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School based management

Raywind in Marishane and Botha (2004; 95) explains school based management as a mechanism aimed at improving schools by shifting decision making powers regarding the budget from the central level to the schools.

Marishane and Botha argue that school based management is the joint responsibility of both the school governing body and the school management team, which together form a school based financial management structure – this structure is accountable to the two main sources of school funding namely the state and the community and is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the financial management performance of the school based management structure.

Caldwell and Spinks in Mestry (2006; 27) explain school based management as a an approach to the management of public schools wherein there is a significant and consistent decentralisation to the school level (giving the school the) authority and responsibility to make decisions related to the allocation of resources, in a system of education having centrally determined goals, priorities and frameworks for accountability.

Financial management

Clarke (2008; 278) describes financial management as follows: “It is essential that the (school) principal makes sure that she / he has the knowledge and understanding of the basic processes involved in managing the school’s accounts, the budgeting process and the systems and controls that are necessary to ensure that the school’s monies are not misappropriated.

Momoniat in Erasmus (2008; 402) explains financial management as a requirement of managers to take responsibility for the actions and achievements in exchange for greater managerial discretion over their inputs. Thus, managers have to take responsibility for their performance.

Van Wyk (2004; 411) states that the objective of financial management in the public sector is to support management in the allocation of limited resources with the purpose of ensuring economy and efficiency (and effectiveness) in the delivery of outputs required to achieve desired outcomes that will serve the needs of the community (school).

Policy

Kallaway (1997; 165) describes policy as a statement of intent, decisions, courses of action and / or resource allocation designed to achieve a particular goal or resolve a particular problem.

The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary (1976; 1304) describes policy as a document containing the rules for prudent conduct indicating the courses of action to be taken by an institution.

Ryan in Mestry (2006; 35) indicates that a good policy identifies and articulates the values and the basic principles to be applied to (the) specific needs of the organisation. It should not only set direction but should also give direction. It is therefore essential that all stakeholders be directly involved in the drafting and implementing of all school policies.

Limitations of the study

As is the case in most research studies, the researcher would be naive to think that he / she would not encounter barriers, obstacles and challenges.

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Source:  OpenStax, Financial management of schools. OpenStax CNX. Nov 16, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11137/1.1
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