Managing school safety in the primary school
Nhlapo, Velaphi Aaron
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This study intended to explore the phenomenon of managing school safety in the primary school. The aim was first achieved by exploring the essence of school safety through a literature review. Secondly, an empirical study was conducted to investigate the status of safety in the primary schools. Finally, recommendations on how safety can be managed in primary schools are made. The literature review exposed a theoretical perspective of school safety based on the socio-ecological perspective of the school, which approaches the school safety as a function of people's interaction with their environment. In this regard, the school environment was revealed as comprising the physical and psychosocial environment. School safety was thus found to be related to school stakeholders' interaction with their physical and psychosocial environments. In this regard, the safety of the physical environment was found to be a function of all actions aimed at the maintenance, surveillance and safety systems and procedures. The safety of the psychosocial environment was found to be a function of actions aimed at creating safe social and psychological climates. The empirical research found that there were perceptions of safety in primary schools. However, it was clear that there was poor or no coordination of programmes aimed at school safety. For instance, it could be deduced that school safety was seen as an ad hoc function, which was addressed as the need arose. There were no perceptions of the existence of well coordinated and purposeful safety planning, implementation and monitoring processes. Recommendations focus mainly on ensuring that schools address school safety in a coordinated and well-planned manner. This includes school safety planning and advocacy to bring school safety on the nation's agenda. This way stakeholder involvement and in essence, state involvement is advocated so as ultimately to have a centralised school safety coordinating agency, which would be instrumental in providing resources and advocating resource sharing among schools.
- Education