A school’s code of conduct

One of the main functions of the school’s governing body (SGB) is to formulate policies for the effective functioning of a public school as dictated to by Act 84 of 1996, the South African Schools’ Act (SASA).

The school’s code of conduct for pupils is one of the compulsory policies that has to be formulated.  This policy, as with others, has to also be continually updated and reviewed in order to keep abreast with current policy and laws.

The code of conduct of a school contains the anticipated behaviour patterns expected of pupils, the dress code of the school, the sanctions imposed on pupils who transgress the code of conduct, and the procedure for dealing with delinquent pupils.

Once drafted, this policy is formalised and accepted at a formal meeting of the SGB after consultation with the various constituencies and/or their representatives.  All policies must be reviewed and adopted annually, usually in term 4 for the following year.

Once adopted, this crucial policy must be circulated to the respective stakeholders to ensure that it is implemented in the intended manner.

The core stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of the school’s code of conduct are the parents, the pupils, the teachers, the school management team and the SGB. All these stakeholders must work in unison to ensure that pupils abide by this policy to ensure that schools function as intended, namely, to provide quality education.

Ppupils must realise that in order to be responsible citizens of our country they have to abide by rules and regulations. This starts by obeying rules set at home, thereafter by obeying the rules at school.  If these rules are not followed then they have to face the consequences.

Although we may say that discipline is the responsibility of the parent, pupils are often influenced onto the wrong path by their peers.  Pupils must be guided with regards to values based on religious practices, family values and a code of good practice as is expected by responsible pupils.

Discipline of pupils is the responsibility of all the responsible adults interacting with pupils.  Together we can make a difference in improving the behaviour of pupils in a positive way if we work as a team.

We shouldn’t be playing the blame game, in blaming each other for the poor behaviour of pupils at schools, but rather we should be trying to find solutions. In this way, we would definitely improve the standards of education in our communities.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to [email protected]

Dr J Naidoo

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