This paper explores governance dynamics in 4 case study schools in low-income communities in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. A main aim is to identify empirically the causal mechanisms through which horizontal, school-level governance might function as an ‘institutional substitute’ for weaknesses in the province’s education bureaucracy.
The case studies uncovered both vicious circles of capture, and virtuous spirals – with the latter characterised by shared developmental commitment among school leaders, teachers, parents and the community, strong enough to counter efforts at predation. The findings offer encouragement that non-hierarchical entry points for improving educational outcomes indeed have some potential to achieve gains.
This is output from the Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre programme
Levy, B. and Shumane, L. (2017) School governance in a fragmented political and bureaucratic environment: Case studies from South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. ESID Working Paper No. 84. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester.