Principal accused of undermining dept.

Principal Carol Drysdale was accused of misunderstanding the requirements of her job.

Rivonia Primary School principal Carol Drysdale at her disciplinary hearing in Johannesburg on 11 September, 2012 where she is charged with misconduct and subordination over a grade one’s admission dispute. Picture: Alex Eliseev/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Education Department on Tuesday accused a Rivonia Primary School principal of misunderstanding the requirements of her job.

Carol Drysdale faces charges of misconduct and insubordination relating to her school's failed attempt to turn away a grade one pupil in 2011.

The matter highlights the uncertainty on who has the final say when state schools reach capacity.

The department accused Drysdale of choosing sides and enforcing the decision of the School Governing Body (SGB) over that of her bosses.

The department's first witness, director of legal services Qiniso Zwane, argued ignorance was not an excuse.

"This is a management role, not a governance role," he added.

Much of the day was spent interrogating the school's policy, and whether it meets provincial and national regulations.

Drysdale's lawyer argued the school had a firm policy in place, even if the maximum number of pupils per classroom was lower than that of the national norm.

Earlier, the principal pleaded not guilty to the charges.