Education district offices have a pivotal role in ensuring that all learners have access to education of progressively high quality, since district offices are the link between Provincial Education Departments (PEDs), their respective education institutions and the public.
District offices are local hubs of PEDs and provide the vital lines of communication between the provincial head office and the education institutions in their care. Subject to provincial plans, their task is to work collaboratively with principals and educators in schools, with the vital assistance of circuit offices, to improve educational access and retention, give management and professional support, and help schools achieve excellence in learning and teaching.
District offices, supported by their circuit offices, have four main roles which they must execute with due priority being given to the schools most in need of their services:
- Collecting and analysing school, circuit and district data to inform planning;
- Assisting schools with compiling school improvement or development plans; and
- Integrating school improvement or development plans into district plans.
- Providing an enabling environment and targeted support for education institutions within the district to do their work in line with education law and policy;
- Assisting school principals and educators to improve the quality of teaching and learning in their institutions through school visits, classroom observation, consultation, cluster meetings, suitable feedback reports and other means;
- Serving as an information node for education institutions on education law, policy and administration;
- Facilitating ICT connectivity in all institutions within the district; and
- Providing an enabling environment and organising provision and support for the professional development of managers, educators and administrative staff members.
- Oversight and accountability
- Holding principals of education institutions in their district accountable for the performance of their schools;
- Accounting to the PED for the performance of education institutions in the district; and
- Accounting to the PED in terms of performance agreements that stipulate the roles, functions and responsibilities of district officials in line with relevant policies.
- Public engagement
- Informing and consulting with the public in an open and transparent manner; and
- Upholding Batho Pele principles in all dealings with the public.