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The role of school principals in building capacity of the school governing bodies to manage school finance in primary schools.

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The role of the school principal is becoming more complex because of rapid changes in school leadership, management, governance and policy. One of the other roles that school principals should play in their schools as leaders is to empower stakeholders especially School Governing Bodies. This study sought to find out if school principals did capacitate SGB members regarding matters that pertain to financial management. As part of this aim, the study would describe how school principals’ role in building capacity in SGBs be improved in financial management and also examine the strategies that school principals use in building capacities of school governing bodies in managing finances. This study is qualitative in nature and case study design was adopted to guide it. Three primary schools were used to conduct the study. All three schools were purposively and convenience sampled. The study was underpinned by interpretive paradigm. Data was generated using semi-structured interviews, documents reviews and observations. The literature highlighted the experiences of school principals in finance management concerning capacity building of SGBs. Transformational leadership theory was used as a framework to understand school principals’ efforts at capacity building. The findings suggest that school principals did not in any significant way, build capacities of the SGBs to manage finances. The role they played in this regard was limited to giving feedback on information solicited in the workshops provided by the Department of Basic Education. Such limited role was due mainly to the lack of financial management expertise of school principals. These findings indicate that more still needs to be done to capacitate school principals first before this can be extended to SGBs in a significant manner.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.