Western Cape closes school admissions for 2020

It's D-Day for parents in the Western Cape as the provincial education department warns that school admissions for 2020 are closing.

"Parents had a whole month in which to prioritise their children's applications for 2020," said Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

She said enrolment was especially important for pupils applying for admission into Grades R,1 and 8.

"This year, we piloted an online admissions system and while the system came with some minor hiccups, I am pleased with the overall response."

The online admissions system processed 192 481 applications since opening on February 15.

"These figures are set to increase significantly as many parents rush to complete their applications today. The online system has sent a text message and email to those parents who did not complete their applications, reminding them to complete their applications before the deadline."

The department had also taken out radio ad campaigns to remind parents about the deadline.

Schäfer said the department officials would continue helping those parents who failed to enrol their children on time.

Parents would be able to submit applications on the system after March 15 but it would be marked as late.

Schäfer also said it was important for the department to know how many applications had been received so it could plan in advance where additional resources, such as infrastructure and teachers, were required.

"We also want to assist as many parents as possible whose children do not get accepted during this period, to find a school. Schools are to inform parents of the outcome of their applications by 10 May 2019."

Parents have 10 days, by May 20, to confirm acceptance at the school of their choice or decline other options that have been accepted.

The department asked parents to note that:

  • The School Governing Body (SGB) of the school is responsible for the admissions policy of that particular school, not the department. Therefore, a school can determine certain criteria that are in line with the law, which could benefit some learner admissions over others – such as sibling preference.
  • Applying at a school does not guarantee acceptance and the department has been very clear in all its communication that parents must apply at more than one school. 
  • The proximity to a school does not always guarantee placement. Living 50 metres from a school or 50km cannot guarantee placement. Some schools factor proximity in their admissions policies, but it is rarely the sole criterion, if it is a criterion at all.
  • Some schools receive five times the number of applications than the places they have available. Therefore, they cannot satisfy the needs of everyone who applies. So naturally some parents will be disappointed.
  • The Constitutional Court judgment, FEDSAS vs Gauteng MEC, in relation to feeder zones, does not apply to the Western Cape as it related specifically to regulations in Gauteng. Feeder zones may, however, form part of a school's criteria for admissions, as determined by the SGB. 

Parents who are unsure about which district to approach, can call the department's call centre on 0861 923 322.

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