Cape Town – An investigation into disruptions at the Sans Souci Girls' High School in Newlands, Cape Town over what pupils termed racist policies was concluded and had found that discriminatory practices do exist at the institution, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said on Tuesday.
"The investigation found that a number of discriminating practices gave rise to understandable unhappiness among learners and steps have already been taken to remedy these practices," Schäfer said in a statement.
The probe commenced after a protest at the school last year over, among others, its hair policy which pupils said discriminated against black girls, and that they were not allowed to speak or learn in their mother tongues, rather being forced to learn in Afrikaans.
Schäfer said the report compiled by four senior Western Cape Education Department officials recommended that the school's code of conduct be reviewed, as well as its hair policy, which the MEC said had already been completed.
The school would also have to review "decisions taken about inclusivity of all cultures and faiths", helping the school's governing body to fulfil its functions and "having disciplinary engagements with individuals, where applicable".
"Any disciplinary engagement is a confidential matter between the HoD as employer and employee and will be treated in such a manner," Schäfer said, while adding that after taking legal advice the report was unlikely to lead to any dismissals of staff at the school.
"The climate and culture of the school, governed by the governing body and managed by the staff, need to reflect a South African school culture that is inclusive, orderly and disciplined. The WCED will work with the school to continue the revisions already started."
The MEC also announced that school principal, Charmaine Murray, had retired at the end of last year after 36 years of service.
Students had complained that she was behind the school's discriminatory policies, calling for her head during a protest in September last year.
"She has indicated that her decision, while of retirement age, is as a consequence of the trauma of the unfolding events and believes this to be in her and the school’s best interests," said Schäfer.