Original Research

Liability of school governing bodies: a legislative and case law analysis

E Serfontein
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 6, No 1 | a119 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v6i1.119 | © 2010 E Serfontein | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 March 2016 | Published: 04 April 2010

About the author(s)

E Serfontein, School for Basic Sciences, North West University (Vaal Triangle Campus), South Africa

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Through an in-depth analysis of legislation and case law, as important sources of education law, this article casts light on the liabilities School Governing Bodies may incur whilst exercising their statutory functions. Focus is placed on the legislative framework in which school governance occurs as cooperative government not only challenges the manner in which power is exercised, but also the empowering statute in itself. To illustrate the dichotomy that exists between the ideals of democratic policies and the manner in which they are interpreted and implemented, emphasis is placed on the practical implication of democratic governance in public schools with reference to important concepts such as representation, partnerships, accountability and liability. These concepts are critically analyzed in del iberation with court rul ings in order to ascertain a better unders tanding of the important role School Governing Bodies have to play in striving to turn South African public schools into thriving centres of excellence.


governance, cooperative government, statutory power, authority, partnership, organs of state, juristic persons, representation, responsibility, accountability, liability


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