THE ROLE OF THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL IN THE SCHOOL TUCK SHOP IN MANAGING SCHOOL HEALTH
Laws, as stipulated by the Department of Education, the Department of Health, and Local Municipality Legislation and School Governing Body policies all influence the management at all schools. South African school principals are required by law to pursue all available avenues to accumulate additional funds for their schools (most government schools in South Africa are under resourced hence the legislation).School principals should have an understanding of relevant legislation that will impact the welfare and safety of the learners.
The purpose is to assist the school’s principal in evaluating the existing legislation and the impact this legislation will have on additional accumulated funds, health and safety and the distribution of food on school premises.
Ten Secondary schools in a specific district (Ekhuruleni, Gauteng, South Africa), were visited. South African communities are filled with people with varying cultural and belief systems and this is well established in the research, as are the socio-economic differences within South African communities.
Ten school principals in a specific district in Gauteng, South Africa were interviewed.
Ten principals, as leaders within the school communities, allowed the researcher to review the complexities of the situation that they need to deal with. The schools, primary as well as secondary schools that were evaluated varied in terms of cultural composition and quintile ratings. Both schools with Afrikaans and/or English as first language mediums were visited. All schools, by no coincidence, were coeducational (boys and girls) schools.
Intentional or purposeful sampling was utilised, in the completion of the research.
The use of observations, documents and interviews contributed to the process of qualitative research. During the interview process, with the school principals, a set of generic questions was used. The interviewer was able to include additional, impromptu questions to complete the relevant sections - to allow for an elaboration and extension of a particular question where necessary.
There is a lack of direct specifications, from the various legal and education departments, associated with the tuck shops. Principals were extremely wary of new legislation being drafted for the tuck shop as they are so preoccupied with volumes of paperwork that additional forms and legislation would be detrimental to them fully completing their function as leaders of the school. Local municipality legislation requires certain criteria to be met prior to the establishment of a food distribution outlet.
A closer synergy between the Health and Education Departments and local municipality legislation needs to be established and an acceptable level of accountability should be enforced when dealing with the distribution of food in schools. Role players, including the education authorities need to assist in the management of all facets linked to the tuck shop.