the administrative burden related to the assessment of special needs learners. Sections include background information on the learner, diagnostic profile, extended profile, individual support plan, assessment of support requirements and an action plan for additional support.

  • LURITS Approval Module:

Schools are able to approve and manage their data for the national tracking system through the use of this module. Data is exported to the national tracking system and imported from the national tracking system via xml file format without requiring schools to capture any data twice.


SA SAMS can be managed in two ways:

  • Using administrative staff
    • An administration staff member is appointed as the SA-SAMS clerk. This person must be thoroughly trained in SA-SAMS. Three quarters of her/his time will be involved in the administration of SA-SAMS.
    • The use of an administrative staff is advantageous for the following reasons:
    • Work can be done throughout the day
    • One person is accountable for the operation of SA-SAMS
    • One person develops in depth skills in SA-SAMS
    • An operational schedule must be set out according to the needs of the school.
    • Time must be scheduled for the following type of operations to:
    • Ensure that all new learners captured on the data base, subjects/learning areas are added to all learners, school calendar is completed, learning programme in all subjects are added and printed for the parents etc.
    • Class lists for all subjects/learning areas are printed for educators.
    • Dates when teachers must hand in their learner’s marks. This is critical and must be spread out to avoid slow periods and congested periods.
    • Regular times for operations like absenteeism
    • Times for the school accountant to complete financial matters
    • Asset management
    • Time for completing new time-table for following year etc.
    • Large schools need to use only one computer if the time management of capturing data is carefully worked out.
    • A school management team member must oversee and support the administrative staff official at all times.
  • Using school educators
    • A small group of educators may work as a team to capture learner performance and other operations. This time will have to be additional to prescribed teaching time, usually in the afternoons. Due to the shorter time period and more than one user, a number of computers may need to be networked.
    • SA-SAMS may be networked, but users must use different functions or different data bases simultaneously.
    • In the same way as shown above an operational schedule must be set out according to the needs of the school. A time must be scheduled for all the different operations:
    • Careful thought must go into the planning of the end of term schedules and printing of reports. Data must be regularly backed up and where possible an extra printer must be available in case of a breakdown. Extra stationery and toner must be procured in good time to avoid delays with printing of reports.

Data Driven Districts (DDD) is an online platform which has been developed to assist education managers at all levels, including schools, to take informed decisions. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) works in partnership with the Data Driven Districts Programme to support improved learner outcomes through the increased quality, availability, analysis and use of education data. Data provided by schools are summarized, analyzed and visualized and made available at the DDD online dashboard here.

2.9.2g) Cyber Security

Cyber security is a necessity and it is the responsibility of schools to protect the ICT infrastructure (devices, connectivity and programmes), the integrity of school data, as well as the personal information of learners and teachers.

Therefore, security measures may include the following: The development and implementation of an e-Safety Policy for the school which may include topics like security of the building, antivirus software, firewalls, training of teachers on legal prescripts (e.g., POPI act) and the teaching of learners on the ethical use of ICTs.

To assist schools the Department of Basic Education has developed the following document: Guidelines on e-Safety in Schools: Educating towards responsible, accountable and ethical use of ICT in education.

The purpose of the document is “… to identify the different ICTs currently used by school communities in particular, teachers and learners and to recommend strategies around managing ICTs in order for the appropriate and optimum use in, and for, education. This can be done by identifying all role players involved and their role and responsibility toward electronic safety (e-safety).”

 Therefor it is recommended that schools use these guidelines and develop and implement an e-Safety Policy for the school.

Guidelines on e-Safety in Schools: Educating towards responsible, accountable and ethical use of ICT in education.

2.9.2h) Sustainability

The ICT environment is a dynamic environment and everything changes at a rapid pace. Therefor there should be a plan to maintain the infrastructure and replace obsolete equipment. Staff development should be a continuous process.


2.10.1Legislative and Policy Framework



  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 (Ss 10-18) and PAM (Chapter H 3.1) [EEA]
  • South African Council for Educators Act 31 of 2000 [SACE]
  • National Education Policy Act 27 of 1996, Norms and Standards for Educators [NEPA]
  • The Public Service Act, 1994 (act no 103 of 1994), as amended [PSA]



  • SA Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996, Chapters 2 – 4 [SASA]
  • National Education Policy Act 27 of 1996 [NEPA]



  • Policy on Learner Attendance (Government Gazette No. 33150 of 2010)  [NP 33150/2010]



  • National Guidelines on how to Manage School Records, Volume 3 – General Administration Records [NG MSR]


  • Circular 1 of 2020 Admission of learners in Public Schools [ CA 1/2020]

2.10.2Framework for the Development Of School Policy on Registers – Personnel

(See REFERENCE C SP REG for examples of registers)

