This article is based on a paper read at the Oxford Round Table Sir William Blackstone Colloquium on Public School Law in Oxford in 2000. Living and working in the 18th century, Sir William Blackstone was one of the most prominent English lawyers of all time, his influence still enduring in England and in many other countries with historical links with England. Because Blackstone regarded the relationship between parent and child as very important, the author therefore traced it through three broad periods: Blackstone's own times, South Africa before 1994 and South Africa after 1994. In preparing the paper, the author realised that many changes had taken place in the legal relationship between parent and child in South Africa since 1994 and that their implications for education management need to be explored. Education law literature in South Africa is certainly still largely dominated by the law as it was before 1994; so are the management implications drawn from it. The article has four sections: first, aspects of the parent-child relationship in South African law before the new Constitutional dispensation; second, relevant developments in South African under the new Constitution(s) and finally, a conclusion.