Chapter 2



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


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