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Schools set their own policy

Schools do not have a system where a certain number of leaners from other provinces have to be admitted.

A concerned parent contacted Eikestadnuus regarding this issue.

“I suspect that some schools and in my case one specific school, is using the excuse that learners within Stellenbosch should get preference, but there are scores of learners from outside Stellenbosch who are indeed in schools here,” according to the parent who wishes to remain anonymous.

According to Bronagh Hammond, director of communications at the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), their current figures record 1 064 591 learners in the Western Cape from Grades 1 to 12 with the growth in the system from 2018 being 21 834 more learners.

She says 20 160 learners are from outside the Western Cape. The majority of these learners, 16 177, are from the Eastern Cape while 1 736 are from outside South Africa.

“There is no ‘quota’ system. The WCED has the responsibility to place all learners in the province of school going age in a school. We have, however, made it very clear that we are under pressure in terms of available accommodation and educator staff.

According to Bronagh, the WCED has not determined feeder zones (geographical areas from which a school admits learners) for public schools in terms of section 33 of the National Admissions Policy for Ordinary Public Schools.

However, Section 5(5) of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act 84 of 1996) (“SASA”) provides as follows: “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”.

Therefore, some student governing bodies (SGB’s) do determine a “feeder zone” in terms of their admission policies.

“The WCED is, however, not able to place all learners in a parents’ school of choice. School admission policies are determined by the SGB and therefore, they determine the number of applications that are accepted and the process that is applied when determining these applications. The process needs to be in line with the South African Schools Act, as well as, our Constitution.

“The reality is that some schools are more popular than others – for a variety of reasons. These schools receive hundreds of applications more than they can accommodate, and therefore, there will always be disappointed parents.”

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