This study investigated and described the manner in which school leaders in the Gauteng North province of South Africa manage substitute educators as part of a strategy to manage educator absenteeism. This study attempted to uncover what management strategies are in place when educators cannot attend to their educational duties. This qualitative case study was guided by the following research question: “How do school leaders manage substitute educators in the Northern Gauteng province?” Using a conceptual framework made up of the elements of management, namely planning, organising, leading, and controlling (van der Westhuizen, 2003), the researcher collected data using semi-structured interviews with school principals. In selecting the first research site both purposive and convenience sampling was used - the criteria for the identification of the first school was whether it uses substitute educators, while the Northern Gauteng province was selected on the basis of convenience as it is within close geographic location to the researcher. Snowball sampling was employed to identify other schools in the Northern Gauteng province that use substitute educators. Ultimately, the study involved five principals that utilize substitute educators on a regular basis. The researcher determined that the main reasons for utilizing substitute educators are for maternity leave for female educators, illnesses like cancer, the hospitalisation of educators for surgery, and also for urgent private affairs and PILIR leave. Schools are lacking policies regarding their substitute educators, which can lead to hindrances in the utilization of substitute educators. All schools have difficulty in finding substitute educators with the ability to teach languages, especially for Afrikaans Home Language, and to a lesser extent English Home Language and English First Additional Language. Other subjects that are challenging to find suitable substitute educators for are Mathematics and Physical Science. The researcher also determined that principals are mainly responsible for the planning of the utilisation of substitute educators, and to a lesser extent the SMT’s. A factor that hampers the appointment of appropriate substitute educators at schools is the availability of finances. Some schools are not able to pay competitive salaries to substitute educators, although they attempt to remunerate them on the same scale as permanent educators. Due to the fact of better remuneration at other schools, quality substitute educators are often lost. The researcher discovered that newly appointed substitute educators’ progress is continuously monitored to ensure that they are well adjusted and that all issues are addressed. The majority of substitute educators are females who were in the teaching profession but left due to family reasons or because they did not want to commit to a specific school. Furthermore, the researcher discovered that the greatest challenge for schools is not knowing in advance when educators were going to be absent. Some educators wait until the last moment to inform the principal of their absence from school. A further challenge depends on the ability of the school to manage a substitute educator. An inexperienced principal may have more difficulty to address this matter. However, most schools have adequate procedures in place to monitor and control the use of substitute educators. Time is of the essence because of the tempo at which education in South Africa takes place. Recommendations for the management of substitute educators include the design and implementation of a compulsory, comprehensive, and focused school policy on the management of substitute educators. More support from the GDE would benefit schools when they are in need of a substitute educator, perhaps even by adjusting their own policy. Substitute educators that are regularly utilised at a school must be actively involved in professional development, especially regarding discipline. Schools need to create strategies to give feedback to substitute educators when they have completed their stint. Finally, the creation of a proficient data base of all educators who desire to do substitute teaching may prove to be quite useful.