  1. The administration of the attendance register for educators and non-teaching staff is the responsibility of the The principal is required to maintain a register of the leave taken by all employees and must not recommend paid leave when an employee has exceeded his/her allocated leave days.
  2. The principal should keep a DAILY Attendance Register for Educators and Non-teaching staff in accordance with the instructions that appear in the register.
  3. Staff members should complete and sign a leave application form for every day that they are absent from the school.
  4. When staff members have been absent for three or more days due to illness, a doctor’s certificate must be attached to the leave application form on their return. All leave forms must be signed by the principal and submitted to the district office on the day they are received from the teacher. The principal should file a copy of the leave form in the teacher’s personal file.
  5. Staff members are required to sign the staff attendance register every day on arriving at work and when leaving work. (See National Guidelines on: How to Manage School Records, Volume 3 for examples of the different types of Registers)
  6. All educators should be at school during the formal school day which should not be less than 7 hours per day except for special reasons and with the prior permission of the Principal. The Principal will exercise his/her discretion in this regard based on provincial policy.  The 7 hours per day includes the breaks and the period/s in which the learners are not at school.
  7. Procedure if an employee does not report for duty
    • An employee, may not absent himself/herself until he/she has applied for leave and such application has been approved, except an employee who has been absent due to sudden illness. In such a case the employee must provide satisfactory proof of illness immediately on returning to duty.
    • Should an employee be absent without permission, for the period exceeding one calendar month in respect of public servants and 14 consecutive days in respect of educators, he/she is deemed to have been discharged from service in terms of the applicable legislation.
    • If an employee is absent for a period of three consecutive days without informing the supervisor of the reason for absence, the supervisor must, on the fourth day of such absence, make every endeavour to trace the employee’s whereabouts and keep a record of what was done.
    • After 5 consecutive days from the first day of absence, the manager/supervisor must send a registered letter to the employee’s last known address informing him/her to return to work immediately, failing which relevant legislative provisions shall be invoked.
    • Only after following the steps outlined in the previous two paragraphs above may the services of a employee be terminated when his/her whereabouts are not known.  Termination shall be effected immediately after the expiry of the time-frames.

2.10.3Framework for the Development Of School Policy on Registers – Learners

  1. Irregular school attendance
    • The Principal should report instances of regular absence from school to the District Office after discussion with the Circuit Manager.
    • According to the Policy on Learner Attendance, the definition of “absent” is: “A learner is deemed to be absent from school when the learner is not present in class or not participating in a school activity when the register is marked”.
    • The policy aims to promote regular school attendance of learners by instituting proper recording and monitoring systems.
  2. The key aspects of the Policy on Learner Attendance, are:
    • All learners, with the exception of Grade 12 learners, must attend school on every school day, including examination periods (before, during and after examinations) for the total number of official school days of each year;
    • Grade 12 learners may take five days study leave before the first day of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination;
    • A learner’s records will be cancelled in the class register if he/she is absent from school for 10 consecutive school days without a valid reason. Learners’ records cannot be retained in the class register when they are no longer attending schools as this inflates learner numbers.
    • Other reasons for cancelling a learner’s record include exemption from compulsory school attendance, expulsion, transfer to another school, registration for home education, etc. If a learner returns to school after his/her record has been cancelled, the learner must be readmitted to school.
    • The policy re-asserts the responsibility of parents/caregivers to ensure that their children attend school regularly. It is of utmost importance that parents, in cases of severe irregular attendance of learners, be informed of the importance of regular school attendance and also of the consequences for parents referring to Chapter 2, Section 3 of SASA on compulsory attendance. School Governing Bodies are expected to monitor learner attendance rates at the school. Provincial Education Departments should raise public awareness of the educational and social importance of regular attendance at school.
  3. The Policy further states that the following might be valid reasons for absence of a learner from school:
    • study leave taken by a grade 12 learner in terms of paragraph 16 of this policy;
    • physical or psychological illness, for which a principal may require communication from the parent that the learner is unable to attend school, or written confirmation by a registered medical practitioner or traditional healer if the illness lasts longer than three days;
    • giving birth, subject to written confirmation by a registered medical practitioner or registered midwife;
    • religious or cultural observances approved by the School Governing Body (SGB) in terms of the National School Calendar Policy;
    • death of a family member;
    • appointment at court, social services or other official agency, for which a principal may require documentary proof;
    • suspension by the SGB;
    • acts of nature (that is, events that are outside of human control);
    • exceptional circumstances for which, in the view of the principal, a temporary absence from school is in the best interest of the learner, or was unavoidable.
  4. Certificates for regular school attendance
    The Principal may apply to the District Office to issue certificates for regular attendance to in October every year.
  5. Exemption from compulsory school attendance
    Parents with children of school-going age may apply for their children to be exempted from compulsory school attendance:

    • Parents must complete the departmental forms, which are available from the District Office’s Education Auxiliary Service (EAS) and from the Early Childhood Development official.
    • In certain cases, learners who are already attending school may seek exemption from school attendance if they:
      • are taking up employment
      • have fallen pregnant
      • wish to marry
      • are terminating school at a special centre where the maximum learning age is 18.
      • The Principal should consult the learner’s parents and staff members closely involved with the learner before discussing the case with the Circuit Manager.
  6. Admission to hospital school and absence due to hospitalisation.
    • Learners in hospital schools should remain on the registers of their actual schools so that school finances, staff allocation and statistics are not disrupted.
    • The Principal of the hospital school should notify the Principal of the learner’s actual school when the learner is discharged from hospital.
    • The Principal of the learner’s actual school will then resume responsibility for the learner.
  7. Determining the school’s tenth day enrolment
    • All surveys have been replaced by monthly electronic submission of SA-SAMS databases to EMIS.
  8. Daily attendance register
      • School admissions should be recorded in an admission register. School administrative staff should keep the register up to date and complete it according to the instructions provided with the book.
      • When a learner is admitted to school for the first time, the Principal should insist on the submission of a birth certificate, the ID or passport or “… alternative proof of identity such as an affidavit or a sworn statement deposed to by the parent, care giver or guardian of the learner wherein the learner is fully identified”, a copy of which is kept by the school.
      • The name and date of birth of every learner indicated on the register should correspond with the information on the learner’s birth certificate, the ID or passport or “… alternative proof of identity such as an affidavit or a sworn statement deposed to by the parent, care giver or guardian of the learner wherein the learner is fully identified”.
      • Learner absenteeism is captured on SA-SAMS. Hard copy Learner Attendance Registers are not required anymore.

Also see Chapter 1.3 Developing of Policies


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