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In addition to completing the checklist the school governing body must also submit:

  • the previous years audited annual financial statements
  • the current years budget
  • minutes of the meeting/s of the FINCOM

Completion of the checklist and submission of the required documents does not guarantee that section 21 functions are automatically allocated. The application follows a strict and somewhat bureaucratic procedure which is enunciated in figure 3 below:

Figure 2: Process of Approval for Section 21 Functions

Source: Norms and Standards for School Funding (2000; 10)

For a school governing body to be successful in its application for additional allocated functions certain minimum requirements must be complied with. According to DoE: Self-Managing Schools (2000; 28) each of the allocated functions has its own unique requirements:

Function 21 (a): to maintain and improve the school’s property …

  • plans for maintenance and improvement should comply with the PEDs specifications
  • plans should be submitted to the district planning unit
  • expenditure must stay within budget – the school may not use loans or run a bank overdraft
  • as far as possible the school should employ local labour

Function 21 (b) to determine the extra-mural curriculum of the school and the choice of subject options …

  • all learners must have equal access to all the school’s activities
  • no learner may be excluded because of a parents inability to pay school fees
  • the school should have a curriculum committee – each subject to have a subject policy
  • the school should have an extra-curricular committee – tasks should include, inter alia , time-tabling, safety and funding

Function 21 (c) to purchase textbooks, educational materials and equipment for the school

  • the school should have an Learning, Teaching Support Material (LTSM) Committee inclusive of educators and SGB members
  • the committee should develop guidelines for the selection, distribution and retrieval of LTSM
  • the school should follow correct procurement procedures
  • funding for curricular activities should be prioritised

Function 21 (d) to pay for services of the school

  • the school should establish a finance committee (FINCOM)
  • the school should have a finance (control) policy
  • the school should use proper accounting procedures
  • the school should have guidelines for the use of equipment

If a school governing body is successful in its application for the allocation of Section 21 functions, compliance in terms of the above questionnaire does not cease – the school governing body is compelled by legislation to maintain compliance (if fact the checklist provides the minimum compliance standards). Failure to maintain the minimum standards may result in some or all of the allocated functions being withdrawn, as per Section 22 [Withdrawal of Allocated Functions] of the South African Schools Act:

22 (1) the Head of Department may, on reasonable grounds, withdraw a function of a school governing body.

Funding of schools

The South African Schools Act imposes responsibilities on the state with respect to the funding of public schools. This basic principle of state funding of public schools is based on the Constitutional guarantee of equity and redress. According to Section 34 [Responsibility of the State] and Section 35 [Norms and Standards for Funding of Public Schools]of the South African Schools Act:

Questions & Answers

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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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