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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100


MYENDE, Phumlani Erasmus; SAMUEL, Michael Anthony  and  PILLAY, Ansurie. Novice rural principals' successful leadership practices in financial management: Multiple accountabilities. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2018, vol.38, n.2, pp.1-11. ISSN 2076-3433.

Research studies on financial management in South African public schools expands recurrent literature, most of which have largely pathologised school leadership and management, and rural schools in particular. This article instead draws from a qualitative case study of success, which examined how five novice principals in a rural setting went beyond the prescriptive administrative requirements to generate context-responsive and creative ways of managing school finances, working with the parent community, with educational peers and the departmental policies to activate situated relevant governance relations. The data is drawn from interviews and documents produced within the setting. Our findings reveal a new set of accountability relations, which counter the hierarchical relations between schools and the community, or between the department and the rural context. These principals began a trajectory of overt training in financial management to ensure their own and collaborating participants' clarity and involvement in a participative management approach. Whilst the school-formulated policies serve as a backdrop to the terms of operations, these principals generate multiple accountabilities in their role as chief financial officers. The study recognises vertical, horizontal and downward accountabilities, which are underpinned by self-driven motivation, moral integrity and social developmental responsibilities. Rather than being a pathological problem, school financial management offers policy and practice potential to develop co-responsible governance.

Keywords : financial management; financially accountability; multiple accountabilities; novice principals; school finances; successful schools.

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