School principals have to navigate three different sets of legislation in order to manage the various types of staff members at a school. This in itself is an indication of the importance of human resources management as part of school governance. The book Human resources management in public schools: A practical guide is aimed at providing guidance on the important aspect of human resources management in public schools.
“The management of a school in all its facets is an enormous task, and when things go wrong in the staffroom, it is highly likely that the institution could become one of the tragic statistics on dysfunctional schools,” says the author of the book, Dr Jaco Deacon, also the Deputy CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS).
Deacon says a school’s staff is probably the most important link in the education chain. “The McKinsey Report on global education systems showed that an education system could be turned around in a relatively short space of time if the school appoints the best teachers and develop them to teach effectively. Combined with this there should be systems and support in place to ensure that every child benefits from effective teaching.”
The book is meant to be a practical guide for governing bodies, school principals and personnel officers at schools, although it is also aimed at education officials, legal practitioners, accountants and auditors who are called upon to advise schools. It is published by Juta and is available in English and Afrikaans.
Deacon is an expert on education law and also the author of School governance: Common issues and how to deal with them and the compiler of the Pocket Statutes on Schools: Law and Governance. He is the current President of the South African Education Law Association (SAELA), a member of the Board of the Interuniversity Centre for Education Law and Education Policy (CELP) and a member of the Advisory Board of the World Education Congress.
The book was launched in Bloemfontein on Friday (22 February 2019) on the first day of the education conference of Solidariteit Helpende Hand’s Skole-ondersteuningsentrum (SOS, school support centre). It is the first time that the SOS presents the conference in the Free State and this year’s theme is We Create Hope, with the focus being on the bright future of Afrikaans schools and education in Afrikaans.