SAPA was formed in 1995 at a launching conference in the Western Cape. It is based on the principles of non-alignment to any political party or organization, or to any other educator body or union. This paves the way for individuals to be members of the major teacher unions in South Africa and also be members of SAPA. While SAPA is the national umbrella body, the association effectively functions at a provincial level. Each province elects its own executive committee to organize activities within the province, such as conferences, local seminars, newsletters, negotiations with provincial education departments in the interests of members etc.
Members carry out all the work of the association on a voluntary basis and no official is remunerated for his/her work. The main source of funding is the annual membership fee, currently R200, payable to the provincial treasurer. A percentage of this subscription (currently R70.00) is disbursed to the treasurer of SAPA for utilization by the national executive.
What are the benefits for you as a Principal?
Membership of a professional body which aims at enhancing your skills and professional development so that you will feel more confident about the task of leading your school.
The opportunity to attend local and provincial workshops, seminars and conferences organized by your executive and which are in tune with local needs. Your participation at the local and provincial level will determine the effectiveness of SAPA-WC.
The opportunity, through SAPA-WC representatives, to have a say in the planning and organization of SAPA national executive.
Through SAPA-WC representatives, information fed down to grassroots level from national and provincial education authorities; in other words an effective communication channel.
The opportunity to attend the annual national conference which ensures that you will be at the forefront of educational developments by means of stimulating and relevant keynote speakers and challenging and practical workshop sessions. A different SAPA provincial executive hosts the annual conference each year.
Ensuring that you never feel isolated from not only national but also international trends, SAPA provides opportunities to access current world developments in educational leadership through membership of the international Confederation of Principals (ICP) and the African Convention of Principals (ACP).
This then provides a brief background, and many of the issues raised above will be picked up in the rest of this newsletter.
The SAPA national executive committee meets three times a year, in February, June and a day before the national conference. The first two meetings are usually in Gauteng (either Johannesburg or Pretoria), and the third wherever the national conference is being held. The President and members of the executive committee have held regular meetings with the Department of Education, in particular with Dr. Martin Prew (Director: Education Management and Governance Development, District Development and School Safety) where various issues affecting school management have been discussed.