Recipe for success to ensure functional schools
12 March 2020
The Western Cape Education Department has declared 2020 as “The Year of Functional Schools: Developing a Values-Driven Team”.
In support of this theme, the WCED has developed a set of ten very basic indicators that all schools should display. These were decided upon after months of engagement.
The functional school’s indicators are the following:
- The school has a permanent principal who is leading a unified School Management Team (SMT) effectively.
- All vacancies are filled and/or there are contingency plans for vacant positions.
- A positive school culture is evident as displayed by, amongst other, a secure, clean and functional school precinct (toilets, classrooms and environment are clean).
- All the necessary timetables, year and term planners are in place, adhered to and monitored.
- Staff and learners are present and punctual.
- Functional structures (e.g. curriculum, sport and culture), each with outlined duties and monitoring systems, are in place.
- Required policies and records are in place and adhered to (learner and teacher registers, learner and staff codes of conduct, safety plans, Learning and Teaching Support Material policy, etc.).
- Good relationships (SMT, staff, governing body, parents, etc.) are evident and functioning.
- The school has the ability to deal with poor performance and is implementing improvement/developmental strategies.
- A variety of afterschool activities are in place.
In a letter to schools, Head of Education, Brian Schreuder, said it would be ideal if all schools displayed every one of the ten indicators.
Schools are encouraged to do a self-assessment with their staff. Circuit Managers have also been tasked to do independent assessments and record it on a database as a baseline position. Districts will work with schools that are not yet fully functional to improve over the next two to three years.
“Given that many schools exhibit all ten of these indicators already, we encourage schools to continue to reflect on their levels of functionality and continually strive to raise the bar,” Schreuder concluded.