The second phase for applications for enrollment at some of our Western Cape schools is now open for parents and their children.
Schools enroll learners in two rounds in the Western Cape, to enable parents to apply to other schools if they are unsuccessful during the first round of applications.
The first phase between March and June saw thousands of learners finalise their enrollment at schools for the 2014 school year.
I should like to thank these parents for ensuring their child has a place in a school. Enrolling their child early will allow for the WCED to plan more effectively for the 2014 school year.
The WCED is aware that many of our schools are now full. This means that they will no longer accept applications for the 2014 school year.
Parents can ask to be placed on a waiting list. However, this does not guarantee placement in the school. Therefore, we strongly advise these parents to register their child at another school to avoid disappointment in the New Year.
The deadline for the second round is at the end of the third term, on Friday 20 September.
Should a parent experience difficulties in having their child admitted to a school, the WCED has officials in every district to help parents to find places for their children.
The officials work closely with schools to identify available places, and then with parents to match children to these places.
They will try to find the most suitable places, but cannot guarantee places at schools of choice.
We do, however, encourage parents first to apply direct to schools. Schools will direct parents to the nearest district office if they are full.
Already we have seen a large demand for places in certain districts, especially within the Cape Metropole and include areas such as Durbanville, the Helderberg Basin, Rondebosch , Wynberg and Mitchells Plain.
We are also seeing increased demand for English medium schools in Cape Winelands and the West Coast.
Parents should also be aware that schools cannot charge fees such as a registration fee, a deposit, re-admission or pre-admission testing fees, or any other fees at the time of application. School fees become acceptable only after the learner has been informed in writing of his or her acceptance to the school. If a parent is asked to pay such a fee, it should be reported to the nearest district office.
The WCED has sent a circular to all schools requesting that they refrain from all illegal practices which infringe on the learner’s rights to basic education, as articulated in the Constitution, the South African Schools Act and the WCED’s policy for the Management of Admission and Registration at Ordinary Public Schools.
Parents must also realize that the admission policy of a public school is determined by the school governing body, and not by the WCED.
A school can refuse admission if the learner does not meet the requirements of the admission policy.
However, if parents believe their child has been excluded from a school without justification they have the right of appeal to me via my Ministry.
I strongly encourage parents to ensure that they enroll their child as soon as possible. Each New Year we have parents who complain to the media and the Department that they cannot find a place for the child in a school. In some cases, these complaints are valid given that they have just moved unexpectedly from another Province, for example. However, those few, who choose to ignore our plea to enroll their child early, will have failed in their responsibility as parents to ensure that their child is enrolled in a school.