Given the painful, complex and controversial history of schooling in South Africa, the issue of school governance remains a crucial factor in education. School Governing Bodies (SGBs) in South Africa are expected to play an important role in ensuring high quality education in schools as well as in the democratisation of post-apartheid South Africa. It is this critical role that formed the topic of discussion at an information session held by the BRIDGE Western Cape School Leadership Community of Practice (CoP) on the 21st of July 2016.
The session, titled Governance in Basic Education, was held at the LEAP School in Langa and brought together different education enthusiasts from all focus areas in the education sector. Professor Brian Levy, the Academic Director of the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice at the University of Cape Town, presented his research on the session’s topic. The professor detailed a three year global research project, conducted by a team from the University of Cape Town, which has been investigating what works in public school governance in democratic societies, focusing particularly on the role of participatory governance at the school level. Levy underscored the South African portion of this research which centres on the role of SGBs in schools in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.
Professor Levy’s research is vital given the importance of school governance in South African education, and the innumerable challenges faced by SGBs. His work represents a significant effort in ensuring SGBs effectively promote equity and a learner-centered approach in the delivery of public school education.