The dynamics of partnership in South African schools: learning from school principals, SGB chairpersons and teacher-union site stewards.
Khuzwayo, Zamokuhle Innocent.
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This study explored the dynamics of school partnership in five schools located in the Durban Metropolitan area. This study was a multiple case-study. I utilised four research questions. Though literature on partnership was available, there was a knowledge gap regarding school partnership`s dynamics, involving school principals, SGB chairpersons and teacher-union site stewards. This study`s theoretical frameworks were The Participative and the Transformational Leadership Theory and the Collegiality Leadership Model. These frameworks prepared the researcher to understand the essence of partnership. The study was a qualitative approach located within the interpretive paradigm. I utilised semi - structured interviews to generate data on two occasions. Scholars` writings, policies and South African legislation were the basis of reviewed literature. They all promote partnership principles, among others are support, honest and mutual respect. Unfortunately, some of these partnership leaders, did the opposite. Findings reveal that school partnerships were full of tensions, power struggle, betrayal, corruption, nepotism, moral degradation and self-enrichments. Despite all these setbacks, there were a few leaders, who stuck to their guns, to ensure that school partnership operated within the democratic principles. Though they were the minority, their moral conduct and adherence to the democratic principles ensured that, fellow partners emulated their leadership style. This led to the realisation that to avoid conflict situations, it was essential to be democratic, adopt a participative approach and be the transformational leaders. Most came up with various suggestions regarding the enhancement of school partnership. These proposals were democratic principles that are highlighted throughout the study as key to effective partnership. Furthermore, these partners stated that they learnt principles, such as democratic governance and shared leadership from fellow - ethical partners. What was also inspiring was that these partners did not only come up with proposals regarding the enhancement of partnership, but they committed themselves to be agents of change. They learnt from the very few partners who promoted ethical leadership amongst fellow partners. This study concluded that as long as there are democratic and moral leaders in school partnership, there is a silver lining that a utopian school partnership would be realised