SA Journal of Education, Vol 40, No 3 (2020)

Collaboration practices between the two tiers of school leadership in eradicating underperformance

Itumeleng Innocentia Setlhodi


Collaboration between the school governing body (SGB) and the school management team (SMT) in underperforming schools remains the crest for successful action taken to turn around performance as envisaged in the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 (Republic of South Africa, 1996). Their interaction is crucial in advancing the course of performance improvement. In the study reported on here a qualitative method and an interpretivist approach was used to explore how shared leadership collaboration practices between the SGB and SMT can improve performance. A case of 3 purposefully sampled underperforming schools in the Gauteng West district was undertaken. Interviews with 3 principals (individually) and 3 focus group interviews with parent SGB members, SMT members and teachers were conducted. Findings show that when developmental needs of SGBs are considered significant and stakeholders are mobilised towards collective effort (letsema), collaboration and interaction enable school performance. It is recommended that SGB development be contextualised to enable swift interaction with stakeholders; the essence of the SGB and SMT collaboration in providing leadership and dealing with issues impacting on performance should be highlighted, so that they can plan activities that bring about improved performance. Employing courageous conversations to achieve institutional goals should be through collaborative endeavours that are inspired by ubuntu leadership practice.

ORCiD iD of author:
Itumeleng Innocentia Setlhodi -

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