South African Journal of Education
Print version ISSN 0256-0100
CARR, Ivan and WILLIAMS, Clarence. The mediation of Representative Council of Learners policy in Western Cape schools: 1997 to 2003. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.1, pp. 69-82. ISSN 0256-0100.
We investigated how education policy was mediated at a representative number of Western Cape schools, from 1997 to 2003, using the structure, symbolic, human resource and political frames of Bolman and Deal (1997) as the basis of the investigation. The investigation produced diverse research findings. At the one end there were a majority of representative councils of learners that received the full support of the main role players. These councils were fully functional and were making a significant contribution to the effective governance of their schools. At the other end there were significant numbers of representative councils of learners that were not receiving the requisite support, and which were merely tolerated to ensure legal compliance. The factors responsible for preventing the development of education policy into praxis, at these schools, are divided into three categories: technical challenges, cultural challenges and political challenges. In conclusion suggestions are made as to how these varied and complex challenges can be met in the interests of furthering the democratic goals that underpin RPL policy.
Keywords : cultural challenges; education policy; learner representative councils; policy mediation; political challenges; school governance; technical challenges.