Governing bodies' powers cut

19 October 2015 - 09:35 By Katharine Child

The power of school governing bodies to dictate which and how many pupils are admitted to schools has been curtailed again. The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that the Gauteng education department had the final say over a pupil's admission to school.In 2012, the Gauteng department published regulations stating that it had the final say over admissions.The regulations allowed parents to apply for a place for their child in a school located where they worked. People previously had to live in a feeder zone if they wanted their children to attend the nearby school.The Federation of School Governing Bodies took the department to court, and won, after arguing the Schools Act gave admission powers to them.But the Supreme Court overturned that decision. It ruled that previous court judgments "have found that schools must be managed in the interest of the broader community".The court said "public schools are public assets where the broader public interest must be realised".Federation CEO Paul Colditz said "it was disappointed with the constant tinkering [with] governing body powers while the real issue of underperforming schools is not addressed".

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