The labour law applicable to the education environment is comprehensive and covers a vast variety of aspects that everyone within that environment will encounter at one time or another. In the past, most employees in education may have had a vague understanding of particular laws and regulations regarding conditions of employment, but now it is essential to have a basic understanding of all relevant laws and regulations that apply. Teachers, especially, could find themselves in a proverbial minefield if they do not ensure that they have a working knowledge of education law. This is evidenced by the numerous lawsuits, disputes, mediations, disciplinary hearings and often unpleasant implications for individuals (and their families) that arise from charges against offenders in all sectors of education.
Legislative changes resulting from altered circumstances in education have led to the need to be constantly aware of the implications and applications of such changes. This urgent need applies not only to principals, but to everyone involved in education. On the one hand the responsibility for correct application and implementation of education legislation lies with the governing body and the head of an institution, but on the other hand it affects the people who work there. The authors of this book have a keen understanding of this vital need, and address it most effectively from their own invaluable experience that stems from practical involvement and thorough research in the field of education.
A sound working knowledge of all the aspects that are addressed in this book undoubtedly improves the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom – a critical goal that needs to be pursued. It also creates a safer environment in which everyone can operate. I am personally very grateful for the contribution that this handy guide makes to the ultimate quality of education in South Africa.
Dr Jopie Breed
Chapter 1 The legal environment
Chapter 2 The underlying principles of the application of law in the education environment
Chapter 3 The Constitution as source of education law
Chapter 4 International law, legislation and common law as sources of education law
Chapter 5 The professional teacher in the workplace
Chapter 6 The teacher’s duty of care
Chapter 7 Learner discipline
Chapter 8 School safety
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