SA Journal of Education, Vol 40, No 4 (2020)

The effective and efficient management of school fees: Implications for the provision of quality educationchool finance reform for curriculum innovation: An equity prospect

Raj Mestry


The Amended National Norms and Standards for School Funding (ANNSSF) policy of 2006 introduced a funding model to address equity in public schooling. Schools are ranked into one of five quintiles of which quintile 1 represents the poorest schools and quintile 5 the most affluent. The ANNSSF policy proposes that the state provide more funding for recurrent resources to poorer schools (quintiles 1, 2 and 3) than to quintiles 4 and 5 schools. Since affluent schools receive reduced state funding, school governing bodies (SGBs) are obliged to supplement state funding if they wish to continue providing quality education and improving learner achievement. Although intensive fundraising initiatives and sponsorships are viable solutions, the declining South African economy has prompted corporates to apply austerity measures such as limiting sponsorships to schools. Thus, SGBs are compelled to charge parents school fees as a means of supplementing state subsidies. In the study reported on here, qualitative research with an interpretivist paradigm to explore how SGBs manage school fees to sustain the provision of quality education was used. The findings reveal that, if school fees are effectively and efficiently managed, SGBs can continue employing additional staff above the post provisioning norms, reduce class sizes and procure state-of-the-art resources, resulting in high learner achievement.

ORCiD iD of author:
Raj Mestry -

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