- Independent Schools
- Searches & Drug Testing
- Starting a New School
- Withholding Reports
Bullying of any nature in public and independent schools is prohibited in the South African Schools Act (1996) and its subsequent amendments, and is a breach of learners’ constitutional rights.
Bullying also contravenes ISASA’s Requirement for Membership: an ISASA member school must “promote and nurture a commitment to a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights”.
ISASA and its member schools
It is important to note that ISASA is not an education department that owns and controls its schools, but a membership-based service organisation providing professional services to its member schools. Schools are independent, and enjoy the status of a private organisation, and therefore ISASA cannot interfere directly in their internal affairs.
Nonetheless there are procedures in ISASA for investigating serious allegations such as bullying that might affect the school’s membership in terms of ISASA’s requirements.
ISASA cannot take up an individual parent’s cause and will only consider a matter of bullying if it receives written, substantially supported allegations of practices that are in conflict with the standards of the Association.
In such circumstances ISASA requests its relevant Regional Director to conduct a confidential inquiry with the knowledge of, and in conference with those concerned. Depending on the outcome, ISASA will activate its internal disciplinary process that can result in either suspension or termination of membership.
Other recourse for parents
The advice ISASA gives to parents is as follows:
If the school has a formal complaints procedure, the parents should begin by using these proper channels.
If parents are not satisfied with the way a school's management has dealt with the matter, they can refer a written complaint to the chairperson of the school’s governing body.
If parents still feel that the school’s response is unsatisfactory, then parents have recourse to external avenues:
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