Newspaper clipping – iol online – 7 August 2009

School wins principal battle

The Marquard High School’s governing body will get the principal they want after a Free State court found in its favour against the provincial education department, the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools (Fedsas) said on Friday.

Fedsas CEO Paul Colditz said the matter in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein followed after the provincial department refused to appoint Leonard Welthagen, the candidate the school governing body recommended, as principal.

Colditz said the department initially indicated their refusal was based on a flawed process.
“The objections of the education department and the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) were absolutely ludicrous and showed a lack of insight into the instructions of such a matter,” Colditz said in a statement.

He said the court held that the objections had no grounds and ordered that Welthagen be appointed to the post.  Welthagen should have reported for work on January 1 this year.

Colditz said there are thousands of vacant posts for principals in the country but they are not being advertised.
“When they do get advertised the process gets delayed in such a crude manner. Its time civil servants are held personally accountable for the money wasted in such a way,” he said.

The Marquard High School governing body, as a Fedsas member, was supported in its legal battle by the national governing body.

About 1100 public schools are members of Fedsas. - Sapa