Skip to main content


As a positive relationship between schools and education districts can help to secure school improvement and learning outcomes, we have explored the accountability arrangements implicit in this relationship in the South African context. An assessment of how well the district is rated by schools when it comes to the different compliance and support activities that officials carry out during school visits, as well as the variations in school satisfaction ratings, was undertaken using a sample-based nationally representative survey. The relationship between the focus of school visits and how satisfied respondents (mainly school principals) were about such visits offers some insight into the potential impact of visits on school operations and the opportunity a district may have to influence a school’s ability to perform. This paper thus provides insights into the efficacy of district personnel in policy compliance and oversight visits to schools, as well as how schools perceive these visits.