Authors: Ralph D Mawdsley, Keshni Bipath & James L Mawdsley

Keyword: quality education, South Africa, secondary schools

SDG: SDG4

Agenda 2063: A1, A6

Similar to Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities, this research study is about a tale of two schools. The first type of school is a dysfunctional school. Dysfunctional schools are schools in a state of chaos (Shipengrower & Conway, 1998). The second school is that of order. The researchers refer to this school as a functional school. In 2003, the functional school in this research project scored a 100% pass rate in the Senior Certificate Examination (SCE), whereas the dysfunctional school scored 57.35%. Dysfunctional schools, known as “failing schools” are usually found in the poorest neighborhood, where children are mostly Black or immigrants who are not proficient in English. One of the casualties of the apartheid era has been the diminishing authority of the school principal. The aim of this research is to investigate the role of the leader in managing a functional school situated in a dysfunctional environment in the Gauteng province of South Africa. The research study is also directed at predicting the characteristics of dysfunctional /functional schools in the Gauteng province of South Africa.