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You are here :: Corporate Information >> FAQ'S
FAQ'S

How is the money paid in section 21 schools?

Section 21 schools are those schools that manage their own finances. The Department deposits the school allocation into the schools’ account at the beginning of every financial year. This happens after the school has submitted an audited annual financial statement report. The Department manages the finances of the non-section 21 schools and they order what the schools require and the Department pays the suppliers. These financial allocations are known as school allocations and all schools are informed of their school allocations six months before the beginning of the financial year to enable schools to budget and plan for the next financial year.

What happens if a parent can afford to pay school fees but has a child that goes to a no fee school?

Parents who can afford to pay school fees are encouraged to do so.

What if there is no No Fee School and a parent cannot afford to pay school fees?

No child should be denied access to education because of the financial status of his/her parents. Parents can apply to the school governing body for total, partial or conditional exemption if they are unable to pay school fees. The criteria used for this exemption is determined by the school governing body and parents. It is therefore very important for parents to attend school meetings at all times as these critical decisions are made at parents’ meetings.

How do you know if a school is a No Fee School?

The Department will publish a No Fee School newspaper supplement which will contain a list of No Fee schools. Parents can also contact the Call Centre on 0860 596 363 or the Toll-Free 0800 204 353 to verify the status of a school. The Department has an unambiguous policy on how admission of learners should be administered. The policy begins from a premise that: Every child has a right to be admitted to any public school and to participate in all school activities.

When should children start school?

For grade R learners the admission age of a learner to a public school is 4 turning 5 by 30 June in the year of admission and for a grade 1 learners the admission age is 5 years turning 6 by 30 June in the year of admission. It is the responsibility of every parent to ensure that children are registered between August and November in the year before they start school, that all children between the ages of 6 and 15 attend school and that all children attend school regularly.

What is needed to register a child at a public school?

A certified or original copy of the child’s birth certificate, immunisation card, transfer card or last school report for learners who have been to school are required to register a child at a public school.

Can a child be refused admission at a public school?

Chapter 2 (3) a – c ; of the South African Schools Act NO. 84 OF 1996 states:
No learner may be refused admission to a public school on the grounds that his or her parent-
(a) is unable to pay or has not paid the school fees determined by the governing body under section 39;
(b) does not subscribe to the mission statement of the school; or
(c) has refused to enter into a contract in terms of which the parent waives any claim for damages arising out of the education of the learner. Subject to this Act and any applicable provincial law, the admission policy of a public school is determined by the governing body of such school. Any learner or parent of a learner who feels they have been unfairly discriminated during the consideration of their application they may appeal against the decision to the Member of the Executive Council.

Where should a child who has been refused admission on the basis of age go?

For example, a child who is 16 years old who wants to do basic education.

Section 3 of the South African Schools Act, provides for compulsory attendance of learners at school between the ages of 7 and 15 or the completion of Gr 9, whichever comes first. A learner who is 16 years of age or older who has never attended school and is seeking admission for the first time or who did not make sufficient progress with his/her peer group is advised to enroll at an Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) centre.

What should parents do to avoid last minute registration problems?

Parents must register their children between August and November of the year before they start school to ensure that the first day of school is devoted to teaching and learning. Moreover, it is important for parents to note that the Department will not allow schools to over enroll. If a school has reached its maximum enrollment number, parents can approach their nearest Department of Education Circuit Offices for advice on the other nearest schools that can still accommodate their children. Parents can also obtain a letter from the school which certifies that the school has reached its capacity in terms of admission numbers.

Is it important to enroll a child for Grade R?

Yes, Early Childhood Education assists children in becoming better learners. They learn through play while having fun with their peers, however, attendance to grade R is not compulsory.
 

What if a parent cannot afford to buy school uniform?

No child may be refused admission to a school because of an inability to obtain or wear the school uniform. Schools, through their School Governing Bodies, should make an effort to assist learners who are unable to afford a school uniform. The establishment of second-hand shops, run by schools, is therefore strongly encouraged. Schools, through their governing bodies, should develop an assistance plan that takes into account the financial means of the school and its wider community.

Examples of possible types of assistance include:
(a) the school, where feasible, provides new or second hand uniforms to learners whose parents cannot afford to purchase them;
(b) community organisations or businesses provide uniforms or contribute financial support for uniforms as part of a structured donor programme;
(c) parents work together to make uniforms available to indigent learners;
(d) second-hand uniforms donated by out-going learners are made available to incoming pupils on a charitable basis; and
(e) grants secured from a local foundation or bequests from deceased estates could cover the cost of uniforms for families that cannot afford to buy them.
 

What happens if a parent cannot afford to pay school fees?

School fees may be determined and charged at a public school only if a resolution to do so has been adopted by a majority of parents attending the meeting. Parents can apply to the school governing body for total, partial or conditional exemption if they are unable to pay school fees. The criteria used for this exemption is determined by the school governing body and parents. It is therefore very important for parents to attend school meetings at all times as these critical decisions are made at parents’ meetings.

Parents who can afford to pay school fees are liable to pay the school fees. The school governing body of a public school may by process of law enforce the payment of fees to liable parents. Should a parent encounter financial problems anytime during the school year they must inform the school principal and the governing body well in advance so that an amicable solution can be sought.

What is the procedure for suspending a child at a public school?

The governing body of a public school may, after a fair hearing, suspend a learner from attending the school as a correctional measure for a period not longer than a week or in consultation with the Head of Department, pending a decision as to whether the learner is to be expelled from the school by the Head of Department.
 

Can a child be expelled from school because she is pregnant?

No. Section 9"(3) of the Constitution, entitled "Equality", states that: The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth."
 

Can a school withhold results or refuse a child access to school because of outstanding school fees?

No. No learner can be denied admission or otherwise discriminated against on grounds of the parent's inability or failure to pay school fees.

Where can one apply for a copy of a matric certificate?

At the exam section of the Provincial Department of Education on (031) 327 0467 or 72 Stalwart Simelane Street, 8th Floor, Durban.
 

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