An analysis of the effectiveness of the training offered to the public schools’ finance committees in Ekurhuleni South District of Education

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Proper financial management is an essential part of the efficient supply of all other needed resources in an organisation. In the context of a school, poor management of funds can lead to the inefficient supply of crucial resources such as stationery and furniture, hence, the school’s funds are worth being handled by the care of a knowledgeable person. To ensure that the schools’ funds are in good hands and are well taken care of, the responsible structure (school finance committee) needs to undergo thorough training to execute financial management tasks. This study provides a literature discussion on the management of public school funds with a deep focus on the abilities of the schools' finance committees as structures that are entrusted with the responsibility to manage the schools' funds. Furthermore, it makes emphasis on the capacity-building programmes that are in place to equip the school’s funds trustees with the required financial skills to manage funds effectively. The fieldwork part of this study sought to evaluate the impact of these capacity-building programmes, to identify the gaps which may hinder the effectiveness of the programmes and also aimed at providing possible initiatives for an effective school financial management capacity-building programme. Principals and the School Governing Body (SGB) chairpersons make up the sample of this study since they are members of the schools’ finance committees who receive capacity building training from the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) through the education districts. Open-ended questionnaires were used to obtain the views of these participants concerning the impact of the training received from GDE. Furthermore, district officials also made up the sample of this study since they are training facilitators. Semi-structured interviews were used to obtain the perceptions of these training facilitators regarding the effectiveness of the training programmes that they facilitate. The key findings were that the schools' finance committees are not well equipped to execute financial management responsibilities despite the training received. It was also evident from the findings that the lack of financial management skills is a recurring problem from the district down to school level. This lack of financial skills in both parties compromises the effectiveness of the school financial management capacity building programmes.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, Wits School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2022
UCTD, School finance committee, Management of school finances, Finance policy, School governing body