Legal_Education

Education Governance

Education Governance is centred on the law that regulates educational bodies ( public and private schools and universities). Riplington & Associates’ focus on school law by building educators (including school administrators) legal knowledge on the legal rights, duties and responsibilities of the school authorities. In an increasingly litigious society, it is important that educators are aware of the laws that regulate their operations and conduct of their institutions such as:

  •  Forms of law
  •  Schools and the state
  • School management
  • School systems
  • School authorities and those who are responsible for providing education to children
  • Requirements that teachers and support staff must meet
  • Teachers and the law
  • Students and the law
  • Legal relationships between employer, teachers, parents/guardians, students and visitors
  • Negligence
  • Contracts

School Governance

Riplington & Associates have also assisted educational institutions to build a governance culture thus contributing to the smooth and efficient running of the organisation. The governance structure and school board policies should be found in a policy manual that provides the parameters for school administration. It should provide for management based on the beliefs and philosophy of your school. These policies would help to establish guidelines for school administration and avoid grey areas and overlap of duties.

The importance of policies cannot be overemphasised. In addition to administrative direction, they prevent the loss, abuse or misuse of the school’s human, physical and financial resources. This will help the school to maximise its available resources.

The policy document would contain a set of principles which define the organization’s ownership, the board’s responsibility to the owners (or to itself in the event that the board also owns the school) and the board’s authority. These principles also specify that the board defines in writing what benefits if any should come to it, how the board should conduct itself, and how staff behaviour is to be defined.These principles also deal with the board’s delegation of authority and monitoring.

Other issues covered by the policy document will be the principals’ role, limits to the principals’ authority, interaction with staff, students and parents, education instruction and how to deal with violation of school laws. Most importantly, this policy document also contains monitoring mechanisms to assess implementation of the policies; how the board has succeeded in achieving its goals, usually referred to as ‘ends policies’ and how the principal and staff are carrying out their duties commonly called the ‘means policies’.

The policy handbook serves as a reference point for successors and will remove ambiguities as to how the school ought to be run thus ensuring an enduring legacy of quality standards and all the objectives for which the school was established.

Landmark cases in Education Law (Africa)

Nigeria : ECOWAS Court Orders Nigeria To Provide Free And Compulsory Education To Every Child (19 November 2010)
It took a suit by the Registered Trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to confirm that all “Nigerians are entitled to education as a legal and human right”. The Nigerian government, throught the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had stated that education is  “a mere directive policy of the government and not a legal entitlement of the citizens”. The Court also ruled that UBEC had failed in discharging its legal responsibility regarding how the funds are spent and used by the various states.  Further, the Nigerian government is bound by the judgement and should enforce the ruling to realise children’s right to education.

Further reading:

ECOWAS ruling

Right to education

Academic research papers on education law can be accessed via our research section

If you have education law related concerns and think we could be of assistance, contact Us . It is however in  your best interest to consult a lawyer who specialises in education law.